The Windows Live Essentials beta (part of our Wave 4 set of Windows Live releases)  is a big set of enhancements. Every product has been touched, and there are some new products in here. Here’s a summary of what’s new.

My favorites so far:

  • All the products have an improved interface, including the ribbon
  • Live Messenger’s interface is really cool, and helpful / productive.
  • Live Messenger also has other new capabilities like high-def video chat, video messages for offline friends, badges, tabbed conversations,
  • Photo Gallery now supports grouping by facial recognition and other interesting attributes
  • Movie Maker supports creating HD videos.
  • Hotmail - check out the new interface, and the Sweep capability
  • Office Web App’s
  • Several interesting calendar capabilities
  • New folder sync capability
  • Remote desktop capability