SOFTWARE OUTFIT MIcrosoft has released its web mash-up suiteWindows Live Essentials 2011 to the public.The software has been in beta for months. The companyclaims that the production release addresses “95 [per cent] of all bugs reported by beta users”. This is perhaps the first time a company has released a final product, while admitting that bugs remain in it during the launch speech.The Windows Live Essentials suite is a set of desktop applications that make use of various online services such as email, data synchronisation, instant messaging and blogging. It also includes basic photo and movie editing applications similar to those included byApple in Mac OS X.Microsoft also announced that Dell will be pre-loading Windows Live Essentials on its machines that run Windows 7 and that other system builders are planning to do the same. Support applications supplied in Microsoft’s Windows were starting to look increasingly meagre compared to those in Apple’s Mac OS X and most Linux distributions, which have included many of the applications found in Windows Live Essentials for years. Now this applications suite, however basic, brings Windows back on level terms, at least in applications software quantity and, perhaps, quality.Those running Windows XP will be out of luck, as Windows Live Essentials 2011 is only available for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft patronised XP users by saying that Windows XP users can “switch to Windows Live Essentials 2011 when you buy a new PC or upgrade to Windows 7″. One wonders whether a relatively basic, albeit free, suite of applications is going to convince those who feel that Windows XP does the job to go out and spend a wad of cash to buy Windows 7.