It looks like users still running the decade-old Windows XP will not be able to upgrade to the next generation of Windows Live Messenger, or to any of the clients offered under the umbrella of Windows Live Essentials 2010 / Wave 4. Just as it is doing for Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft is reportedly planning to support only Windows 7 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 with the upcoming version of Windows Live Essentials. At this point in time, it is only confirmed that Windows Live Essentials 2010 / Wave 4 Beta only works with the latest iterations of the Windows client, with current members of the select testing pool of applications such as Messenger, Mail, Writer, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, and Family Safety having revealed that they are unable to run on top of Windows XP.
“Windows Live Essentials 2010 Beta includes free programs from Microsoft for photos, movies, instant messaging, email, blogging, and more. Get them all in one download and get more done with Windows. Essentials is currently available in seven languages and requires Windows 7 and Windows Vista,” an excerpt from the description of Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 reads, according to LiveSino. (via LiveSide)
Of course, customers must understand that Microsoft hasn’t offered any official details of Windows Live Essentials 2010 up to this point in time, let alone a confirmation of the system requirements for Wave 4. However, there are some rather interesting details on the platforms that Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 will support, namely the 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) Windows Vista SP2 (with Platform Update for Windows Vista), Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 SP2 (with Platform Update for Windows Server 2008) and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Interesting because of the Platform Update mention. As users of Windows Vista already know, Microsoft back-ported various technologies from Windows 7 to its predecessor, including DirectX 11. This was done with the release of Platform Update for Windows Vista, which was offered only to customers running Vista SP2. Coincidentally, Vista SP2 with Platform Update and Windows 7 are also the only supported operating systems for Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview.
As far as IE9 is concerned, Microsoft explained that Platform Preview was not offered to XP users, precisely because of the lack of DirectX 11 that supported hardware acceleration via GPU through the Direct2D and DirectWrite APIs. Could this be an indication that Windows Live Essentials 2010 / Wave 4 will also be hardware accelerated?
Windows Live Messenger 9.0 (2009) 14.0.8089.726 is available for download here.
Windows Live Family Safety is available for download here.
Windows Live Writer 14.0.8089.726 is available for download here.
Windows Live Photo Gallery 2009 14.0.8081.709 is available for download here.
Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone (KB948465) is available for download here.
Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone for x64-based systems (KB948465) is available for download here.
Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Platform Preview is available for download here.