I have been using Windows Live Essentials 2009,the Windows XP version,since I bought my first laptop. When Windows Live Essentials 2011 version came out at the end of 2010, I tried it on my Windows 7 netbook. And I knew right away I did not like it.
There have since been several updated versions of WLE 2011, and I have tried it several times, but I don't like WLE 2011.There are over 100 reasons why I don't like WLE 2011 version,too many to list here.
But the main reasons are,Windows Live Messenger 2011 is not the same as WL Messenger 2009 and the previous versions of WL Messenger.
WL Messenger 2011 is not very user friendly.
It is slow and crashes a lot when I make video calls.
And I don't like the Ribbon in Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 and Windows Live Mail 2011.
In Windows Live Photo Gallery 2009 and Windows Live Mail 2009 there is no Ribbon.
And Windows Live Messenger 2009 works better than WL Messenger 2011. And so I have never upgraded to WLE 2011 version and have stayed on WLE 2009 version.The latest build is WLE 2009 Build 14.0 8117.416.
But I am not the only one who does not like WLE 2011 version.
From what I read on the web, other Windows users are not happy with WLE 2011 and have stayed with WLE 2009.
And WLE 2011 is not for everyone and does not suite everybody.
But a few days ago I had to re-install Windows 7 on one of my netbooks.So of course I had to re-install all of my software,including WLE 2009.
And after the installation of WLE 2009 had finished,WL Messenger 2009 opened automatically.
This is because it is set by default to start when Windows starts and when you log into Windows.And I always change this setting.
But because WL Messenger 2009 was running for the first time, it opened right away. And I got a notification telling me a new version of WL Messenger was available and that I must upgrade to use WL Messenger.
So I searched the web, and I found out that Microsoft are forcing a mandatory update or upgrade to WLE 2011, for all users who are still using WLE 2009.And from what I read on the web, many people are unhappy about this, and don't want to upgrade to WLE 2011 version.
If you are running Windows XP,Windows Vista without any service packs or Windows Vista Service Pack 1, you WILL NOT get the mandatory update.
But if you have got Windows Vista Service Pack 2,Windows 7, or Windows 8,you will get the mandatory update.
And you will get a notification to upgrade to WL Messenger 2011 every time you try to log into WL Messenger 2009. And if you refuse the update, you will not be able to log into WL Messenger 2009.
Also if you choose to upgrade to WL Messenger 2011,it will upgrade the whole of WLE 2009. So you will loose WL Photo Gallery 2009,WL Mail 2009, and any other WLE 2009 that you have. And they will all be upgraded to WLE 2011 version.
On my other computers I have set WL Messenger 2009 to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP. So that it displays the icon in the taskbar notification area.Like in previous versions of Windows.
So I never got the update.But of course on the netbook that I had just re-installed Windows 7,I had only just installed WLE 2009 and WL Messenger 2009.And it opened up right away after installation before I got the chance to change the settings. So of course I got the notification telling me I had to upgrade.
But you are not stuck with WLE 2011 or WL Messenger 2011.And here is how to avoid the mandatory upgrade to WLE 2011 and keep WLE 2009.
First download WLE 2009 if you have not already done so. Sometimes when you go to the Microsoft website on Windows Vista,Windows 7 and Windows 8.You get redirected to the WLE 2011 download page, instead of WLE 2009 download page.
But you don't want to download WLE 2011,so if you are having problems getting onto the download page for WLE 2009.You can download WLE 2009 from other sites on the web.
Or if you have a Windows XP computer you can download WLE 2009 from the Microsoft website. And then transfer the installer onto Windows 7 or your other versions of Windows.Using a software like Team Viewer that lets you transfer files from one computer to the other. And then you can install WLE 2009 by running the installer on Windows 7,Windows Vista or Windows 8.
If you have WLE 2011 you can also roll back to WLE 2009. But you must uninstall WLE 2011 first. This is because Windows will not install and older version of Windows Live Essentials or Windows Live Messenger,if it detects a new one on your computer. But once you have uninstalled WLE 2011,you can go ahead and install WLE 2009.
Install WLE 2009 and then after the installation,Messenger will open right away.
Now you need to change the setting in options to set Messenger not to run on Windows start up.
So you need to un-tick run Messenger on Windows start up. Then log out of Windows,then log back in again.
Now you need to change the compatibility settings on WLM 2009, and set it to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 3.
OR Windows XP Service Pack 2.
To do this go to your start menu or Windows Live Programs folder.
Right click on the WL Messenger 2009 exe and click properties. Under compatibility settings select change settings for all users. Then select run in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 3.
Or Windows XP Service Pack 2. Save settings then exit.
Now when you start WL Messenger 2009 again, you will be able to log into Messenger, and use it again on Windows 7,Windows Vista and Windows 8. And you will no longer get the annoying reminder telling you to upgrade.
Note, if you have got WLE 2009 WITHOUT WL Messenger 2009. For example, if you just have WL Mail 20o9,WL Photo Gallery 2009,WL Writer 2009, or other. And you do not have WL Messenger 2009,you will not be given the update to upgrade.
Because the update is only being issued on WL Messenger 2009,not on the other WLE 2009.
But if you have got WLE 2009 with WL Messenger 2009, then YOU WILL get the mandatory update.
UNLESS you set WL Messenger 2009 to run in program compatibility mode for Windows XP.
There are some software's on the web that can block the update of WLM 2011. But I don't think there is any need to use them. Because the program compatibility setting works.
I have successfully run Windows Live Messenger 8.5 and MSN Messenger 7.5 on Windows 7. By changing the program compatibility mode to Windows XP on WL Messenger 8.5 and Windows 2000 on MSN Messenger 7.5. And it works. WL Messenger 8.5 and MSN Messenger 7.5 both work on Windows 7 after you do this.
Many people,including me, do not like WLE 2011 version. And do not like the forced update to WLE 2011. And want to stay on WLE 2009.
I was reading a thread on the Microsoft Answers forums and there were 32 replies on that thread and nearly everyone on there complained about the forced update to WLE 2011. And they locked that thread.
And there are other posts on the web, on both forums and websites, from users who hate WLE 2011. And just don't want to upgrade to it.
And to be honest WLE 2011 IS HORRIBLE. It is not the same as WLE 2009 and the previous versions of WLE and WL Messenger.
Windows Live Essentials 2011 is only for Windows Vista Service Pack 2,Windows 7 and Windows 8.
WLE 2011 will not work on Windows XP,Windows Vista with no service packs or Windows Vista with Service pack 1. Which says it all for WLE 2011 version.
Windows Live Essentials 2009 and Windows Live Messenger 2009, on the other hand works on all versions of Windows,including Windows 8. It figures.
But no,you are not stuck with WLE 2011. And as long as you set WL Messenger 2009 to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Service Pack 2. You can stay on WLE 2009 and WL Messenger 2009 and carry on using it without any problems. It is that simple.
And Windows Live Essentials 2009 works on Windows XP,Windows Vista,Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Images,Windows Live Messenger 2009 on Windows 8.
Windows Live Photo Gallery 2009 on Windows 8.