Pinch me I must be dreaming!

The day has arrived when we will finally see the public beta of the Wave 4 version of the Windows Live Essentials suite of programs from Microsoft.

The Wave 3 version have been troopers and have provided great support over the last 18 months or so but it was definitely time to see some upgrades in many of them.  In software years that 18 months is like 4 years!

Seriously, I am excited about this update and am really looking forward to digging into all of the programs and hearing how everyone is getting on with them once they are installed.

The official announcement was posted yesterday by Piero Sierra on the Inside Windows Live blog:

We’ve designed Essentials to connect your Windows experience to the web services you already use – not just the ones from Microsoft. The new betas of Windows Live Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Writer, and Messenger connect to photo and video sharing (SkyDrive, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, SmugMug), social networking (Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin), email (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail), blogging (Spaces, WordPress, Blogger), and document productivity (Office Web Apps) services. And the new Windows Live Sync keeps your files synchronized across multiple PCs and in the cloud.  You can even directly access your PC over the web with Sync’s new remote desktop feature.

Piero is the Group Program Manager, Windows Live Essentials so I think he is a very good source for this news!

Here are some other stories around the web trumpeting this news:

You will find the download here when it goes live –

So are you a wait and see how it goes for others type or will you be installing the beta release as soon as you can?

Update at 1:25 PM EDT:  I thought the link I provided above was working but it was still showing the Wave 3 version of Windows Live Essentials.  Still no word on the Wave 4 programs.

If you go to the link you will get the Wave 3 version of the programs.  So make sure you keep that –beta tag at the end of the URL.

That caused a false alarm here (See first paragraph of this update) :-)

Update at 5:20 PM EDT: As most of you already know – the download is live now at the link.  Let me know how your initial experience goes.