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Aug 20 2009

Windows Live Movie Maker… iMovie Killer? Who Knows?

The new Windows Live Movie Maker – available today! – Windows Live

Windows Live Movie Maker

The new Windows Live Movie Maker – available today!

Today we’ve released Windows Live Movie Maker from beta as part of a refresh to our Windows Live Essentials download. Windows Live Movie Maker is the first application designed for Windows 7 and is built to make beautiful movies from your photos and videos very quickly. Download the new Windows Live Movie Maker to get an immediate (and free!) upgrade to your Windows Live experience.

Introducing the new Windows Live Movie Maker

Windows Live Movie Maker is one more example of why Windows Live Essentials are must-have applications for people using Windows. With the goal of making it easy to communicate and share with the people you care about, we’re continually updating these applications to ensure they take advantage of the best Windows has to offer. With today’s release, you will be able to see a variety of ways Windows Live Movie Maker takes advantage of Windows 7 including expanded support for HD video so you can create great looking movies using the most popular devices on the market – including your mobile phone or Flip Video camcorder.

We’ve been anticipating the official release of Windows Live Movie Maker for a while now (see our team’s previous posts here and here). As the team outlined in their posts, we’ve really taken the time to rethink what great video editing software should do. We heard your feedback and designed this version so you can quickly and easily create short movies and photo slideshows that can be shared the way that works best for you. The AutoMovie feature in Windows Live Movie Maker literally creates a polished movie out of your photos and video clips in under a minute, which means it can take less time to create a movie than it does to watch it.

According to recent research from IDC, over 60 percent of US consumers watch user-generated videos online. They also found that almost half of the videos shared on the Internet are just a few minutes long.* While video is becoming just as easy to capture as photos, it’s nowhere near as easy to edit and share. Current video editing software is complicated and can require a large time investment just to create a two-minute video you want to share on YouTube. I recently used Windows Live Movie Maker to create a movie out of 50 photos, three video clips, and a music soundtrack in 30 seconds using the AutoMovie feature in Windows Live Movie Maker. I couldn’t have done that in iMovie – it doesn’t have a feature for combining photos, videos and music in one automatic step.

We’ve heard you say that you want powerful editing tools that work quickly, so your masterpiece can go from camera to YouTube in a flash, so that’s what we built.

Here are a few reasons I think you will enjoy the new-and-improved Windows Live Movie Maker:

  1. It’s easy to create beautiful videos. Movie Maker can create great looking movies in under a minute. Just add your photos and videos to Movie Maker, and select your music, then click the Auto Movie button. Auto Movie will knit those photos and videos together with striking effects and transitions, and even fit them to a soundtrack of your choosing. Basic movie – done. If you want to spend more time editing your video clips, adding animations, or visual effects you can, but the heavy lifting is done for you in less than a minute.
  2. More customization features easily add polish to your movie. You told us after the beta came out that you’d like more transitions, effects, and video editing features. The new Movie Maker has more than 60 transitions, 18 pan and zoom options, and 20 visual effects that you can apply to photos or videos, plus video trim, split, and fade capabilities. As a movie maker myself, I love the range of rich editing capabilities in this version and particularly like being able to auto-preview transitions like cross-fade, dissolve, pixelate, and shatter by hovering over the effect and watching it in real time.
  3. It’s simple to share your movie. Videos are for sharing, so Movie Maker makes it easy to share online with a few clicks. Post your video to YouTube right from the main menu, or add a quick plug-in and easily publish to Facebook. We will be adding more plug-ins to popular sharing sites in the future. You can also burn your creation to a DVD or save it in high definition to play on your TV. Save it down to a smaller format and transfer it to a mobile device or send it via e-mail.
  4. It works great with Windows 7. With Windows 7 and Windows Live Movie Maker it’s easy to get your photos and videos off your camera and onto your PC. You’ll also get increased capabilities for creating HD movies and enjoy support for additional file formats – including QuickTime formats, AVCHD and .MPEG4. And most importantly, if you use Office or Windows already, you’ll find Movie Maker easy to navigate because it uses a similar design.

Want to see what the new Windows Live Movie Maker can do? We created a few sample movies that showcase its new transitions, effects, and editing capabilities:

Not sure where to start? Check out these videos that demonstrate how some of our favorite features work:

We’ll be posting more of these how-to videos at the bottom of this page. Keep checking back to learn new tips and tricks!

Change isn’t always easy, and I know there have been some growing pains as we’ve moved from Windows Movie Maker to Windows Live Movie Maker. I want to address one thing we think you might be concerned about – OS support. As Mike mentioned in his earlier post, in order to take advantage of the latest and greatest technologies available on the Windows platform, we optimized the new Windows Live Movie Maker for Windows Vista and Windows 7. As a result you get support for newer file formats like HD, a new graphics driver model which brings more reliable and stable support for high-end graphics, and a new engine on top of DirectX, which improves speed and enables even more advanced capabilities over time. If you’re still using Windows XP, Windows Movie Maker 2.1 for Windows XP is still a great option.

When we told you that Movie Maker was becoming part of Windows Live Essentials we said we believed that doing this would enable us to provide you with software updates more often. We’re excited to introduce the new Windows Live Movie Maker today with so many great new features because we think it delivers on that promise – we’re continually updating the Windows Live applications so you can communicate, share, and keep your life in sync. Grab some photos or video clips and give it a try!  

- Brian Hall, and the Windows Live team

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