Microsoft re-branded several of their services under the “Windows Live” brand, and also finished packing Some components downloaded to a single installation.
I will look at the level of detail you can get.
Windows Live Hotmail first is simply a Web site you visit when you want to read your email. By your Hotmail account (which doubles as “Windows Live ID” of his), you can log in and deal with your mail the way you like, but do not engage in any other Windows Live components.
“When you just want as Hotmail, you do not need to install anything in your computer …”
Things become chaotic when we started looking at some of the components under Live download Windows box; most notably Windows Live Messenger, formerly known as MSN Messenger.
When you download Windows Live Messenger, you are actually taken to a website to download “Windows Live Essentials”. These so-called “essential” includes Windows Live:
Messenger (formerly MSN Messenger)
Mail (a replacement for Outlook Express)
Photo Gallery (photo organization and online sharing)
Toolbar (for Internet Explorer)
Writer (a utility to make blog posting easier)
Family Safety (parental control tools)
Microsoft Office Outlook Connector (use Outlook with your Hotmail account)
Microsoft Office Lice Add-in (connecting Word, Excel and PowerPoint to various features in Windows Live)
Naturally, by default the installer wants to give these all to you.
And, naturally, one solution is to be more picky about what actually gets installed.
When you fire up the Windows Live Essentials installer you’ll be given a dialog like this:
Put very simply: uncheck everything you don’t want.
If all you want it Windows Live Messenger, then uncheck everything but Messenger. You’ll note that a few things will be installed with it – these are components that Messenger requires – but everything else will not be installed.
You can later change your mind and install additional Windows Live components, or remove Windows Live components, by returning to this dialog in the “Add/remove programs” or “Programs” sections of control panel: look for “Windows Live Essentials”.
A couple of other observations:
If all you want is Hotmail, you do not need to install anything on your computer, and do not need to deal with Windows Live Essentials at all.
Your “Windows Live ID” is your login to all Windows Live services. Typically, it’s your Hotmail email address and password. That same ID – namely that same email address and password – can be used with all the Windows Live services including Windows Live Messenger. Looking at it a different way, a different email address implies a completely different and separate Windows Live ID and thus a completely separate Hotmail and Messenger account.
At this point, it’s my understanding that older versions pre-dating the Windows Live migration are not available, and will not work. If you want to use these services you must use Windows Live.
Hopefully, though, you’ll now be able pick and choose which parts of Windows Live to install, if any