Quick, go grab Windows Essentials 2012 before Microsoft pulls the plug forever

microsoft windows essentials 2012 suite discontinued tuesday windowsmoviemaker3
In October, we reported  Microsoft will end support for its Windows Essentials 2012 suite of programs on January 10. That is just a day away, meaning Microsoft will pull the suite installer offline, forcing customers to use the company’s Universal Windows Platform apps developed for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10. Thus, customers who continue to use Windows Essentials 2012 programs after Tuesday will no longer see updates and improvements to the discontinued tools.

The Windows Essentials 2012 software suite includes free tools developed by Microsoft consisting of Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Mail, OneDrive, and Family Safety. Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, Family Safety, and OneDrive are essentially obsolete given that these services are built into Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10. Windows Live Writer was exported by several members of the team to open source, which Windows users can freely download and use as Open Live Writer here.

That leaves Movie Maker. Microsoft states that a replacement will be made available “soon” in the Windows Store as an app for Windows 10 customers. That could be on Tuesday when the software suite is pulled offline, or in the coming weeks or months. The Movie Maker app may even appear with Creative Update this spring supporting 3D visuals.

To download Movie Maker before it’s pulled, click here. Just remember that there will be no improvements, no new features, and no additional security fixes, leaving users open to attacks if hackers find vulnerabilities in the software. Also, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery must be installed together, and if Windows Media Player isn’t installed, Movie Maker won’t even start.

The provided download link contains the following programs:

  • Movie Maker
  • Photo Gallery
  • OneDrive Desktop
  • Mail (Windows 7 only)
  • Writer (Windows 7 only)
  • Family Safety (Windows 7 only)

For customers only wanting Movie Maker, here are a few notes. First, the video stabilization feature is only available on Windows 8.1. Second, the “Burn to DVD” option is only provided to Windows 7 users, and won’t appear if Windows DVD Maker isn’t installed. Lastly, the “prepare files for saving” option in the Options dialog will only be offered to Windows 8.1 users.

For those wanting to install Movie Maker on Windows Server 2012, users will find that the program fails to launch successfully. The following server components will need to be installed to get a successful launch:

  • Media Foundation
  • User interface and infrastructure
  • Desktop Experience (along with Ink and Handwriting Services)

“Movie Maker makes extensive use of your video card’s graphics processing unit,” Microsoft warns. “PCs with video cards not intended for high-end graphics usage or older cards might encounter problems rendering video and effects in Movie Maker. To resolve this issue, update your graphics driver. Run Windows Update and see if there are any updated drivers before continuing. If there aren’t any updates and you’re still having problems, try installing drivers directly from Nvidia, Intel, or AMD.”

Here are a few extra notes regarding Movie Maker and older video hardware:

  • Windows 7 — PCs might not start Movie Maker if the graphics card doesn’t support DirectX 10. Go to Microsoft’s support page to install an update to Direct3D for cards based on DirectX 9. (error c945000e)
  • Windows 8.1 — Graphics cards with no dedicated drivers may reduce the performance of Movie Maker.
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