Recently, subscriber Ed McDowell wrote with questions about Silverlight and Windows Live, both from Microsoft. In his first email, he asked:
Received my new laptop and am busy loading software. OS is Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. I am continually asked to download an update to Windows Live Essential.
I looked at what Windows Live contains and it appears to be Microsoft bloatware to me as I use Office 2007 and Outlook and other programs for burning and viewing CDs and DVDs. I don’t use IM. Can you tell me why I should retain and maintain Windows Live essentials.
Oh yes, I was semi-forced to use Bing as my search engine and finally removed it and installed Google as my search engine. Windows 7 is different and so far I like what I see. I have yet to move my Outlook pst files over, however, and have not started using it as my primary.
I wrote back to Ed to tell him that I don’t use Windows Live and haven’t found any reason for me to run it.
If you want to make sure Windows Update doesn’t keep offering it to you (in hopes that you might slip and allow it to be installed), you can manually start Windows Updates from the Start button. Then, you can select the update and tell Windows Update to hide it from you in the future.
Of course, it will remind you that you’d hidden some “important” updates.
Ed wrote back to say:
Thanks, Terry. Followed your instructions and sure enough it worked as advertised.
Since I received an update for Windows Live and Silverlight I assume that somewhere the basic programs are installed on the computer but neither show up in All Programs.
Am I being too suspicious?
I think Ed’s being too suspicious.
Silverlight shows up in the Add/Remove list as Microsoft Silverlight. It’s not really a program that users will run. It’s basically a package of programs and subroutines, like .Net is, that programmers can use to display content.
For example, Silverlight is used by Netflix to display the movies they can stream to your computer (if you’re a subscriber like I am).
Although I don’t have Windows Live installed on the computers I built, I have it on a little Acer (10″x13″x4″) Core i3 that I’m using as an extender for my home theater PC. Windows Live came pre-installed (funny thing about that). There are 4 Windows Live programs listed in Add/Remove in the Control Panel.
Another thought – sometimes fixes affect multiple programs, and the short description of the update doesn’t list all of them. The update could be delivered because some other program used a function from Windows Live.
Of course, the Windows Update process is one way that Microsoft uses to "provide" new programs and functions.
You can install Windows Live via Windows Update. Similarly, that was the usual way to get the .Net Framework installed