In the modern tech world, simplicity of design, ease of use and key functions often define the marketability and success of a product. Few can deny that Windows Movie Maker has been up there as the program of choice for creating free photo slide shows and videos with its basic and user friendly interface, allowing quick and easy audio and video editing. But wait, murmurs of discontent have emerged among loyal users and newcomers alike. The cause is, apparently, an incompatibility problem associated with the new an update to Windows 10.

At the heart of this problem has been the reluctance of Microsoft to upgrade the Windows Live Essentials software. Windows Movie Maker has been a loyal mainstay in all Microsoft operating systems for many years, but the last upgrade to the latest iteration was back in 2012. Will they or won’t they upgrade?

The unspoken word from Microsoft seems to be ‘carry on, with glitches and all’, and there are certainly some unforgivable glitches in the current build of the software. Many users have reporting such problems as missing audio and video content, update errors, constant software crashes, corrupted source files and even the complete loss of files. This is on top of the constant need to restart and reinstall programs, problems saving files, the inability to read files from earlier versions of the software – the list goes on.

Users find themselves either having to use older versions of Windows or completely reinstalling Windows Live Essentials 2012 altogether, often removing other elements of the Essentials package such as Live Writer and OneDrive in order to improve functionality. Unlike other Windows Essentials apps, Movie Maker is yet to be upgraded. It has been heard through the grapevine, but not yet confirmed by Microsoft, that the 2012 version will no longer be available for download after January 2017.

Are we to presume that this is essentially the end of the Windows Live Brand? Of course consumers have the option of downloading other free editing software such as VirtualDub, Wax, Avidemux, Blender, Wondershare Filmora to name but a few. However, what is becoming increasingly apparent is that while these may be free, in order to remove company trademarks on created videos, or to enjoy the comprehensive use of all the software functions, users often have to upgrade at a cost. There is the option to purchase alternative editing software which may range from $25.00 to $100.00. For example, Cyberlink, Corel Video Studio, Pinnacle Studio, AVS Video Editor and Adobe Premiere Elements, which often may limit the number of activations allowed.

What seems apparent is that Microsoft has invested development resources into Microsoft Movie Moments Apps for Windows Phones, with no development of Windows Movie Maker. Is Microsoft subliminally signalling its future intentions? It’s incredible to think that Microsoft may not have an operating system with its own up-to-date, compatible and fully functioning editing suite. In the modern tech world; hardware, devices and software are constantly changing.

If Microsoft is to stay in the game, then an update to Windows Live Essentials Movie Maker 2012, an integral part of Windows Live Essentials, is indeed “essential” and should be made a standard feature in all future products. Apple has iMovie built in as standard, which is a far more comprehensive and advanced package. First released in 1999, iMovie has been continuously upgraded since then, including those released in 2016 across all iOS devices.

It was John Locke who once said ‘He who harvests the first apple from the tree, has thereby a property in it’. Perhaps Microsoft’s silence on the subject of Movie Maker upgrades shows us a clear lack of interest on Microsoft’s part – giving you just another reason to make the move to Apple.

Written by Ron Gibbons