In early May 2010 Microsoft released updates to the Live Essential suite. Unlike pervious updates to the Wave 3 release this time for Writer we turned on our update notification mechanism. If you had automatically check for updates turned on and were connected to the internet when you started Writer any time after May 21st you were greeted with the following dialog:
If you clicked “Download Now” you were taken to the standard suite download page but what the page does a poor job of is letting you know what build you will be installing. The build of Writer is 14.0.8117.416. In previous updates for Wave 3 the chances were that you got the update to Writer when you were prompted and or forced to upgrade Live Messenger. These upgrades by default upgrade the whole Live Essentials suite. The other way you could have upgraded is of course through the optional install on Microsoft Update. A few people have complained that they did not want the whole suite, only Writer. If you had not installed the whole suite before setup does try to only update the installed components. Chances are that if you had Live Essentials installed on your new computer when you got it you did have more than Writer and you should take updates to those programs also on the off chance you go to use them some day. If you have not tried Photo Gallery there are some nice features in it. I should say that a hope for Wave 4 is that setup does a better job of only updating installed programs and not try and add programs once you have done an initial custom install.
So the question that many people have been asking is what is new? Where is the change list? The simple answer is that is all underneath the covers. Quality improvements have been made and your user experience should be better for installing the new version. If you are looking for new big features you should stop looking. There are not any. In fact we even clean things up a bit. I have not seen any tweets or blog posts about this even by those that have written about the latest update but we cleaned up the menus a bit. Drop down your Help menu and see if you can remember what was there before versus. what is there now. In general I am not sure if people notice when UI tweaks are made to Writer. While very minor for the first Writer update we re-branded the Maps feature (Insert/Maps) to be Bing maps from, I think, Live maps, MSN maps, or maybe MapPoint, and no one ever made a comment about that.
In the end, installing this update should only make things better. To date we have seen a few people tweet or make comments that something broke or things were worse after the install. When we have followed up, what was said in 140 characters, was not really a new problem or even a problem at all.
Lastly as has been written about and was even referenced in post about the suite update there is a strong chance that is will be the last update for those running on Windows XP. Wave 4 will not run on XP. If you do run on XP you really should install the update so that you stay as stable as possible.