has released a Windows Live Suite which bundles a series of desktop applications that provide access to the firm's online services.
The suite includes Windows Live Writer, an editor tool to compose postings for a series of blog services, as well as a desktop client for mail and messaging services.
Windows Live Photo Gallery lets users organise, edit and share digital photos. The application is similar to Picasa
, a tool that Google
acquired in 2004.
Windows Live Events takes on Evite.com
with event planning and invitation features. The bundle also includes a parental control tool that prevents children accessing inappropriate content.
Microsoft touted the suite as an all-in-one way to access the company's online services as well as those of its competitors.
Photo Gallery, for instance, uploads pictures to Yahoo
service, and Live Writer supports Microsoft's Spaces
as well as other blogging platforms.
The company cited a study suggesting that consumers are getting increasingly frustrated with having to access multiple websites to track email, online photos, address books and other online services.
"Today we take a significant step forward in helping consumers simplify their digital lives," said Chris Jones, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Windows Live Experience Programme Management.
"With over 400 million customers using the service today, we have a real opportunity to help consumers connect their online experiences, devices and networks in new and powerful ways."
The bundle brings some sense of unity to a set of services that has been criticised for lacking direction.
Microsoft unveiled its Windows Live vision in November 2005 and took the services out of beta in September 2006. The initiative is largely considered a 'me too' effort to catch up with Google.