Closed Betas for Windows Live Folder and Windows Live Photo Gallery

Microsoft has started offering limited beta testing of Windows Live Folder and Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Windows Live Folder is designed to allow file sharing without relying on email, external USB devices, or public sharing sites. The Live Folder service uses email to share a link to the folder, but the files are stored and accessed online. One of the things that make Live Folder different from other public online sites (like Xdrive) is that you choose who has access to the folder from a list of contacts or by email address.

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a photo service that upgrades the photo capabilities in Windows Vista, including adding the ability to stick photos together to form a panorama and allows easier sharing through Windows Live Spaces.

The beta tests will be expanded to a public beta in the third quarter of this year and all of the second generation Windows Live services will be available in the fourth quarter.