Besides the availability of the beta version of the new Windows 7 operating system, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, announced the availability of the latest version of Windows Live, details of which we brought you back in November.

Bringing together a collection of personal communication applications and services, Windows Live will now benefit from a link up with the popular social networking site Facebook, meaning updates will feature in your network. This new feature should be available to users "in the coming months".

Also announced was the agreement that the Windows Live Essentials suite will also be preloaded on Dell PCs, allowing users to better "connect, share and personalize their content".

Verizon Wireless will also offer subscribers in the US Live Search for local information and finding other mobile services and products.

Busy times for Windows Live...

Microsoft confirmed to Pocket-lint that much of the content of Windows Live Essentials was being unbundled from the operating system because of the life cycles of such products, with the OS having a 3 to 4 year cycle and these applications needing a 12 or 18 month refresh.