Microsoft kept their promise and terminated support for Windows Essentials 2012 today. This is not a surprise because their plan to discontinue the popular desktop app suite was announced several months ago. Microsoft thinks the built-in apps in Windows are a good enough replacement.
As of January 2017, the link to download the installer for Windows Essentials 2012 has been removed from its website although the setup file itself seems to be available still. If you have these apps installed, you shouldn't worry. Nothing will happen to your installed versions and you can continue using them. However, keep in mind that these applications won't be updated any more.
Microsoft has provided their own recommendations you can use in place of Windows Essentials:
- Mail is available as a free built-in app for Windows 8.1 and above.
- Photos is available as a free built-in app for Windows 8.1 and above.
- Live Writer is available as an open-source solution.
- OneDrive is an inbox feature for Windows 8.1 and above.
- Family Safety is an inbox feature for Windows 8.1 and above.
If you still need Windows Essentials 2012, here is a set of direct links to the offline installer for all available languages. These links still work.
These links can be removed at any moment, so it is better to download and save the required files in advance.
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