Microsoft's free video editing program has been around the industry for more than 8 years now. Since it is bundled with the Windows OS, Windows Movie Maker has undergone multiple versions already. We trace back Windows Movie Maker's beginnings with this brief historical review.
Windows Movie Maker - Pre-Vista Editions
The first version of Windows Movie Maker came with the release of the Millennium Edition of Windows or Windows ME, as it is more commonly known, in 2000. Back then, WMM was not really given too much attention by industry players since it didn't offer too many features to compete with the more famous and more powerful iMovie for the Mac. Despite its features such as, file import and live video recording, clips segmentation, clips organization, post-production editing, Windows Media file export functionality, and email sharing capability, WMM version was still inferior. Realizing the shortcomings of WMM, Microsoft decided to release version 1.1 which featured DV AVI and WMV 8 video files creation. That version coincided with the release of Microsoft's Windows XP OS. In November 2002, another free update was released by Microsoft with new features. It was called Windows Movie Maker 2. This was updated in WMM 2.1 in 2004 which was then integrated in Windows XP SP2. A major upgrade featuring additional transition effects as well as DVD burning functionality was introduced by Microsoft in version 2.5 that came with the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
Windows Movie Maker 6 - Vista Edition
In 2006, when Windows Vista was released, Microsoft shipped the new OS with a new version of Windows Movie Maker. This time around the video editing program came with various advanced features including new effects and transitions. WMM6 now supports DVR-MS, a file format used by Windows Media Center to record television programs. For Windows Vista Premium and Ultimate Editions of WMM6, Microsoft has added support for HD video format through direct capture from HDV camcorders. WMM6 came with a capture wizard that creates DVR-MS type files from HDV tapes. But WMM support for HDV formats didn't come without a surprise. The program stopped supporting video from analog video source including VCR and webcam.
But realizing that the new version of Windows Movie Maker for Vista might not be compatible with other systems, Microsoft decided to release an older version of WMM, the 2.6 version which contained old effects and transitions and minus the video capture functionality. This older version required that users have Windows Vista on their machines to run it.
Windows Movie Maker - Version Timeline
In summary there are actually 7 versions of Windows Maker starting from its first version in 2000 and up to the 2007 version which is called Window Movie Maker 6.
- 2000 : Windows Movie Maker 1.0 (Windows Me)
- 2001 : Windows Movie Maker 1.1 (Windows XP)
- 2002 : Windows Movie Maker 2.0 (Windows XP)
- 2004 : Windows Movie Maker 2.1 (Windows XP SP2)
- 2004 : Windows Movie Maker 2.5 (Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005)
- 2006 : Windows Movie Maker 2.6 (Windows Vista)
- 2007 : Windows Movie Maker 6.0 (Windows Vista)
With Windows 7 awaiting its release in 2009, expect to see a much improved new version of the Windows Movie Maker and it might possibly be called Windows Movie Maker 7.0.