I tried Windows Live Movie Maker beta a while back. So, what did I do after trying it? Well, I never used it again. It is useless even for someone like me who rarely edits video (perhaps 1 to 3 videos each of which is less than 2 minutes long) and doesn't need a lot of features. All I need is a timeline for clip placement/editing and text/title overlay is all I need to to post short demo videos for my day job. Guess which two simple features aren't in Windows Live Movie Maker beta but are available in its predecessor Movie Maker 2.x? Yep, you got it. This reminds me of the situation I ran into when I upgraded to iLife 08 and tried iMovie 08. I was thankful that Apple provided iMovie 06 as a separate download (recently removed, by the way) to fix that. Similiarly, Microsoft has the older and more functional Movie Maker 2.6 available for download and use with Windows 7 Beta. Microsoft's own On10.net discusses this option here...
Windows Live Movie Maker's Lead Product Manager mtorres responds to a number of critical comments that follows the blog entry by saying:
Hey guys - I'm the Lead PM on the new Windows Live Movie Maker project. The beta is definitely not feature-complete; having said that, we are taking the product in a slightly different direction so it's not going to have 100% the same features as the old Movie Maker. Stay tuned - but please realize that we're aware that we have work to do before final.
I've been involved in many Microsoft technical and public beta tests since the Microsoft "Chicago" (Windows 95 codename). My observation is that while bugs found during a beta are sometimes (often) fixed, features are almost never added after a late beta phase (although some are removed during this period). So, I don't expect to see Windows Live Movie Maker get the features people feel are missing in its beta.
The good news is that the Windows Live products have more frequent feature updates than shrink wrapped products like Windows or Office. So, there is hope that Windows Live Movie Maker will be useful in a future release.
BTW: I'm not sure I like iMovie 09 either. I'm keeping iMovie 06 on my Mac.