Problem: I installed Windows Live Essentials on my W2K8 box and it silently does nothing when I try to start it up. What to do?

Answer: (most likely) Install the Desktop Experience pack.

Since WLPG is a desktop program, you do need to make sure that some of the fundamental aspects of a desktop environment are present on your machine. The lean, mean W2K8 install doesn’t have it by default. So when you go to start Windows Live Photo Gallery on W2K8 nothing seems to happen due to a dependency check and WLPG silently fails to launch.

A KB article with more details:

If that doesn’t work for you, I’d like to know.

And, yes, I know: follow-up question: Dude, why didn’t you let me know that’s what I need to do vs. silently fail on me?

Sorry. I have excuses but none of them good. We decided to stop blocking the install on W2K8 since folks were bright enough to circumvent the installer and get the MSIs directly. This came up late and by then, for WLPG, it was a matter of timing and risk and shipping and localization blah blah blah etc.

Follow-up to the follow-up: are you going to fix this? Yes, it has been fixed and W2K8 users won’t run into this when the next version is released.