Windows Movie Maker is a video editing tool created by Microsoft. It comes standard with any Windows computer, making it one of the most popular video editing tools available. Just like any program, Windows Movie Maker comes with its pros and cons. Here’s our breakdown of the popular video editing software:

The Good

It is free. 

You can’t get much better than free. Windows Movie Maker comes standard on virtually every PC. It’s hard to complain about free software

It is great for beginners. 

If this is your first time working with video editing software, Windows Movie Maker is a perfect intro. It uses many of the common workflow elements of a more professional ediitng system (like importing and assembling a timeline). The interface is very intuitive and should be easy to navigate for even the most novice beginner. 

It is a perfect tool for photo slide shows. 

In a way, Windows Movie Maker was engineered specifically to create home movies and photo slide shows. It includes themes, fun transitions and the ability to easily add music. For the home movie enthusiast, Windows Movie Maker is a great tool to have. 

It offers variety. 

For a free video editing program, Windows Movie Maker offers a surprising amount of effects and transitions to work with. These don’t always yield the most professional results, but they certainly are fun to play around with. 

The Bad 

It is limiting. 

Windows Movie Maker does not offer nearly the amount of editing tools that it could. Because you can only have one video track, you are unable to use alpha channels or green screen footage in this program. As a result, you are creatively limited to the effects already installed in the program.  

It is frustrating for advanced users. 

If you’re familiar with video editing and you try to just hop on Windows Movie Maker to quickly compose a project, chances are you are going to get very frustrated very quickly. It is designed to be used by a beginner editor, so it is no longer intuitive or useful for someone who has experience using a professional editing program. 

It crashes. A lot. 

Windows Movie Maker is known for freezing and crashing unexpectedly. This will quickly get frustrating if you are trying to put something together on a deadline. Make sure to save often, just in case this happens to you! 

Many different versions of the same product. 

Because Microsoft is always updating its operating systems, there are many different versions of Windows Movie Maker floating around out there. It is available for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. While the program remains similar in each update, they are not identical. This can get frustrating when you research tutorials and find that a function may work on one version of WMM, but not yours. 

Want some free footage to use to test out Windows Movie Maker? Here is a free clip for you to download: