I had my first experience with Windows Movie Maker tonight helping my son do a movie for a school project. My impressions of it were that it is a very basic program for easy or quick movie making. One thing that was annoying was that the program was very slow to open an existing project. We ended up with 2 projects because of another annoying thing – I couldn’t put both audio files (sound effects) and a music track in the movie. There is a place for audio, but I think it’s for narration or any voice recording because it wouldn’t let me drop my audio files there. The files went to an area called audio/music. Unfortunately I wanted to do both. But we ended up with only music (Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture, nice gun and cannon effects to go with my son’s Civil War project). The movie turned out nice, being made with pictures of claymation (don’t know if I spelled that correctly). It took us a while to get the animation speed down, but my son was happy with the end product.
In short, don’t expect much from Windows Movie Maker, but it is free (with Windows) and does alright on simple projects. Just go make some dinner if you have to open an existing project or switch between projects.