We need to verify the file type of the project that you are opening in your Windows Live Movie Maker. To do this please follow the steps below:
1. Right-click on the project file, then click Properties.
2. Under General tab, locate the Type of file.
If this project was from your friend that used Movie Maker from a computer that is running a Windows XP OS, it is possible that the project file was an ".mswmm" or "Windows Movie Maker Project". This project file is not supported in Windows Live Movie Maker. You can submit this as a feature request by going to the http://feedback.live.com/ page and then select "Windows Live Movie Maker".
As noted, Windows Live Movie Maker cannot open project files from the XP version of Movie Maker.
There isn't much you can do with a project file anyway. A project file is like a recipe that says, take 30 seconds from this clip, transition to this photo, add a title, etc. But a project isn't any good without the source files (video, music and photos) that were used.
What your buddy should do, if he wants you to be able to see the movie is to save it as a movie file (File > Save Movie) and that will create a .wmv file that you can play on other versions of Windows.
If on the other hand, you are trying to edit his project, you would need all the source files and a compatible version of Movie Maker.
I'm afraid your assumption that "There isn't much you can do with a project file anyway" is not correct. I have an educational video wine blog in which I often need to visually produce for my viewers a cross reference to previous video posts which I call flashbacks. For that reason, I maintain a copy of all my video posts in project format. Without access to these files, 2 very intense years of blood, sweat and tears will have been for nothing.
Please, please provide a viable solution to us former XP users, now running WINDOWS 7 , that does not require our having to have a previous copy or to purchase VISTA just to be able to recover our MSWMM files just so that they can be saved in WINDOWS 7. I do not think I am the only one with this problem. Is there no patch?
I respectfully ask you to please, please provide those who have remained faithful to Windows with a real solution. It shouldn't be the tail that wags the dog.
As noted above, you can install WMM 6.0 on Windows 7 (from Windows Vista) and do the double conversion:
The major caveat with this method is that some features that were supported in WMM 2.1 and WMM 6.0 may not be supported in the recent Movie Maker, so it may behave differently. You may just want to stick with using WMM 6.0 then since it does a pretty good job of supporting WMM 2.1 projects and has the classic timeline that long-time Movie Maker users are more familiar with.
How LAME is this? My daughter has spent hours and hours creating a project on XP that won't copy over to my Windows 7 box to burn a DVD. Is Bill Gates going to pay for all her time lost? What about my time in trying to load a Vista program to then load a 7 program. Does Microsoft have no shame? There is absolutely no reason why the XP program could not have exported a file that would be usable elsewhere. But that would mean that Microsoft actually had software engineers on their staff which they don't. I know what a software engineer is since I have been doing this work for 30 years. Get real you stupid Microsoft people!