Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Windows Live Writer, first impressions

August 14, 2006

Windows Live Writer is Microsoft’s attempt to give the blogging world the killer app it has been waiting for in terms of posting applications, and my first impressions seem to make me think they may have delivered that.

At first looks you can tell it is a Microsoft application, it has that Word 2003 feel to it which allows you to jump right in. When I first heard that Microsoft’s Windows Live division was making a blogging application I figured it would be a  very Windows Live Spaces oriented application, and while it is that it also is very usable for other platforms including WordPress, Moveable Type, and Blogger.

I assumed that it would be very similar to the blogging feature in Word 12 which is very basic and has few features, but this application fixes many of the complaints I had about Word’s blogging feature. My biggest complaint was the lack of support for categories, Windows Live Writer has that feature. To my surprise it even detected the categories I had setup on my blog.

The setup is a snap, simply enter your username and password and Windows Live Writer “scans” your blog allowing it to completely configure its self.

Once you begin writing in Writer you have several views to choose from.

  • Normal- This mode looks and feels like your typing away in Word.
  • Web Layout- Looks like what you would expect if you use the web-based way of posting to a blog.
  • Web Preview – A “live-preview” mode, this allows you to see exactly what the post will look like once it is published on the web.
  • HTML Code– If you like seeing the HTML code behind your post then this is the mode for you.

SpellCheck is my favorite feature by far, I am a terrible speller and this lets me check before I post. While not as good as the SpellChecker included in Word, it’s good enough for me.

Just for fun I’m going to use the Map feature powered by Windows Live Local, here we go:


 

 This is not your normal after-thought rushed product from Microsoft, Windows Live Writer is a very good application. I am considering switching to this program. I have tried several others like is (ex: w.blogger) and I have to say this one comes in first by far. For a Beta application this is very cool and I can’t wait to try the finished product. Once again a great example of what the fine people at Microsoft can do. And like I said about the MSN division in the past, if the rest of the company could work like the Windows Live division Microsoft would once again be known for making the the best software out there.

 

Download Windows Live Writer or learn more here, http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com