Microsoft announced the release of the Windows Live Writer blog posting tool. The client side tool allows users to compose blog posts offline and post them to MSN, er, Live Spaces, and other popular blogging platforms (e.g. Blogger, Typepad). Live Writer sports the following features:
- WYSIWIG Authoring - the ability to switch in and out of HTML mode as well. Not a huge deal, other client side blog posting tools have provided this for a long time.
- Photo Publishing - along with the ability to do some basic image manipulation.
- Map Publishing - ok, this is cool.
- Write SDK - lets developers enhance writer to post additional content, e.g., embedded audio/video players, images from e-commerce sites, etc. This is also cool and smart.
Here are my observations:
- This is actually kinda a big deal. Not because the tool is so innovative, it does a few clever things and it is very well executed, but it is a year or so late. Still the Live Writer team derserves some applause cause it is very nicely done.
- The reason this is a big deal is because Microsoft actually shiped a simple stand alone app. Somehow theser guys managed to ship without this product forced into integrating with Internet Explorer, Works, Word, etc., there is no big unifying MS strategy here. It even supports non-MS products like Blogger (yeah - owned by Google). This means, that as a shareholder, I may have some sliver of hope that my MS shares might actually increase in value.
- If Microsoft continues to do this consistently, then there is reason to get excited. I suspect this sort of thing will be few and far between. Even with Sinofsky removing an entire level of middle management (which was desperately needed).
- A few months ago, I might have complained about the lack of a Mac version for Live Writer, as TechCrunch does, but since my MacBook Pro runs Windows I don't have to.
Here is some coverage from elsewhere: