Windows Live Writer Good and Bad

Microsoft, Web 2.0
8 Comments

I’m a diehard BlogJet user and they will have to rip it out of my cold dead hands. Based on Tim’s advice I did give Windows Live Writer a chance, as a matter of fact this post is written in it. Here is my take on it:

The Good

  • Open – Microsoft has really had to think differently while abandoning the msn.com mantra of “we know best” in the web 2.0 world. Live.com spaces, truthfully, still look like crap. They are the same boring, owned, old thinking that comes with MSN Messenger – we’ll skin it for you but you just have to live with the layout we provide. Sorry, that does not live in the new world, people choose to write blogs to express themselves, why msn/live.com cannot grasp this concept is beyond me. However, that is where Live Writer departs, these folks get it. The software integrates with a bunch of platforms and actually inherits the look and feel from the blog template it publishes to. For example, I can preview the post in my blog. For someone that revises and resizes things as much as I do this is a godsend.
  • Expandable – Live Writer is not a stock editor and this gives it an edge over BlogJet. For example, there are two plugins that allow it to integrate things like Flickr and tagging seamlessly. Those plugins also come with full source code so you can see whats going on.
  • SDK – Really just a bonus to the above, they are giving us power to express ourselves and add more features to it. Good job.
  • Post Properties – Integrated in the interface are post properties – Are comments allowed? Are trackbacks allowed? You can answer those within the interface before you hit Publish. Way to go.

The Bad

The first time I saw the new “better” way Vista organizes things I just shook my head knowing that people will never be able to find the software they just installed. I was right, it took a while to locate Writer after the installation, I was trying to look for a group, for Live Writer. I found it eventually but could as easilly just have given up on it. Now imagine if this system were a production machine with close to a 100 different programs installed? Never would have found it. Live folks, please consider adding a folder for it.

This is not bad as much as it is anticipation of bad based on Microsoft’s philosophy that more is less. JJ, please do all you can to resist the Microsoft Bloatware development model. The beauty of Writer is that its simple yet powerful. Please try to resist the temptation to pack the sidebar with every live.com service you can possibly integrate into the blog and the need to make this software reflect the look/feel of live.com. I think the beauty of this is it’s simplicity.

Overall though, the positives far overweight the negatives for Live Writer and I give it two thumbs up.

8 Responses to Windows Live Writer Good and Bad

  1. Merlon says:

    Gave it a shot, install failed and crashed HARD. Beta I suppose, will give it a shot later.

  2. Celia says:

    Same. Bet you this disappears when Office launches with Word blogging interface. I would not get too attached to this.

  3. KScriber says:

    Just what we need. Something to make it even easier for idiots to spew their brandead rants on the net.

    Who is this supposed to target? People that can’t figure out the WYSIWYG editors embedded in IE?

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  5. Adam says:

    Microsoft totally ripped off BlogJet. If I were you I’d delete this post. No sense helping promote theft.

  6. richwalkup says:

    @Adam – Implementing features that are existing in other companies’ software is not theft unless it is in violation of a patent. In fact, by doing things like this Microsoft actually makes these other companies work for their money. If these are features that should exist in any good blogging tool as suggested, then BlogJet must now step up their game and produce something that is new and exceptional again.

    I hate when Microsoft stifles technology by forcing their hand in licensing agreements and such, but when they take it to the boards by mass producing and giving away mediocre to good products and make other companies produce innovation to stay on top, I say it’s all for the better.

  7. Edgar J says:

    Richwalkup: Maybe I’m not looking at this right – but side by side the screenshots look nearly identical. They ripped the design and layout of the competing product – that doesn’t seem fair.

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