Windows Live Writer Beta2 is here
June 2, 2007 1 Comment
Now, I’m not the most fanatical blogger in the world by a long stretch, but I do like to share titbits of information and interesting things I have found from time to time.
I do read a lot of different websites on a daily basis and often stumble across things I would blog about, but often put this off until I can find a quiet few minutes to comment and expand upon something, rather than write simply “Look at this…”. All too often those quiet moments come when I am out of range of an internet connection so the thought never gets posted.
Windows Live Writer (now in Beta2) now makes this a whole lot easier by allowing me to compose, edit and publish through a single friendly tool, offline or online.
The RSS feeds in Outlook 2007 are an absolute bonus as they mean that I can just let them gather articles in the background and I can then very quickly browse through the interesting stuff when offline – bus or train journeys are a great time to catch up when I can’t necessarily focus on ‘real’ work.
So the flip side of this offline reading should be offline writing, which is where Windows Live Writer comes in (which I am using to write this post).
I can write a blog post, including links and “rich media” (aka “pretty pictures” to those of us without an A level in Marketing speak) entirely offline. More importantly, I get spell-checking on the fly (with squiggly underlining like MS Word) and I see the result as I go along in the style of my finished site, if I choose to. The WordPress built-in editor does not provide this; I have to preview to realise that I never closed that blockquote, for example.
Currently, Live Writer works with these blog types (and more in future as people take advantage of the APIs):
- Windows Live Spaces
- Moveable Type
- Community Server
There are a few oddities:
- the install asked me to set my IE homepage to MSN Home which I chose not to do, despite the fact I use IE for only 2% of my browsing so it would not often bug me, but I resent being pushed at a site which has nothing to do with the task at hand.
- Spell-checking is only US English. I realise this is only Beta but I would have hoped for a regional version, or maybe it could have checked for the presence of MS Office and used the dictionaries I have there, including my customisations.
- Beta 2 claims to be Beta version 1.0, albeit with a more detailed build number behind that.
So, download Windows Live Writer Beta 2 and start using it to update your own blogs (or create one on MS LiveSpaces if you don’t already have one).