Microsoft have just released a beta of Windows Live Writer. I found out about this from C/NET News although, in the interests of full disclosure, I should add that Microsoft is a client of Articulate Marketing. At first glance (and this post was written using it), Live Writer feels like a very easy way to create blog posts. Here are some of the features that I have found:
- Supports a variety of blog programs, including WordPress which I use, as well as Microsoft’s own Spaces blog.
- Includes a spell checker.
- Downloads style templates and categories from the blog so that you can see your posts offline formatted as if they were online.
- Includes a simple picture editor to resize images which it then automatically uploads.
- Supports things like trackbacks and editable publication dates.
- You can post live to the site or post to draft and check online.
- It seems (*seems*) to know what to do with text that is cut and pasted from Word. That is to say that it strips all the HTML garbage that Word usually inserts when you try to use Word as an quasi-HTML editor.
I know there are some programs like this out there and I’ve tested one or two but I’ve always found them patchy – for example, one wouldn’t upload images. This feels like it has the potential to make posting much, much easier. And you can’t beat the price.