Whether you’re blogging for fun, or for profit, it’s important to be able to do so efficiently. Every precious minute spent mucking around with spell checks, or uploading images to FTP servers, is a minute that you could actually spend writing. Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer, currently in Beta and available for download, makes the whole process that much easier.

Microsoft does not have a history of being particularly innovative. It was years behind Apple in introducing a usable graphical user interface and it was unfashionably late in embracing the Internet. Likewise, it’s been slow off the mark with the social networking phenomenan, an and it’s way behind the likes of MySpace or YouTube.

Having said that, when Microsoft does get into gear, it really gets going, as evidenced by all the hype surrounding Windows Live. I’ve been particularly impressed Windows Live Writer, which is one component of Windows Live.

While most blogging platforms have some kind of basic editor, most still require you to do some of the work on another program, whether it’s to run a spell check, or upload images to a file server. Windows Live Writer allows you to do all of this in the one program. And while it’s designed to be work with Windows Live Spaces, it’s does also support other blogging platforms, including Blogger, LiveJournal, Typepad, Word Press and others.  I’ve successfully used it with Word Press (as evidenced by this blog).

Writer offers what-you-see-is-what-you-get editing, with preview modes that allow you to preview how your post will appear in your blog. Publishing photos is also a breeze, especially if your blogging platform supports the new MediaObject API. If not, it will automatically upload the images to your server using FTP.

Writer can be a little fiddly to set up – you’ll need to enter in your blog login details, and FTP details (if required). If it doesn’t automatically recognize your blogging platform, you’ll also need to enter the remote posting URL(which you should be able to work out easily enough using your FTP client as the URL ends with xmlrpc.php). But once you’ve got it set up it’s dream to use.

Posted Wednesday, August 16th, 2006 at 10:46 am
Filed Under Category: Uncategorized
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