Much as I’m conditioned to dislike Microsoft products, which in general are bug-ridden and overly-controlling pieces of bloatware (not to put too fine a point on it) I’ll be interested to see whether the company’s new blog tool, Windows Live Writer, can live up to some of its early billing. Why? Because I have to admit that having tried most of the tools out there — including the Performancing extension for Firefox, w.bloggar, Canada’s own Qumana.com and several others — I have yet to find one that does everything I want it to. Could Microsoft have what it takes? Stranger things have happened. And let’s face it, Microsoft is pretty good at taking all the features other companies have come up with and aggregating them.
So far, Om seems pretty excited about Live Writer, Mark has given it a good early review, and Elliot Back seems to think it does a pretty good job too. My friend Paul Kedrosky, however — who is no slouch in the software programming department himself, having put together one of the first blogging platforms back in his GrokSoup days — is less than enthused, saying it is buggy and not very smart when it comes to configuring itself for his blog. I have to admit that his description sounds a lot more like the Microsoft software I’m used to, particularly when it comes to the early versions of the company’s products (please don’t send Steve Ballmer over to my house to convince me I’m wrong, he always winds up breaking something).
In any case, I’m going to give it a try because I’m still looking for the right tool. As it stands now, I mostly use the Web interface to my WordPress blog to write posts, because it’s just easier that way. I can enter HTML directly if I want without having to screw around with a GUI posting interface, and uploading and inserting pictures is a breeze. I had problems with both of those things when I used Qumana and Performancing.com, although I must say the latter was handy because it was integrated right in the browser — and there I have to agree with Paul that having another app I have to install on every machine doesn’t really appeal to me.