Sunday, June 24, 2007

Windows Live Writer Beta 2

I've just installed the latest beta release of Windows Live Writer (WLW). It took Microsoft quite a while (9 months to be exact) to release this second beta.

What's New

There's a new look and feel to this neat blogging tool.  There are now inline spell checking, table editing, ability to add categories, page authoring for WordPress and TypePad, support for excerpts and extended entries, improved hyperlinking and image insertion, Paste Special feature, and new integration and compatibility features.

My Experience

Installation of Beta 2 was a breeze.  There's now a new installer.  My original weblog account settings in Beta 1 appeared intact in Beta 2 (even though I uninstalled Beta 1 from the Control Panel).

As for the new look, it seems to share the same design cues as Windows Live Messenger 8.5 Beta which I also just recently installed.  Changing the color scheme is easy; just click on the brush icon on the rightmost corner of the toolbar and pick a color.

As for the plugins, I installed the Flickr4Writer (for embedding Flickr photos), Insert Video (e.g. for embedding YouTube videos, etc) and the Code Snippet plugin for WLW.  All the plugins seem to work fine.

It's a pity that it's not possible to upload images to Blogger from WLW. It's not so much of a limitation of WLW, but rather, the Blogger APIs apparently do not support image uploading at this time. I'm sure this will change in the future.

I've not really dug into all the new features but if there's something worthy of mention, I'll blog about it more in the future.

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