Microsoft has actually released an excellent new application! Windows Live Writer is truly a powerful and useful tool for bloggers! It’s like Word for the Web 2.0!
I haven’t been this impressed from a Microsoft product in a very long time. Live Writer allows you to credit blog posts with amazing ease and spectacular results. It totally blows away another other blog editor that I’ve used before such as Google Docs, Zoho Writer, WordPress, Blogger, etc.
Any Blog, Anytime!
Live Writer has no problems working with just about any blog platform as well. I was able to open/edit and publish to Blogger and WordPress blogs without a hitch. What I liked best about the experience was its ability to open any existing blog post from any blog on the fly. You could then make any changes and re-publish it instantly. The results were almost always exactly what it looked like in Live Writer.
Inserting elements are also vastly improved on Live Writer. Simply click on the item you want to insert such as video, picture or link and Live Writer does all the dirty work for you. The options for manipulating the look and position of pictures is also very impressive.
One of the best features of Live Writer is the incredible amount of free add-on plug-ins!
Go to Live Writer Plug-ins and take a look at all of the things you can add to the experience! I instantly added a dozen must-have plug-ins! Plus, there are always new ones coming.
Know what your blog post will look like before you post it, including photos and other rich media. Writer detects your blog theme automatically, including fonts, and displays it while you compose and edit.
Works with your blog service
Writer works with most major blog providers, including Windows Live Spaces, SharePoint, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Moveable Type, Community Server, and many others. Get started with your blog in minutes, thanks to automatic blog configuration. Post to multiple blogs: themes are automatically detected for each.
Rich media made easy
Turn your blog into a story with photos, videos, maps, tags and other rich media. Writer publishes all of it automatically when post. Quickly link to previous blog posts and other Web pages.
Powerful editing tools
Insert and edit tables directly in your entry. Inline spell checker helps you polish your text. Easy hyperlink support lets you link your blog to the online world. Use the HTML view to edit directly in HTML.
More rich content with easy plug-ins
Use plug-ins from Windows Live Gallery to add more rich content to your blog like music feeds, emoticons and quotes of the day. Can’t find the plug-in you want? Make your own and upload it to Gallery for the whole world to share.
The only thing missing from the Live Writer experience is the ability to save drafts to online storage accounts such as Microsoft Workspace Office Live, Google Docs, Zoho Writer, or any others. I have no doubt that it will come someday, so we’ll just have to settle for saving drafts to the local drive until then.
Here’s a good screencast on Live Writer: