Windows Live Writer: WYSIWYG Blogging Tool

MIcrosoft has released a beta of Windows Live Writer, a new WYSIWYG blog authoring tool which enables users to compose and manage blog entries on Windows Live Spaces as well as most other popular blogging services. Windows Live Writer is based on Onfolio Writer, which Microsoft acquired when it bought Onfolio lock-stock-and-barrel back in March 2006.

Windows Live Writer enables WYSIWYG blog editing by utilizing the same style sheet and layout information used in a users’ own blog, so the post they create in Windows Live Writer is (more or less) exactly what the user (and blog visitors!) will see in a Web browser. Windows Live Writer supports adding photos, screen, shots, maps, calendars, event listings, video, and audio to blogs via plug-ins (built with the Windows Live Writer SDK), and also offers a feature called Blog This which enables users to select information on a Web page and post it to their own blogs with attribution.

And, in a move which may reflect the products’ recent non-Microsoft provenance, Windows Live Writer supports non-Microsoft blogging systems and technologies like RSD (Really Simple Discovery), Metaweblog, and Movable Type, along with Blogger, LiveJournals, TypePad, WordPress, and many other systems.

Remember, the software is a beta release (so back up early and often!), and Microsoft hasn’t published any system requirements: we assume Windows Live Writer wants Windows XP.

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