Microsoft Releases Beta of New Blog-Authoring Tool

Windows Live Writer will allow users to post to a variety of blogging platforms, not just Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces. (Microsoft Watch)

Microsoft has released a first public beta of a new blog-authoring tool, Windows Live Writer, and made it available for download starting on Aug. 13.

According to J.J. Allaire, the architect of the tool, Windows Live Writer is the evolution of Onfolio Writer, a tool developed by his former company Onfolio, which Microsoft acquired in March 2006.

Allaire shared details about the Windows Live Writer release on the newly minted Windows Live Writer team blog. He also spoke with the independent Web site, LiveSide.Net, which recorded Allaires remarks in the form of a podcast.

Live Writer is designed to be a WYSIWYG editing tool, downloading the style sheet behind users blogs so that users are able to see exactly what posts will look like on their pages before they are published. And via plug-ins built with the Live Writer software development kit, users will be able to add photos, screen shots, maps, video and other kinds of content to their blogs using Live Writer, Allaire said during the LiveSide podcast.

Live Writer also includes a "Blog This" feature that will allow users to select information on HTML Web pages that they want to post (with attribution) to their own blogs, Allaire said. The Live Writer tool will support Microsofts Live Clipboard concept, as well as microformat content, such as calendar and events listings, Allaire added.

Ultimately, Allaire said he expects Windows Live Writer to be more than just a blog-posting tool. He said Live Writer could be used to make available product postings or any other kind of content that is being created for the Web.

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