Microsoft has just announced the release of a blog authoring tool called Windows Live Writer - essentially a new word processor app. Windows Live Writer is "a desktop application that makes it easier to compose compelling blog posts using Windows Live Spaces or your current blog service." It is available for download now.
The Windows Live Writer product features:
- WYSIWYG Authoring
- Photo Publishing
- Map Publishing
- Writer SDK
- Compatibility with other weblogs including Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress.
Probably the most interesting aspect of the product is its ability to do mashups and be extended as part of the Windows Live ecosystem. The official blog states:
"The Windows Live Writer SDK allows developers to extend the capabilities of Writer to publish additional content types. Examples of content types that can be added include:
1. Images from online photo publishing sites
2. Embedded video or audio players
3. Product thumbnails and/or links from e-commerce sites
4. Tags from tagging services
We can't wait to see all the things people cook up with the SDK!"
Putting on my Web Office hat, I can also see a lot of this type of functionality making it into a future version of Office Live. I think it's a wise move by Microsoft to throw this product out into the wild and see how people use it and what developers build for it.