Microsoft has a weird new tool called Windows Live Writer. It appears to be an off-line blogging tool.
I downloaded and installed the 1.0 (Beta) version.
It is designed to work primarily with Live Spaces and SharePoint, but includes the ability to work with Blogger, Typepad, WordPress, LiveJournal, MovableType and others.
So far, I’ve noticed that it discovered my WordPress without much trouble. It even configured it’s self to upload photos.
With Blogger, it discovered my Blog and configured it’s self also, but does not have the ability to upload photos. I suppose the photos would have to be on the web somewhere already, which takes away from the ability to Blog off-line.
The preview mode and spell checker make Live Writer a treat to use. I have written off-line posts with EditPad, but they have to be saved and there isn’t an HTML preview mode.
One interesting aspect is that Live Writer scans your Blog and acquires your style so that in preview mode, the correct fonts and colors are used. I started typing this post for ericsprojects.blogspot.com (Blogger) and switched it to www.ericsprojects.com (WordPress) and Live Writer changed the font(s) and colors of the post.
I just noticed that Live Writer even imported my list of categories. Also, there is an “Open” button which lets you edit previous posts, even if they were created witha different blogging tool.
I edited this post in Word Press after publishing it with Live Writer and I didn’t find anything in the code that I didn’t expect. I couldn’t even tell that it was edited with Live Writer.
I’m going to test it for a while, but so far I am impressed at the ease of use and functionality.