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Windows Live Writer Try Out

Posted in Opinion, Reviews by xding78 on January 3, 2010

This morning I just wanted to check updates for Windows Live out of blue. I wish that now I could add a little image to my signature in Windows Live Mail. Anyway, I

found a very interesting new tool in the Windows Live family. In fact I am using it to write this very blog, the Windows Live Writer, WLW in short.

Ever since I setup this blog on I was in the constant quest of a convenient little tool to write/edit/publish posts without doing 10 things before I could even type a word. WordPress is very powerful, but let’s face it, it’s not exactly the role model of friendly user interface. Of course the “Dashboards” of WordPress web interface is very much oriented to managing the blog, not much to facilitate writing. Sure, if I want to do the tasks that change the blog globally, I’d surely use the Dashboards. But the most often-used task of a blogger is writing not managing. At least in my opinion, of course anybody could change the theme of his or her blog 10 times a day, it’s completely up to the owner of the blog.

First impression of the User Interface of WLW

After I install/configure Windows Live Writer, I see this:


That’s what I am looking for!!!!
Don’t you just wish life could be that easy??!!
Just open up an application and puff you can do what you want to do.
If anyone knows a better blogging tool for WordPress that does not involve in coding please let me know.

I couldn’t help trying out the “Insert Map…” feature cause it’s always something I wanted and I didn’t have enough knowledge to do it.

It’s very very very very simple!!! Just click the “Map…” icon in the right bar and specify a location. Here is where I live, Utrecht (the Netherlands) and I used to live, Eindhoven (the Netherlands).

Map picture

Although the interaction with the map is not straight forward, you need to select the map and then there will be an option “Customize Map…” available in the right bar. Click “Customize Map…” you will see a popup window through which you can zoom in/out/pan/tilt the map.

Setup/configure a blog account in WLW

Step 1.


Step 2.


Then the system automatically load/setup/configure everything for me. It’s actually easier than setting up an email account.

How about other blog providers?

The following image says it all.


How about MULTIPULE blog accounts?

It’s DONE!

Unlike many popular emailing applications, Windows Live Writer seems to understand at once that people might own more than one blog. To setup a new blog account is just as easy as setting up the first one. What most intriguing is that when you have multiple blog accounts configured in Windows Live Writer, you can easily edit/preview/publish the same post and publish it to all the blogs. Here you go:

Layout 1


Layout 2


However, I do find several issues I wish could be fixed later:

  1. It takes quite long to publish. I can understand that there must be millions of threads of communication going on, but it’s TOO long!!
  2. How can I delete one blog account? It’s a rhetorical issue for many applications, some features such as add… is like one-way street, you just can’t go back.
  3. How can I synchronize the theme of a blog? After I setup one blog account in Windows Live Writer I changed the theme of one of the blogs, but nothing happened. What is missing is a “refresh theme” button. I hope that after I publish the post the theme can be synchronized.
  4. Some themes cannot be load. I have only tried WordPress, don’t know about the other blog providers

About the Chinese Blog Providers

I have a Chinese blog that hosted on a Chinese blog provider:, unfortunately it’s not supported yet by Windows Live Writer. I wonder whether it’s just a matter of time for this tool to support the Chinese blog providers or not. Which to Microsoft means at this moment that they won’t win the support of millions of Chinese bloggers. What a pity! Chinese bloggers blog everything, it has become such an important part of life. I think for many people their online identity/life is at least just as important as the offline one.