Just a quick (well not so much) plea to Microsoft for an update on the future of Windows Live Writer.
Yesterday's news about the retirement/re-imaging of the Windows Live brand, Windows Live is dead..., gave us some idea of the future, or lack there-of, many of the Windows Live Essentials (WLE) applications. In short, the WLE apps are dead and being replaced with entirely new Metro versions, yet there was no word about Windows Live Writer (WLW).
I've been blogging for almost a decade now (wow) and had used many blogging tools. Until that is WLW came out. Since I moved to WLW, I've never looked back. It just works, it's light weight, connects to all the blog and like services I need it to and best of all is extensible via an API. I almost live in WLW, using it every day, multiple times a day. So you can see why I'm interested in hearing about its future, and am concerned that nothing at all is being said about it. Please. Any idea, direction, indication, would be great.
In a perfect world, I'd love it if Microsoft made it its own "product" and kept it available free. But I know we don't live in a perfect world and I'd like to see WLW become a more actively developed and supported product. Free isn't free and I can see how it's hard to dedicate resources to a free product that, granted, has a limited user base. So as a user, I'd easily accept an even freeimum, ad supported with an upgrade to premium/no-ad version. Money talks and I'm willing to pony up (as long as it there's ongoing improvement, versions, etc.).
An even better play would be the donation of WLW to one of the Open Source foundations/companies Microsoft is involved in, like Outercurve or MS Open Tech. This could garner support and praise from those that are very visible, the bloggers themselves. Talk about a positive feedback loop! If we, as bloggers and WLW users, want to improve it and invest our time in driving it forward, then let us. Let us make the call as to its future by supporting it as an OSS project.
Conversely, kill WLW and not providing a viable alternate (no, blogging from Word is not currently a viable alternative) is going to alienate every WLW user. Is that what you really want to see as headlines in blog posts around the world?
WLW is not perfect, but it has a loyal following, is used and loved by many. We want to keep using it. We want to support it. But we also need something from you Microsoft. Please throw us a bone here and let us know the future of WLW.
Please, let Windows Live Writer live and write its own future...