Thursday, May 03, 2012

Open Letter To Microsoft - Can we get an update on the future of Windows Live Writer?

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...


Want to support WLW? Sign the "Save Windows Live Writer" petition created by Scott Lovegrove (Funny he's also suggestion an OSS route too... :)


Technogran said...

Nice post Greg about my all time favourite Live program. I am also involved with fighting for its survival, and back Scott all the way.

Anonymous said...

I've not used WLW much so I don't know what its proofing tools are like, but maybe if you switch to Word your posts won't be riddled with errors which severely hinder readability, as this one is.

XivSolutions said...

Totally agree. WLW is much sought after in the blogging community. Bloggers on the Mac platform are constantly searching for "something like Windows Live Writer" with which to create content. MS should either open source it, or maintain the program in both Metro and the windows desktop, and create a port for Mac (Since WLW depends on the .net framework, there might be a chunk of work involved here. Mono . . .).

Michael Ruddock said...

Hi Greg, BTW great article.

I too love WLW. I use it every day, I can't believe Microsoft are thinking of scrapping it! What are they thinking?

Why don't you tweet Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer? We could start a "Save WLW" campaign with T-shirts and badges? What do you think?? :-) Cheers Michael

Charles Oppermann said...

Nice write up. The MS Open Tech idea is a good one. I'm a former longtime Microsoft employee who blogged on

I know that WLW is popular within Microsoft for blogging.

JohnC said...

I found WLW a couple of years ago and now I use it for all my blogs private and corporate. It's quick light andd easy to use - save WLW!