New Windows Live Writer beta now available

18Sep08

Untitled - Windows Live Writer Beta (2)I’m about 14 hours late with this blog post—at noon today, we officially released the first beta of the Windows Live “Wave 3” client suite, and that means a new release of Windows Live Writer. It’s all available—for free, of course—at http://download.live.com.

For a list of the new features in this release, you’ll want to refer to the official Writer blog post. Personally, I’m really excited about the new look and feel—whereas the old Writer skin called a lot of attention to itself, the new skin just gets out of the way and lets you focus on your content.

Under the covers, a ton of bugs have been fixed, in many different areas across the app. If you’ve had trouble with a previous version of Writer, I’d encourage you to try again with the new beta, and if it still doesn’t work, be sure to let us know in our forum.

On a sour note, we found a new bug last night that causes blog configuration to fail for certain (mostly less-popular) blog types. When blog configuration is almost finished, a crash occurs and you’re unable to complete the blog configuration wizard. We’ve spent today taking steps to mitigate the problem, so hopefully most people won’t encounter it. If you do happen to see a crash in the blog configuration wizard, restart Writer and try again. If it still happens, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Thanks—and keep the feedback coming!



22 Responses to “New Windows Live Writer beta now available”

  1. 1 Vladekk

    At least now download is available to non-US users. Last time it had word “Download” on page and link nowhere to be seen.

  2. Hi Joe

    Any plan to add functionnalities on the pages editing/publishing side?

    Regards
    Laurent

  3. Dear Joe, ni hao! I’ve one question regarding the picture inserting/publishing in the Live Writer. I’m REALLY excited about the new LightBox funcionality in the Live Writer Beta, it’s a great great help. But to be honestm I still see a (quite important) space for impovement – why it’s not possible to put a capture, ie. a ‘function’ which apart from the rel=”lightbox” would add the title attribute to the image link. I suppose it wouldn’t be so difficult to do this modification (although I’m not a programmer).

    Because I always put comment to my pistures, so I still need to go to the source code and write it manually by adding the title attribute.

    Aren’t you guys considering to place this function to the non-beta version of Live Writer? I’m pretty sure a lot of people would appreciate it.

    Or if there IS the possibility to elegantly add the title attribute and I just don’t see it, please tell me where to find it.

    THANKS!!

  4. Adam, thanks for the feedback. That’s something that we wanted to do but ran out of time. We’re very short on resources lately so we have to make tough choices about what features go in.

  5. Laurent, anything in particular? I’m sure you’ve told me before, if so, please refresh my memory… thanks…

  6. Joe, thanks for the reply. I sure understand you guys are short on time and recourses, but is it really so time and money consuming to add this function? It’s not an offensive question, I’m just asking because I really don’t know it so please don’t take it wrong.

    I just really think the lightbox plugin ‘kinda’ looses its sense without the title feature, sure there are galleries without any text, but I’m pretty sure the vast majority of lightbox usage comes with the title attribute used for the capture.

    So do you really think you won’t put it in the final version?:-( What about making a survey or something to find out whether it’s something people want. Actually, I think I would even pay for the software if it could do such thing, it would truly have anything I need for my blogging. Now, it just still doesn’t, unfortunately..

  7. Adam, no offense taken. Let me see if I can shed some light on the process for you.

    Each individual feature or bug fix might take only a few hours or whatever, but we have hundreds and hundreds of feature requests and bug reports and there’s no way we can address more than a fraction of them. The primary way we evaluate each feature or bug fix is by taking a guess at the number of users affected, how much they would benefit, and the cost of the the feature/fix. It’s not as scientific as that makes it sound, but it at least portrays the spirit of our triage process.

    In the case of Lightbox, we’ve received surprisingly few comments that anyone has even noticed the support, and you’re literally the first person who noticed the lack of support for title on the anchor. That’s not to say we definitely won’t do the feature in a future release, but if not, that’s why.🙂

    You can also see why feedback from you and users like you is really really important. If this were the fifth, or tenth, or twentieth time we were hearing this feedback then it would be a very different story!

    Hope that helps!

  8. Joe, thanks for the explication. So it seems I have to search for people who use both Writer and Lightbox to make this request a bit more visible, hahaha.

    Anyway, thank you for the help and let’s see what the future will bring us😉

  9. Hey Joe.

    I am a Chinese blogger blogging in both Chinese and English. I’ve been enjoying this for 4 years. And when I came to Live Writer, I find it very useful and saved me a lot of time.

    However, as I had a lot of posts in the past 4 years, how can I use Live Writer to edit a specified old post without retrieving all the posts before that date to the local computer? That really takes a lot of time and sometimes even fails to achieve.

    Any tip for that? I am using a self hosted WordPress blog at the latest version: 2.6.2

  10. awflasher, not at the moment. We do hope to improve this functionality in a future release though. Thanks for the feedback!

  11. Okay, got it. Thanks very much!

    BTW, i cannot access the group dot msn dot com. I always says “page not found”.

    It’s so weird😦

  12. Here’s an alternative to our MSN Group. We’ll be moving to this permanently in the future.

    http://social.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/writerbeta/threads/

  13. Thanks Joe, you helped a lot!

  14. 14 hansioux

    Why is it necessary to bundle these software? I HATE the new messenger that came with Beta 3, and I can’t install Writter Beta 3 without updating my messenger to Beta 3.

    If Microsoft has to bundle installs, the least you could do is give the choice of what to install to the user. Especially when these software have NOTHING to do with each other.

    Not to mention the speed of the WLsetup_web is insanely slow. It shouldn’t be.

    I know these softwares are “free”, but seriously so are most of google’s software, and they don’t pull these kind of stunts. Besides, Microsoft must be making money off these “free” software, like IE or messenger. So come down the high horse and let users decide what to install.

  15. I have been using the latest beta release of WLW for about 3 weeks now, and have found it to be extremely useful and has worked flawlessly with my two blogs.

    However, since having to reinstall XP, WLW downloads my first blog template – dieseltekk.blogspot.com – without issue, however, my second blog – our5kids.blogspot.com – does not do so well.

    The title field in the template is missing. The body field is fine, I can enter text, images, video and so forth, but am unable to set a title.

    I have deleted our5kids from WLW and added it again, I have uninstalled WLW and reinstalled, I have removed Dieseltekk and downloaded our5kidson its own…basically I have done all I can think of to no avail.

    I have noted however, when downloading the DieselTekk template, WLW asks to post an article to my blog (which it removes) to download the template, however it does not make this request when downloading the our5kids template.

    Any help would be appreciated – I find this deeply frustarating!

  16. Diesel, I wonder if the problem is the “Recent Articles” section at the top of your our5kids template–this may confuse us into picking up the wrong title element. Can you try temporarily removing it, and doing [ View | Refresh Theme ] in Writer to see if that fixes it?

    It’s strange that dieseltekk doesn’t exhibit the same behavior but I think it’s worth a try in any case.

  17. Hi Joe!
    You have portable WLW for Windows XP SP1?

  18. Hi Joe,

    Just wanted to ask a couple of questions about the new live writer issue, how come when i want to retrieve an old post to fix them up, say a post from April, Live writer cant do it?? Have my old posts been deleted or something??

    Say, I use the local copy saved on my system, when I go to publish the post and customize the publish date for April and not the current date, Live writer doesn’t seem to publish the post at the date I choose??

    What’s happened to this feature??

    Oh one more, if I do a blog and set the publish date for April, how come this post doesn’t show up in the Archives modules??

    Any help would be great

  19. Hi leo,

    You should be able to access old posts from the File | Open dialog–just be sure to click your blog at the left, otherwise you’re just looking at the posts you’ve written from Writer.

    For customized publish date, there’s currently a bug in the Spaces service where they don’t respect the date for initial publishing, but they do on edits. For the time being you can work around this by hitting Publish, and when it’s done, hit Publish again. Sorry for the inconvenience, the Spaces folks know about this issue and will likely fix it the next time they ship.

    As for the April problem–are you saying you click on April in the Archive module, and you don’t see the post there? Or that there is no April at all in the Archive module? The latter is a known limitation of Spaces if your blog was created after April; the former would be a new bug, please let me know if that’s the case and whether it consistently reproduces for you.

    Thanks for the feedback!!

  20. Hi Joe,

    I don’t know if you can help me but I’m new to windows live writer and wish to know when writing a blog is it possible to go back in time ? I know you can edit the publish date via windows live writer but you cannot go back beyond the first ‘month’ you first started your blog. I would like to go back 12 months and backfill my blog, after that I will be going forwards – no problem. Can you help ?

  21. Hi Peter,

    Sorry, but this isn’t possible on Spaces. I’ve talked to the Spaces team about it, they cite back end technical difficulties. *shrug*

  22. 22 Bethany

    Just wanted to thank you for the amortization calculator I found on your site. It was exactly what I was looking for since I could use it with openoffice. You made my day!



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