My first launch of Windows Live Writer Beta 3 leaves a bad taste in my mouth... I have to re-add all my weblogs!
September 07, 2007
As I mentioned recently, it seemed like a new version of Windows Live Writer was imminent, and indeed, on Wednesday Microsoft released Windows Live Writer Beta 3 (I would have written about it then, but I was a wee bit distracted). You could download it from that announcement page for from the main Windows Live Writer page. Reading Joe Cheng's blog post about the release, it sounded interesting so of course I downloaded and installed it.
The first annoyance was that it's now integrated into the full "Windows Live" installer and so when you go to install Windows Live Writer, the installer will also by default install a bunch of other Windows Live apps, ranging from Messenger to Mail to a search Toolbar and a "family safety" option. Now, you can thankfully de-select all of these options and simply install WLW, but it's something you have to pay attention to. I understand Microsoft's motivation. They want to make it easy for people to install all the Live apps, and they see it as a way to "upsell" people on the other apps (which are all free). Get people hooked on their apps and search versus those of Google. I do understand... and I can't really complain because MS is giving us the really incredibly useful Windows Live Writer tool for free. Still, it was slightly annoying that I had to un-check all those boxes just to get WLW. (But yes, a small price to pay for WLW.)
The major annoyance, though, was the screen that greeted me when I launched it (once I found it! My old QuickLaunch icon no longer worked and I had to sort through my Programs menu until I finally found it under the "Windows Live" sub-menu...). The screen prompted me to start using WLW by adding a weblog! Huh? What happened to the six weblogs that I already had configured WLW to work with?
All the configuration data seems to be gone. All my weblogs were no longer configured in WLW. Now, this probably had something to do with the changes to registry locations mentioned in a recent WriterZone blog post. Still, it was a rather unexpected and definitely annoying outcome of doing what I thought of as an upgrade! (And yes, I realize it is "Beta 3", but I'm sorry, I would have expected an upgrade to pull across config info.)
Now, the process of adding a weblog is relatively trivial. Just go to Weblog -> Add Weblog... , fill out the blog URL, username and password, confirm the results and you're done. Maybe a minute to do it. Still... it was an unexpected step to have to take.
The good news is that all my drafts still seem intact (even all those drafts for weblogs which are no longer added to WLW), and the couple of plugins I use seem to still be there... so I seem to be set to go. Now, maybe I can check out the new features...
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