Rise of the Live Brigade

Over the last two weeks, things have changed around these parts. I’ve upgraded to Vista on my PC – Vista Business SP! if were going to get technical which we will of course 🙂

Having upgraded to Vista, I’ve been more interested in some of the things Microsoft are doing at the moment – Yes it is possible for me to be more interested in something Microsoft are doing than I was previously!

Colin at work introduced me to a site he found called Channel 8 which is an MSN blog site, and I saw some videos by the man who can only be described as the uber Microsoft geek – I mean, this guy made me look normal.

He talked about some Microsoft Live products which in the past I have pretty much avoided except for Messenger. The main one of interest for me was Windows Live Writer which this blog is currently being brought to you by.

Live Writer is an application that installs on your PC and allows you to write blog entries for a whole number of different blog services locally on your PC without the need for a web browser or an Internet connection. The Baby-Green blog for those who don’t know uses a system called WordPress which is absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft, but Live Writer supports it perfectly. Upon opening, I’m taken through the wizard to configure the Baby-Green blog in the software and it then proceeds to download the configuration from the blog server. The end result of this is that the page I see when writing out my blog looks identical to how it would look once posted to the site for people to read which is great.

I get the option to save my entries as drafts either locally or on the server. It also gives you the option to automatically view the entry you just posted on the live site which is cool.

My only problem with the cool Windows Lie stuff Microsoft are releasing at the moment is they are forgetting about Windows Mobile as none of these cool new products are being released on this platform which does suprise me because Windows Mobile applications are based on .NET Framework Compact Edition which in theory would make it not difficult for products like this to be made available. Maybe there saving it all up for Windows Mobile 7.

One of the other things I’ve really got into is Zune Software. Zune for the less interested or knowledgeable is Microsoft’s version of the iPod, but in actual fact it offers more features and media format support than the iPod. It is something I would love to own one day, but Microsoft bless them don’t seem to want people in the UK to own one! The best part of it though is the software. Its based on Media Player that’s bundled with Windows and is designed to give an interface for syncing the Zune, but its a great piece of software and looks awesome. While using it, I’m also finding that it’s faster than Media Player.

So for all you people out there, I suggest trying out Live Writer if your a blogger and Zune if you use WMP at the moment but want something cooler.

PS: Microsoft please launch Zune in the UK so I don’t have to try to import one!

richardjgreen

Richard works as a Cloud Consultant for Fordway Solution where his primary focus is to help customers understand, adopt and develop with Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and System Center. Richard Green is an IT Pro with over 15 years' of experience in all things Microsoft including System Center and Office 365. He has previously worked as a System Center consultant and as an internal solutions architect across many verticals. Outside of work, he loves motorbikes and is part of the orange army, marshaling for NGRRC, British Superbikes and MotoGP. He is also an Assistant Cub Scout Leader.