Dave Winer more or less lays one on the head of today’s internet darling, Microsoft’s Live Writer. Granted, he starts out saying its great that Microsoft made it, but the tone is more rain than sunshine.
He says it should be part of the browser. Maybe, but let’s not forget that something in the nature of .00001% of the people who use browsers blog. It would be feature overload for most- similar to the way I felt when I tried Opera. There is a marginal utility to adding features to software.
Just because you can add something doesn’t mean you should.
Back in the day, I used the free version of Microsoft’s Front Page HTML editor to create some early web pages. So there was a wysiwyg editor back then for the task at hand- nobody knew a blog from a grasshopper back then. Later, as I learned html, I used the excellent, but long forgotten HotMetal Pro. Even today there is one wysiwyg HTML editor that I like- Namo Web Editor. It’s not the wysiwyg editor part that makes Live Writer so interesting- it’s its simplicity and the way it works across many platforms.
Dave is a scientist. He creates very cool stuff for geeks. Microsoft is a merchant. It creates stuff for the masses. The reason there is a market for what Microsoft makes is because there are a lot of people who are not smart enough to use what Dave makes.
Well there’s that and all the money Microsoft has to promote its products.
But the bottom line is that Microsoft has made something that can be used by non-geeks and non-programmers to fill a need. That’s why I think it will take off while some perhaps cooler, but harder, products didn’t.
Sometimes Dave-light is good enough.
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