In a recent post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Chris Jones the VP of the Windows Live Product Group, details a major makeover of the Windows Live brand and how it will impact some services and software in the Windows Live product group.
The post makes sense from the perspective of removing the long winded Windows Live from the front of products like Photo Gallery, Contacts, SkyDrive, Calendar, Messenger etc. In fact, with some products in the collection, the Windows Live label has been unofficially dropped for sometime.
There is also no doubt that a lot of people use the software and services that fall under the Windows Live umbrella.
- Over 500 million users every month
- 350 million active users on Hotmail
- 105 petabytes of email storage on Hotmail
- 300 million active users on Messenger
- 130 million users on SkyDrive
I encourage you to check out the article as it gives fairly clear direction of where things are headed with the services formerly know as Windows Live. In fact, be sure to check the table in the middle of the post that provides a translation of the current software/service and how it will be implemented/named on various Microsoft platforms.
Even with all that info about the transition of these software programs and services there is one specific program in the Windows Live Essentials Suite that is conspicuously missing from the entire post.
Windows Live Writer.
I am guessing that if you write for a WordPress based blog and also happen to be a Windows user then you know what Windows Live Writer, WLW for short, is and what it is capable of doing for you and your blog.
But it does not just stop at WordPress blogs. WLW can also help you compose and post to SharePoint, TypePad, Joomla, Drupal, MoveableType and other blog software programs. Even the soon to be defunct Blogger could be accessed with WLW.
WLW has been highly regarded since it was released as part of the Windows Live suite of programs in November 2007 and has become the tool de facto of many writers on some of the most popular blogs across the Internet.
Now with the rebranding of the Windows Live line of software and services it would seem that maybe WLW is not destined to make that move. Like my friend Kip Kniskern from Liveside.net said on Twitter earlier today about WLW:
@Spatacoli Deafening silence = answer ;)
— Kip Kniskern (@kipkniskern) May 3, 2012
I sincerely hope that the silence from Redmond is not an indicator of the end of WLW but maybe a signal that great things are coming for the software. Although it entails a lot of speculation, I did like this comment from Chris Jones on the Windows Live Reimagined post in response to many comments about WLW and Windows Live Essentials.
So for now the eternal optimist in me is going to hold onto the possibility that one of the apps Chris Jones is talking about in that comment is our beloved WLW and that we will see some news about it in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, Scott Lovegrove, a fellow Microsoft MVP, has posted a petition at http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/dontkillwlw asking Microsoft not to kill off WLW. So far it has 221 signatures, 50 Likes on Facebook and has been tweeted about nearly 200 times. Pretty impressive support in just a couple of hours.
This is a very popular and functional piece of software Microsoft has created which I and many others want to see live on.
What say you Microsoft?