Windows Live Writer going Open Source?

If I asked you what your favorite blogging tool is many of you who follow this site would respond without hesitation – Windows Live Writer aka WLW for short.

In fact, I am using WLW right now to write this blog post and it is what I have used to write 99.9% of the over 4800 blog posts I have posted here at

WLW is part of Microsoft’s Windows Essentials which consists of Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Mail, Microsoft One Drive and of course WLW.

With the exception of Windows Mail I use everyone of those software programs on a daily basis.

All of the programs, minus OneDrive, all carry a 2012 tag behind the programs name since that was the year the last major updates were released for them.

There have been some minor updates between then and now but nothing significant.

A very significant concern of WLW users is that the program would eventually become unusable and stop working with the various services it can connect to such as WordPress, SharePoint, Blogger, TypePad and others.

Then there was also the once thriving add-in developer community that built simple plugins that would enhance WLW’s functionality but back in 2010 that repository of tools was shut down.

All that now remains of that collection is a single Windows Essentials Plug-ins page but it has no WLW plugins on it.

So as you can imagine these signs were troubling for the WLW faithful and honestly I think many were just waiting for the other shoe to drop and see the program pulled from existence.

Well hope springs eternal they say and this week there may be reason to hope that WLW will possibly get a second life and see new development happening for the blogging tool.

Yesterday everyone’s favorite evangelist from the Microsoft Web Platform Team, Scott Hanselman, gave the WLW faithful that reason to hope.

As of today the post has received nearly 1,000 RT’s and Favorited 65 times. Well short of the 20,000 RT’s Scott asked for but just go in and read some of the comments to find how well loved this piece of software is.

Later on in the sequence of replies to his initial tweet Scott revealed that there is an effort to actually open source the software:

Can you imagine if this happens. That would mean the possibility would exist to not only update and improve WLW itself but also see it turned into a modern app for all Windows 8/8.1 devices including Surface and Surface 2 which cannot run the current version.

That also means the plugin community could return and really build extensibility into the app along the same lines that plugin authors do for WordPress, one of the main platforms that WLW lets you connect with.

So if you are a fan of Windows Live Writer head over to Twitter and retweet Scott’s initial tweet about WLW so that count can get up there and it can help him show folks at Microsoft how well liked and used this piece of software is.

19 thoughts on “Windows Live Writer going Open Source?

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  2. There seems to be a problem with Windows Live Writer adding blogger accounts. I keep getting wrong username and password yet I can log in just fine via web browser.

    • I have never tried adding a Blogger account myself but I guess it is possible that something changed on the Blogger side that is not allowing WLW to log in anymore. Since WLW has not been updated in a few months that means it is likely on the Blogger side. Have you asked them about any underlying log in changes or maybe you switched to Two Factor Authentication if they offer that?

  3. Whenever I find a colleague that isn’t using WLW I clue them into it. They have the same reaction I did back when I started using it many years ago. WOOOAAHH! I can blog faster, see exactly what it will look like and damn!!! I can blog faster!

  4. At this point, pushing Windows Live Writer to the open-source would be the respectful thing for Microsoft to do for the blogging editor; it’s been asked for for years.

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  13. The obvious sad part of this is that Windows Live Writer was hugely popular among bloggers. Developers were throwing support he Windows Live Writer greatly and then Microsoft decided to simply abandon the software. Oddly, Microsoft apparently thought enough about Windows Live Writer to create Windows live [blogging platform] to go along with it.

    At this point, pushing Windows Live Writer to the open-source would be the respectful thing for Microsoft to do for the blogging editor; it’s been asked for for years.

    I guess the biggest question would be how big of an impact would it make a Windows Live Writer if it actually went to the open source? Microsoft has all but abandoned Windows Live Writer for so many years; it’s actually pushed/forced bloggers to use other applications or use the integrated editors to get a true WYSIWYG interface. Would those bloggers be willing to come back to Windows Live Writer now that they’re used to using something else?

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  18. Having been a VERY longtime Windows and WordPress nerd, I love Writer. It’s one of the few tightly purposed apps to come from the Redmond dev machine. Sadly, it’s also one of the last of the available blog editors. For some reason, people seem to be more drawn to using the integrated editors or just aren’t aware of the existence of desktop apps. My concern is that even if WLW goes FOSS not many devs will work on it, and it will languish anyway.

    I think it would be fine to FOSS it, but please, Microsoft, assign a handful of developers to maintaining the project and delivering quality documentation.