Two Microsoft stories today

And in a truly stunning turn of events, both stories are positive.

First, the introduction of free desktop blogging software Windows Live Writer. Although I haven’t yet had much time to play with it, my verdict so far is this: it’s everything that desktop software should be. Let me explain:

  • It’s fast, lightweight, clean, and simple to use.
  • It’s extensible – you can add the features you want and leave out the ones you don’t.
  • It’s innovative with features like map integration and WYSIWIG editing with your own blog template.
  • And, here’s the important thing for Microsoft: offers compelling reasons to use the desktop client rather than the web based tools integrated with most blogging platforms. Auto-spellchecking, the aforementioned WYSIWYG feature, drag and drop with photos, and a myriad of nice touches make it a pleasure to use over it’s web based counterparts.

Producing desktop applications that integrate with and ehance web services is the only way Microsoft can hope to keep Windows relevant; this does that exactly. What it really does is beg the question; why doesn’t Microsoft produce stuff like this more often?

The second story is that Microsoft will produce a widely available, cheap development kit for the XBox 360, letting home users create and play their own games for a console for the first time. Details are scarce, but this has the potential to be a major shift in gaming. By lowering the barrier of entry to game development to such an extent, Microsoft stands to create a whole new class of independent and amateur (and dare I say: open source) game developers. A vibrant community of users creating their own content could stand to give the XBox 360 a big edge over other consoles, and shake up the video game industry in much the same way blogging has shaken up journalism.

From the company’s perspective, it’s a great move. Microsoft has been desperately seeking to create an incentive for people to upgrade to Vista when/if it ever gets released. Between the Windows and XBox platforms, gaming is one area in which they have an edge, and this is one move that could really help to leverage that.

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One Response to “Two Microsoft stories today”

  1. Jason Drohn Says:

    Wow, it looks like Microsoft had a moment that their heads were actually screwed on straight.. I just read a post that said that Windows Defender actually advised a user to uninstall Firefox because it is harmful to the computer.. lol!

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