It’s pretty much well documented that I am a Microsoft fan. I owe a substantial portion of my career to their software. Got to say though I had mixed feelings about them developing a blogging tool. More and more of Microsoft is getting a clue about blogging but that doesn’t necessarily mean they get bloggers quite yet. Also for obvious reasons, we are known in part for our own (brilliant) blogging tool.
My expectations going in were that it would be
- easy to install
- filled with proprietary “stuff”, from markup to interpretation of feeds
- possibly slow
Well it is easy to install, not particularly huge (5mb?) though on a slow connection you might not agree. Standards aren’t stretched so as I would notice, someone with more XHTML knowledge will have to correct me if I am way off mark here. Seemed fairly nippy on my machine, nothing too taxing. The experience overall is quite familiar to Office users which I am sure was the intent.
It’s not politically correct but I don’t care that they don’t support Macs. I really don’t get the whining about that. Microsoft isn’t a charity, they don’t have to support a platform if they don’t want to, especially one that takes away custom from their own products. They don’t support Linux, Beos, Amiga, Vic20 or my toaster either funnily enough.
PFF has established a basic feature list now that any blogging tool has to have, natively or through extension. Even with the ever-growing list of features our users keep coming back with some great ideas for new ones. It is not enough now to release a tool that only has wysiwyg blogging capability, it needs to do a fair amount more. This package meets those criteria without getting carried away. The only feature I have found so far that had me shaking my head was the ability to add maps – a niche feature I imagine!
Installation consists of downloading and running the install package, it sets up an icon in your programs list and you are ready for business. I already have more blogs than I know what to do with so I elected to setup the program with one of my test blogs. The good news is the detection process works smoothly, even my Drupal test blog, unfortunately not to the extent of being able to retrieve my categories or loading my old posts.
Image handling is particularly nicely done, allowing alignment, resizing, drag and drop insert and upload using the newMediaObject API. If your blog doesn’t support image uploads you can also add FTP accounts. Wierd thing is, although it did upload my picture it added a link rather than an img tag – strange! I’m not sure if that is down to my blog or the software.
The important consideration is would I swap PFF for this? Unsurprisingly the answer is no, but not out of bias; I find the ability to blog the current page too valuable, I like having my blog editing right in my browser. Until Microsoft integrates their new tool with IE (which I am sure they have thought about) I will keep using Firefox and Performancing for my posting needs.