The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 August 2006

Redmond: home of tools

Microsoft is readying a "blog tool," and Winston is sounding the alarm:

[G]o hide in a dark corner and think ... and become afraid ... very afraid. Close your eyes and envision a future in which all blogs are done through Microsoft's BillyBlog service on their "pay-per-post" plan. All posts and all comments will become the property of Microsoft to do with as they please, including suing my ass for making these comments.

This reminds me of, well, me, circa 2003:

What would Windows blogging tools be like? Probably something like this:
  • All posts must be composed in Word.

  • You'd have to ping with a registration code before the program would send pings to or to

  • Any build error would generate a Blue Screen of Death and require a reboot.

  • The comment-spam filter would randomly block Safari and Opera users.

  • Windows Media Player would automatically delink any linked mp3 files.

  • would wind up on the TTLB Ecosystem as the Highest Being, Dammit.

  • The built-in spellchecker will have issues with the word "Unix".

  • There will be a new security "upgrade" every other Tuesday.

  • Each member of a group blog would have to pay for a separate license.

  • A rogue email will be able to infect your templates.

On the upside, complaints about Blogger and Blogspot should diminish markedly.

Plus ça change, and all that.

Posted at 7:25 AM to Blogorrhea , PEBKAC

Don't forget - the default templates will look like crap.

Have you seen MS's internal blogs? Check out this one and this one.

Here's the best looking one: it features a pixellated header photo of a pool that is evidently full of algae or bacteria soup. Disgusting.

They are hideous. It's like they couldn't be bothered to employ one of their legions of artists and IE designers to spend ONE day designing it.

Even blogs hosted on other .NET blog engines look like crap. There's something about Microsoft that is antithetical to good design. Yes, I'm angry - as large as MS is, they have to make an effort to make so many of your products look like crap, and Microsoft is making that effort.

Posted by: Dan at 11:18 AM on 17 August 2006

BillyBlog? What -- MySpace and LiveJournal aren't enough for "those" kinds of bloggers?

Posted by: McGehee at 11:46 AM on 17 August 2006

Oh, this is a relief:

Live Writer is compatible with Microsoft's Live Spaces and other blogging services including Blogger, Live Journal, TypePad and WordPress.

They don't mention ExpressionEngine. I'm saved!

Posted by: McGehee at 11:48 AM on 17 August 2006

"Security upgrade every other Tuesday" should be updated to "every other day." Since 2003, MS has flooded the world with upgrades. In fact, I hear that now they're even bundling security patches to make it seem like there are not that many.

Posted by: mike at 3:05 PM on 17 August 2006