Three beta announcements today covering Windows Live Writer V2.0 Beta, Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta and Windows Live Mail beta.
Windows Live Writer has been available since last August as an early beta providing a powerful Windows client for bloggers - but supporting US English only. The Windows Live Writer 2.0 beta includes a stack of new capabilities and improvements based on feedback from the Live discussion forums and support for 8 more languages: UK, Spain, France, Germany, Japanese and Chinese. Taking particular note of support for the Queen's English - so the spell checker now works correctly
Windows Live Writer is a great Windows client tool with its broad blog server support making the writing of blog entries a breeze even if you are offline. You can have many blog server accounts set up and switch to your target one even when half-way through creating an entry.
A quick list of new features:
New Authoring Capabilities
· Inline spell checking
· Table editing
· Ability to add categories
· Page authoring for WordPress and TypePad
· Support for excerpts and extended entries
· Improved hyperlinking and image insertion
· Paste Special
Integration and Compatibility
· SharePoint 2007 support
· New APIs enabling custom extensions by weblog providers
· Automatic synchronization of local and online edits
· Integration with Windows Live Gallery
· Support for Blogger Labels
· New look and feel
· Available in 9 languages
· Improved accessibility and keyboard support
· Many other frequently requested enhancements!
Windows Live Messenger 8.5 gets a new look and feel and some more emoticons plus integration with Windows Live OneCare to provide family safety:
You can set it up so that your techno offspring:
1. Cannot use Messenger -- in the offline world imagine this as not allowing your child to be outside and playing with others unless you are there right beside them at all times.
2. Can use Messenger with no restrictions and you have the ability to monitor the contact list -- in the offline world imagine this as allowing your child to go to the park across the road and you can see who they are playing with by looking out your window.
3. Can use Messenger with some restrictions and can only communicate with the contacts that you approve -- in the offline world imagine this as allowing your child to play in the garden where you control who can join in.
Finally, Windows Live Mail beta. Windows Live Mail is the replacement for Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail desktop providing a superset of features.
- Windows Live Hotmail account aggregation.
- Additional account aggregation for POP and IMAP mail accounts
- RSS feed aggregation
- More advanced photo-sharing capabilities
- More advanced search via integration with Desktop Search
- Additional safety (anti-virus scanning, anti-phishing, anti-spam protection across aggregated accounts for customers who do not have an anti-virus product)
- Additional integration with Windows Live services including Spaces
So you have plenty of new stuff to get playing with!
More details here.