Microsoft has long led the fields of desktop innovation with Microsoft Office, and have done an amazing job with what they have. After developing the technology, Microsoft has proved time and time again that they are capable of protecting their position via sheer innovation and creativity – even if the Windows® line of products never matched the same bill.
And now we have yet another nifty innovation to test out and salivate over: Microsoft Word 2007 now not only produces valid XHTML (yes, XHTML) when saving documents as MHT or HTML files, but also comes with integrated plugins that hook right into the most popular online blogging services and APIs!
With Word 2007, connecting to Ramblings of a Computer Guru was as simple as File | Publish | Blog; and then putting in my username (default: admin) and password along with the URL to the XML RPC server for WordPress, which for me was http://neosmart.net/blog/xmlrpc.php, and that was it. Word automagically grabbed my account info and the blog title and more, and here I am posting in the pre-generated template for blogs.
There are certain kinks in the posting process, for one thing, it’s not possible to use Categories, but I’m not certain that is a Word issue, since I have not yet seen another desktop or web-based remote blogging tool with support for categories, but I may be wrong. The other issue is slightly less excusable, namely the fact that post date appears wrong after posting, but what can a blogger do but open the admin panel and change the dates? If anything, this will be the reason why I won’t use the Word tool to post as often as I would like, but then again, Word 2007 is definitely a beta, and you never know what can happen.
Unfortunately there are quite a few limitations, namely an inability to write raw HTML, as would be required to add ‘more’ tags and change certain layout schemes, but I’m sure those features are on their way. A nice add-on is integrated support for uploading pictures, if you provide Word 2007 with a URL to upload images to, it will automagically upload them for you and then fix the links in the document to reflect the uploaded files – which was always one of the biggest headaches for WordPress users and really thoughtful of Microsoft to include.
This post was but an intro to the basic blogging features in Word 2007, soon enough I’ll have another post up on the quality of the XHTML generated by Word, it’s optimization, and maybe a couple of Word/WordPress hacks for the blogosphere to rejoice over.
Update: Please see our new article on Word 2007 & XHTML Compliance.