Here’s what the official press release won’t tell you about Ubuntu 9.04, which formally hit the streets overnight: its designers have polished the hell out of its user interface since the last release in October.
So much so, in fact, that I am starting to prefer using my Ubuntu "Jaunty Jackalope" desktop over the similarly slick Windows 7 beta (which I am currently running full-time on one desktop) and Mac OS X Leopard operating systems, which I also use regularly.
I left Windows Vista, XP, and even Debian lying bruised and battered by the roadside some time ago.
You won’t be able to notice the vast improvement in Ubuntu’s desktop experience over the past six months by browsing screenshot galleries of 9.04 or looking at new feature lists. What I’m talking about is that elusive slick-and-speedy feel you get from applications launching fast, windows moving around without jerkiness, and everything simply being where it should be in the user interface.
Launching and using Firefox on Ubuntu 8.10 on my 2GHz Core 2 Duo-based machine with 2GB of RAM, a 7200rpm hard disk, and an Nvidia GeForce 8800GTS always seemed to feel like I was going back a few years, to a time when Web browsers were not considered something you always had open to service Web applications like Gmail and Bloglines.
It was the same with Windows Vista.
In short, Ubuntu is now as slick and beautiful as Mac OS X or Windows 7.
Now, just like Microsoft has taken the blowtorch to Vista to produce the lightning-quick Windows 7, which so far runs well, even on older hardware, Ubuntu has picked up its own game.
I particularly noticed the Ubuntu difference when I put the operating system to the test by simultaneously launching and using multiple applications, listening to music and more while using my spare CPU cycles in the background to encode high-definition video with Mencoder. Ubuntu still felt very fast–even with traditionally sluggy pieces of software like OpenOffice.org.
It’s not just the speed changes, however, that has got me excited about Ubuntu 9.04. It’s also the subtle additions to the interface; the logical move of shutdown and reboot options to the far right of the menu; the slick new notifications system; the seamless (finally!) integration of the Nvidia accelerated drivers, and the cleaned-up options and package install systems.
Want Adobe Flash or other proprietary software like multimedia codecs on Ubuntu? Just search for them in the one location, under their own names. No downloading anything from any Web sites. No package management or dependencies. No apt-get. Point and click.
I’m not a Linux novice (in fact, I’m a former Linux and FreeBSD systems administrator), and I’ve been using Linux on the desktop since the late 1990s. I usually run a combination of Ubuntu and Windows on my PC, and the latest Mac OS X on my laptop.
So I’m in a position to notice step changes in user interface behavior like the one that Ubuntu has brought to the table with 9.04. In short, Ubuntu is now as slick and beautiful as Mac OS X or Windows 7.
As we’ve noted in earlier articles, Microsoft has also brought its best to the table with Windows 7. However, it’s a pity that Apple didn’t seem to do so with Leopard. Like some reviewers, I felt that Steve Jobs’ latest operating-system opus added a lot of new features, but also some unfortunate erratic behavior that muddied Mac OS X’s position as a user interface leader.
As the magazine Macworld has noted, the new Stacks feature in Leopard’s Dock is a "mess" and replaced the formerly utilitarian approach to keeping folders in the Dock with a "snazzy but generally less useful pop-up window."
The new "Spaces" feature in Leopard is nothing new; it provides multiple virtual-desktop workspaces, which Unix has had for decades; but I found Apple’s implementation erratic.
Then, too, there was the speed price some users paid in Leopard for all the upgrade, though that could just be the older-hardware penalty. On my 1.5GHz G4 laptop with 1280MB of RAM, Leopard runs sluggishly, whereas Tiger runs like a dream. As I don’t use any of the new features, the upgrade seemed worthless.
When you consider Microsoft’s remarkable rebirth with Windows 7 and the fact that Ubuntu is free, open source, and runs on anything, you would have to wonder what sort of rabbit Steve Jobs will have to pull out of his hat with Snow Leopard to keep growing Mac OS X’s share. Sure, there are some apps missing on Linux (say, Photoshop). But the same can be said of Mac OS X in certain areas, and VMware and CrossOver solve a lot of problems.
Looking back to the genesis of Ubuntu 9.04 six months ago, I suspect that its subtle but powerful changes are due to the new user interface team that Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said at the time he would put in place. If so, that team has already earned its paychecks and even more, and we’re looking forward to seeing what another six months of development will produce.
In the meantime, kudos to Ubuntu 9.04: you got game.
WINDOWS VISTA GOODIES
- Equation Writer – handwritten mathematical equations convert into a typewritten image
- Media Transfer copy/stream media from a computer to a Tablet PC
- Ink Crossword solve 12 puzzles (& download more)
- Ink Flash Cards helps learning facts or study for an examInk Desktop a dry-erase board to jot down phone #, directions, or top daily prioritiesyOrigami Experience Pack for UMPCs
- Origami Experience: Access all media & favorite programs
- Touch Settings: Config touch screen
- Sudoku: Popular number gameStickySorter is for brainstorming, planning, and affinity diagrammingVirtual Earth 3D search, browse, & organize local information viewed in 3DWindows Vista Ultimate Helpful Hints: Guide to mastering the Ultimate operating systemXML Paper Specification Essentials Pack view, generate & index XPS DocsUTILITIESAccessChk provides what kind of accesses specific users or groups have to resources including files, directories, Registry keys, & Windows servicesActive Directory Topology Diagrammer reads AD configurations using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), and automatically generates a Visio diagram of your Active Directory and /or Exchange 200x Server topologyAdministrative (Group Policy) Templates (.admx) manages registry-based policy settings in the (gpedit.msc) user interfaceAeroNotes is a full featured notepad alternative using the Aero Glass technologyApplication Compatibility Toolkit contains tools & docs to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Windows Vista, Windows Update, or a new version of Internet Explorer in your environment.App-V USB Tool is an add-on to the App-V 4.5 Client. It makes it possible to automatically, or by request, import and register App-V enabled (sequenced) applications into the App-V Client from any USB storage device. (Support TechNet)AUReset tool contains scripts to fix most Automatic Updates & Windows Update problems.AutoRuns shows what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows the order Windows processes them.Baseline Security Analyzer graphical & command line interface performs local or remote scans for common security misconfigurations: missing security updates, update rollups & service packs published to Microsoft Update. (Support: MBSA Homepage & Visio Connector Tool for MBSA)Battery Alarm alerts when battery gets lowBattery Saver saves up to 70% of your battery by disabling some greedy featuresBGInfo displays relevant information on the Desktop’s background: computer name, IP address, service pack version, etc.BitLocker:
- Drive Preparation Tool configures drives to support BitLocker
- Recovery Password Viewer for Active Directory locate & recover encrypted passwords in ADDS.
- Repair Tool recovers data from a corrupt / damaged BitLocker driveBITS Repair Tool for 32 bit & 64 bit, helps fix the corruption of Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) state files. (Support: KB940520)Command Reference for automating command-line tasks by using batch files or scripting toolDesktops organizes your applications on up to four virtual desktops.Edison – energy monitoring application to actively control PC’s energy consumption.FolderShare share files & access computer(s) remotelyGroup Policy Log View utility exports Group Policy event data from the system & operational log into a text, HTML, or XML fileHosts File Manager makes configuration changes to the HOSTS file (add, delete, & edit).IE7Pro add-on for Internet Explorer includes tweaks to make it friendlier, more useful, secure & customizable. (Support: MSDN)IE Proxy Manager (TrayIcon) is an easy to use proxy Manager for Internet Explorer and all depending applications.IconEditor creates icons in multiple formats: 16×16 – 16 color, 48×48-24bit color, up to 128×128-32bit color, along with marking the transparent colors (XOR Mask & AND Mask). (Support: MSDN)Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool verify routers support new technologies.ISO Recorder with DVD SupportIPsec Diagnostic Tool assists troubleshooting network related IPsec failures.Keyboard Layout Creator create or modify keyboard layoutsLanguage Interface Packs for English versionsNetwork Monitor protocol analysis allows capturing, viewing & analyzing network (wired & WiFi) traffic. (Support: TechNet, Command Line Wizard)OpenType Font File Properties Extension adds property tabs to the fonts dialog box (i.e. font name, origination, copyright, & extended character set code pages)PrivBar toolbar shows current privilege level (Administrators, Power Users, Users, or Guests)Process Explorer shows information in two sub-windows, about which handles & DLLs processes have opened or loaded. The top window shows currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts, the information in the bottom window depends on the Process Explorer mode: in handle mode you’ll see the handles the process selected in the top window; in DLL mode you’ll see the DLLs & memory-mapped files the process has loaded.Process Monitor shows real-time file system, Registry & process/thread activity. It combines the features of two legacy Sysinternals utilities, Filemon & Regmon, and adds an extensive list of enhancements including rich & non-destructive filtering, comprehensive event properties such session IDs & user names, reliable process information, full thread stacks with integrated symbol support for each operation, simultaneous logging to a file, & more. (Support: TechNet)PsExec allows executing processes on other systems, complete with full interactivity for console applications, without having to manually install client software. PsExec’s most powerful uses include launching interactive command-prompts on remote systems & remote-enabling tools like IpConfig that otherwise do not have the ability to show information about remote systems.PsService service viewer & controller displays the status, configuration, & dependencies of a service, and allows you to start, stop, pause, resume & restart them. PsService enables logging-on to a remote system using a different account, for cases when the account from which it doesn’t have required permissions on the remote system.Release Notes information on deploying & using Vista, including known issues.Remote Server Administration Tools 32bit & 64bit support remote management of computers running Windows Server 2008.SearchMelt, is a Vista Search Folder changed to be generic & able to be shared. "It’s like Search + XML + Sharing — it’s a whole bunch of melty goodness!"SharedView Beta connects up to 15 people & get your point across by showing them your screen. (Support: FAQ)ShellRunas for heavy Explorer users who launch programs under different accounts (similar to RunAs)Snip IT emails selected text in Internet Explorer using your default email: Gmail, Hotmail & Outlook & Yahoo Mail.SpeechSaver system tray utility to turn off Speed Recognition after a few minutes with no activity.Speech Recognition Macros creates powerful macros triggered by voice command to interact with applications.Speed Launch gives you lightning quick access to all the documents, files, & websites.Start++ Windows XP Desktop Search allowed the creation of aliases between words or characters with commands & searches. Example: set up the Deskbar so you could type “g Stuff” to search for the work “Stuff” on Google. Start++ also launches programs, run scripts with parameters.SteadyState helps manage shared computers in a school, Internet cafe, library, or at home. (Support: FAQ)System Update Readiness Tool x32 & x64 checks for inconsistencies in the Windows servicing store which may prevent the successful installation of future updates, service packs, & software.TCPView shows detailed listings of all TCP & UDP endpoints, including the local & remote addresses and state of TCP connections. TCPView also reports the name of the process that owns the endpoint.Terminals multi-tab terminal services/remote desktop client. It uses Terminal Services ActiveX Client (mstscax.dll) allowing the control of multiple connection simultaneously.User State Migration Tool migrates user files & settings during deployments of Windows XP & Vista. USMT captures files & settings from the source computer and then migrates them to a new Windows installation.
- Virtual Desktop Manager provides a powerful virtual desktop manager with a full screen thumbnail based previewVirtual PC 2007 create & run one or more virtual machines (different operating systems), on a single computer.VistaTweaker has software, performance, usability & other tweaks to improve the overall experience. (Support: Channel 10)Visual Round Trip Analyzer – Web page performance visualizer and analyzer toolWindows Automated Installation Kit helps IT professionals customize & deploy Windows Vista. Perform unattended installations, capture Windows images with ImageX, & create Windows PE images.Windows Installer CleanUp Utility removes a program’s Windows Installer configuration information when experiencing installation (Setup) problems (i.e. problems when adding / removing a program’s component.)Windows Mobile Device Center enables data synchronization between Windows Mobile Devices & Windows Vista & Vista 64.Windows Vista Hardware Assessment finds computers on a network, performs a detailed inventory, reports whether a computer(s) can run Windows Vista.
- Chinese (PRC)
- Chinese (Hong Kong SAR)
- English (US)
- Portugese (Brazil)
- SwedishWindows Vista Upgrade Advisor identifies if a PC is ready for an upgrade to Windows Vista & which features will be able to run on their PCsZoomIt screen zoom & annotation tool for technical presentations.SEARCH & PREVIEW ADD-INS
- 2007 Office System Converter: IFilter Pack installs the following formats: .docx, .docm, .pptx, .pptm, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .zip, .one, .vdx, .vsd, .vss, .vst, .vdx, .vsx, & .vtx
- Lotus Notes indexes the content of Lotus Notes e-mail, contacts, calendar items, & journal items
- Outlook Saved Mail indexes Outlook’s (.MSG) sent itensAdobe Photoshop Preview Handler for Photoshop (PSD) filesCode Preview Handler for .cs, .vb, .sql, .js files – allows viewing of code files within Explorer & Outlook 2007 (Support: MS Blogger)InkSeine search for files by circling a handwritten phrase within notesSearchTogether Internet Explorer Search Collaboration ToolMULTIMEDIAImage Composite Editor stitches multiple source images into a seamless panoramaImagizer simple application to resize a batch of images.HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop supports a wide range of pixel formats (high dynamic range, wide gamut formats) & numerous advanced HD Photo features. (Support: MSDN)Paint.Net originated as a project at Washington State University, & still developed by Microsoft alumni.Photo Info allows photographers to add, change & delete common "metadata" properties. (Support: FAQ)Pro Photo Tools for editing metadata in photographs including latitude, longitude, & other location details.RAW Codecs handles RAW image files with the same ease as JPEG or TIFF images.
TweakMC – Tweak Media CentertrueSpace 3D authoring package for online shared spaces, & for Virtual Earth.WebGuide provides remote access to your Media Center from any computer with a web browser, including a cell phone or mobile device.WMV9 PowerToy configures advanced properties of the WMV9 encoder & decoder otherwise only accessible through registry settingsDESKTOP WALLPAPERS, SCREENSAVERS & DREAMSCENESChirpscreen interactive screensaver updates with content from social networks (i.e. Facebook, Flickr) – it floats the information across the screen, & allows clicking on the content taking you to the web page or social networking site. (Support: MSDN)Dual Monitor Wallpapers – Beautiful images "panoramically" stretch across both screens (Support: MSDN)Exchange Server Team’s 3 wallpapers with new logoFlittrbook, a WPF screensaver mashup of 3 popular social networking sites: Flickr, Twitter, & Facebook. (Support: MSDN)Halo 3 WallpaperNew Zealand Bliss backgrounds & Wallpaper(RED) Wallpapers raise awareness for people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.Silverlight Team’s Wallpaper – Dawn "Blue" & Dusk "Black" inspired widescreen & 4:3 desktop wallpapersVirtual Earth Screensaver reads RSS feeds to show interesting Virtual Earth birdseye & satellite images with users’ informationVista Wallpapers by Hamad DarwishVista’s Winning Wallpapers from Microsoft SingaporeWallpapers from Microsoft Employees: Michael Swanson & Mikhail Arkhipov’s 1920 x 1200 (16:10 "widescreen") & 1600 x 1200 (4:3 "standard"), Peggi Goodwin’s Gorgeous Nature Images (various)Wallpapers & Tool from MSN – 100’s of Free Wallpapers & Wallpaper Creation ToolYule Log Visualization for Windows Media PlayerWINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER 11 SKINS from Microsoft
- Anemone Get Oceanographic!
- BlueGrid neat & organized
- Cerulean Android skin
- Circle Overlapping circular disks
- Claw Sink your claws into this
- Color Chooser Select different background colors to suit your mood
- Crystal Ball Look deeply into this crystal ball . . .
- Digital DJ Automatically builds skins based on different playlists
- Gadget Cool gadget-style
- Goo A splash of organic goo
- Modern Blue Soft swirls of blue
- MSN Keep up on entertainment news
- Ocean Soft Breeze
- Pharaoh Go back in time
- Polygon Fun Geometry
- RAD Techno
- Radio Old-fashioned radio
- Science Cool Chemistry
- Toothy Your "friend" who stays until the party’s over
- Tube Frame featuring SRS WOW effectsGAMESGAMES for Windows Vista from MSN’s Game ZoneSudoku Game from Microsoft’s Carlos Aguilar MaresWindows Pranks:
SECURITY, BACKUP & DATA TRANSFEREasy Transfer automatically copies files, photos, music, email & settings to your Windows Vista based PC.SyncToy helps copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders & computers.Windows Live OneCare service has been upgraded to support Windows Vista.Windows NT Backup – Restore Utility restores backups made on Windows XP, & Windows Server 2003.HARDWAREHabu Gaming Mice Drivers & Firmware
Webcams LifeCam 2.04WINDOWS VISTA DEVELOPERSDebugView monitor debug output on a local system, or any computer on the network via TCP/IP. It displays both kernel-mode & Win32 debug output, so you don’t need a debugger to catch the debug output your applications or device drivers generate, nor do you need to modify applications or drivers to use non-standard debug output APIs.Debug Diagnostic Tool assists in troubleshooting issues such as hangs, slow performance, memory leaks or fragmentation, & crashes in any Win32 user-mode process.Debugging Tools for Windows – used to debug drivers, applications, & services on systems running both 32 bit & 64 bit versions of Windows.Fiddler HTTP & HTTPS Website Debugging PowerTool supports viewing & modifying HTTP & HTTPS traffic. It also can be saved to Visual Studio WebTest files.neXpert add-on helps identify common web performance issuesImage Colorizer demonstrates how to write an application for colorizing digital photos using the inking support provided by Tablet PC APIs.LUA Buglight helps developers & IT Pros (sysadmins) identify specific causes of admin-permissions issues (a.k.a. LUA bugs) in desktop applications.PowerShell & PowerShell 64 command-line shell & scripting language allows managing computers via commands or scripts, improving productivity through system automation. (Support: Website)Graphical Help File (including cmdlet help & the About topics) in a fully-searchable, graphical format (a standard Windows .chm file). Also included in the help file is the VBScript to Windows PowerShell Conversion Guide & a collection of PowerShell Tips of the Week.PowerGUI is an extensible graphical administrative console for managing systems based on Windows PowerShell. The tool allows to use the rich capabilities of Windows PowerShell in a familiar & intuitive GUI console. (Support: MSDN)Product Identification Tool creates a product signature for your installed application.Robotics Studio is an environment to create robotics applications across a wide variety of hardware.Introductory Courseware demonstrates common robotics concepts such as reading sensors, controlling actuators, designing simple behaviors, & having a robot interacting with its environment.SQL Server 2005 Express Edition is a free lightweight, & embeddable version of SQL Server 2005. (Support: Books Online)Storyboard Designer is used to diagram (model) & generate documentation for a storyboard scenario.
- Visual Web Developer 2008 Express
- Visual Basic 2008 Express
- Visual C# 2008 Express
- SQL Server 2005 Compact
- SQL Server 2005 Express
- MSDN Express DocumentationWindows Media Center SDK – Documentation, tools, & sample code for developing Windows Media Center applications & services.
- Media Center Markup Language Preview Tool provides a graphical user interface to craft the command line parameters which can be used with the Media Center Markup Language Preview Tool available with the Windows Media Center SDK.Windows Movie Maker & Windows DVD Maker Software Developers Kit create & add custom special effects and transitions to Windows Movie Maker; also create custom transitions, buttons, and menu styles to Windows DVD Maker.
Microsoft’s Windows Live Services provides users a free method to connect and share. Together with the programs listed below, Microsoft makes it easy to work seamlessly between your desktop computers, mobile devices and web.WINDOWS LIVE SINGLE PACKAGE DOWNLOAD:Microsoft has released a single download bundling their Windows Live programs for instant messaging, e-mail, photos, movies, web browsing, and blogging.–> Download Windows Live Essentials On-line Installer (1MB bootstrapper)Windows Live for Windows Phones:–> Download Windows Live for Windows Phone – Non-Touch Mobile Device (Download from Desktop)–> Download Windows Live for Windows Phone – Touch Mobile Device (Download from Desktop)–> Download Windows Live for Windows Phone – Touch & Non-Touch Mobile Devices Download from Mobile Device)WINDOWS LIVE PROGRAMS:BuddyFuse Web Messenger – Azure web hosted version of Windows Live MessengerFamily Safety helps keep your kids safer online. With Family Safety, you decide how your kids experience the Internet. You can block or allow certain websites and contacts, and monitor where your kids are going online.Games for Windows Live v2.0 – Installs the Games for Windows desktop client package:
- LIVE Redistributable that enables the in-game Games for Windows
- LIVE experience as well as the Games for Windows
- LIVE Client that enables the out-of-game experience, including Games for Windows LIVE Marketplace
- Log in to your Windows Live account (your Zune account must use the same Windows Live ID as your Windows Live account).
- Click “Add Zune.”Live Services Plug-in for Moodle – Moodle site administrators can now include Microsoft Live Services in the list of features provided to teachers and students through Moodle. With the Microsoft Live Services Plug-in for Moodle, students and teachers can use their Windows Live IDs to sign in to Moodle and access Live Services, such as e-mail, instant messenger, and calendar without leaving Moodle.Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Beta uses Outlook 2003 / 2007 to access and manage Windows Live Hotmail & Office Live Mail accounts, including email messages, calendar and contacts.Seadragon shares any image on the web as a zoomable photo. Point Seadragon at any image you’ve got on the web, and you’ve got a zoomable viewer. Share the link on Facebook, Twitter, or through email or IM. Or embed it directly on your blog, eBay listing or virtually any site.Seasonal Signatures – Hotmail Signature: Stay in season this year with Hotmail signatures for Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring.Web Activites – When you add web activities to Windows Live and make updates to places like Facebook, Flickr, and Pandora, the "What’s New" feed will let your friends know right from in Hotmail and Messenger.Windows Experience Pack – Pick a specific destination (i.e. beach, mountain, safari, or city) and install Windows Live Messenger elements (i.e. Display Pictures, Emoticons, Backgrounds, & Screensavers).Windows Live 2008 Email & IM working seamlessly using PCs, mobile phones, or handhelds. Organize, edit, and share photos easily & creatively. Protect kids by managing their Web access.Windows Live Mail accesses multiple email accounts — even Yahoo! Premium & Gmail.Windows Live Messenger connect with friends & family via text, voice, & video. Send text to mobile phones or handhelds. (Windows Live Web Messenger)
- Amigos 25 "friendly" emoticons
- Arabia Eid al-Adha "Holiday" emoticons
- Digital Effects produces special effects for video communication by selecting 3-D costumes or other digital effects in a pop-up window (or blur the background of photos to protect privacy).
- Encarta Bot retrieves quick answers through a natural language interface. It also interacts with the Encarta website in the activity window to display a deeper rendition of the answer provided by Encarta.
- Facebook contacts Facebook friends
- Fun Family 30 cool emoticons
- Glassy Aliens – Messenger Emoticons
- "I’m a PC" Messenger Theme Pack
- Messenger Central home for all Windows Live Messenger related content
- Mini-Me – Create your own Windows Live Messenger Emoticon character, or choose one from Microsoft’s "Celebrity Gallery"
- MovieScout finds movies playing at your local movie theater
- Robot Chicken – Messenger Wink
- Superheroes 30 brave emoticons!
- T-Bot (Language translation Bot) simply add email@example.com to your contacts and invite Tbot to your conversations.
- Year-round Backgrounds – Messenger BackgroundWindows Live Movie Maker – create and share exciting movies of your memories with just a few clicks. Arrange photos and video clips by dragging and dropping, add a soundtrack, and preview you changes instantly, then publish your movie to most popular video sites.Windows Live Photo Gallery Upload creative photo slideshows, or create a cool panoramic view by combining multiple photos. Enhance photos by adjusting color, exposure, simple crop, & red-eye fixes.Windows Live Movie Maker Beta and Windows Live Photo Gallery Plug-ins:
Windows Live Planet – Match n Make New Friends using your existing Gmail, Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo, Windows Live ID, or any other ID!Windows Live Services SDK are a set of building blocks within the Azure Services Platform for handling user data and application resources which can connect your application to hundreds of millions of users and devices.Windows Live Toolbar Search from any Web page; highlight text such as an address or phone number, smart menus automatically appear. With one click, map all of the addresses on the viewed web page.Windows Live Writer 2009 publishes rich content to blog services (i.e. Live Spaces, SharePoint, WordPress, Blogger). (Windows Live Writer Configuration File)Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer Plugins:
- Amazon S3 Browser – Amazon S3 storage browser for uploading/inserting binary data links/images) into a Writer post or page.
- (Delicious) Bookmarks2LiveWriter plug-in generates a blog entry with your Delicious bookmarks automatically. You can set a date filter for your bookmarks, and use the results preview to format your links before inserting them to your blog.
- Code Colorizer plug-in provides the means to insert and colorize source code.
- Digg This – Automatically adds a DiggThis badge to your blog post after you publish it from Writer.
- Flickr4Writer Plugin enables interaction with the Flickr services. You can browse by tags, photosets, or a simple photostream. After browsing, the plugin enables inserting the image reference into a post.
- Flickr Upload – Uploads an image to your Flickr account and inserts an inline picture into your post.
- Blog This for Firefox adds a button to Firefox which starts a new Windows Live Writer blog post prepopulated with content and title from the current web page.
- Insert Formatted Clipboard will paste rich content from the clipboard into Windows Live Writter without stripping all text formatting into plain text.
- Insert MSN, Yahoo and Custom Smileys Plugin can insert Yahoo, Yahoo Hidden, MSN and other custom smileys/pictures of your choice.
- Paste As Plugin makes it easier to copy formatted HTML and paste it into a WLW post as plain text. Another benefit is making it easier to paste raw HTML snips into a WLW post.
- Quote of the day gives you an option to select the Quote of the day from two RSS feeds.
- SmugMug To Live Writer allows the user to select pictures from their SmugMug galleries and insert them into their blog.
- Social Bookmarking Tags inserts Social bookmarks from tonnes of sites including Social, Expression, MSDN, Technet, Digg, Dotnetkicks.
- Twitter Notify – Automatically generates a TinyURL and sends a Tweet about your blog post after you publish it from Writer.Theme Fixer resolves the problem when "Windows Live Writer cannot detect a blog theme or it incorrectly detects a user’s theme." (Recommended: MSDN)DEVELOPER RESOURCES:Live Framework Software Development Kit (SDK) includes API kits, documentation, tools, and code samples to help you start building applications using Live Services.Live Services Jumpstart Training are level 300-400 in-depth technical sessions, hands-on labs and informal Q&As presented by Microsoft’s top engineers and web development experts. Through this virtual event site, you can continue to access this training, including presentations and session recordings, on demand.Windows Live Messenger Web Toolkit enables developers to integrate and enrich their Web-based applications with Windows Live Messenger. With the Windows Live Messenger Web Toolkit, you will get instant access to:
- Real-time presence and communications
- Contact relationships
- Rich profile dataWINDOWS LIVE TEAM BLOGS:
- Google Calendar
- Documents and Spreadsheets
- Google Maps
- Google Notebook
- Google Reader
- Google Translate
Prefered Windows software