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Word 2007 to Feature Built-in Blogging 228

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the rapid-publishing dept.
Vitaly Friedman writes "Microsoft has revealed a surprising new feature for Word 2007: built-in blog publishing. The big surprise is this: the HTML that is generated is actually not that bad. 'Joe Friend, a lead program manager (Microsoft's term for a person who creates the specifications for software that programmers implement) has posted an entry on his blog regarding an interesting new feature being implemented for Word 2007: direct publishing of blogs to the web from within the program.'"
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Word 2007 to Feature Built-in Blogging

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  • Clippy: I see you're writing something that's critical of a repressive regime. Would you like me to:

    ( ) Censor your writings prior to ftp upload?
    ( ) Inform government agents?
    ( ) Prepare a firing squad?
    (*) Do nothing (but fuck up the html)
  • by caston (711568) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:14AM (#15324465)
    So when can we expect a direct interface in slashdot for MS word users?
  • by Rosyna (80334) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:16AM (#15324472) Homepage
    You know... if Microsoft integrated a spell checker that shows squiggly lines in Internet Explorer, the main reason I've seen for wanting to use word to blog goes away.

    Gotta love Safari for that, I guess...?
    • Check out Google Toolbar [google.com]. It has a spell-checker for web forms.
      It is available for IE and firefox.
    • You know... if Microsoft integrated a spell checker that shows squiggly lines in Internet Explorer, the main reason I've seen for wanting to use word to blog goes away.

      Less Internet-literate people (people who don't know HTML, people who are uncomfortable typing in a text editor, etc.) have plenty of reasons to want to use a familiar word processor to blog.

      Heck, if OpenOffice did this, I'd use it in a heartbeat. Blogger has a decent AJAX WYSIWYG post editor, but it's got a couple of inconsistencies and does
      • by Rosyna (80334) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:56AM (#15324876) Homepage
        Less Internet-literate people (people who don't know HTML, people who are uncomfortable typing in a text editor, etc.) have plenty of reasons to want to use a familiar word processor to blog.

        Do we really want blogging to be more accessible to your grandmother? It's bad enough that blogging is accessible to 14 year old girls.

        Current Mood: I pee every time I sneeze.
    • Yeah, Safari (and thusly Konqueror) have a nice built-in spellchecker. It's pretty useful to have things highlight in red while you're typing instead of relying on a site's spellchecker or some external program that applies its own formatting *coughwordcough*.
  • It's Microsoft. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ComradeSnarky (900400) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:18AM (#15324477)
    Obviously they would claim the HTML produced is "not bad". What do you expect them to say? "Our program is terrible, don't bother using it."
    • by CSMastermind (847625) <freight_train10@hotmail.com> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:39AM (#15324542)
      You know what, since nobody else seems to want to do it, I'll go out on a limb here and defend M$ this time. I'm impressed they claimed that the HTML isn't bad. I think it's good of them to man up. Because in saying that the new stuff isn't bad, they're admitting the old HTML code in word was.....and they're taking steps to fix the problem. If you actually looked at the source from the article (which was generated using word), it looked clean and readable. Nothing like the HTML we used to see from Word. On /. everytime Word is mentioned you get the same old responces, "I haven't touched a new verison of word since 97", "they haven't added any new features that are worthwhile", and "I don't even use the program, it's M$ they suck". Fair enough. But can you really complain about them not adding new features, then bitch when they obviously start thinking and try to? Do you think the people who post here are Word's targeted consumers? The majority of people don't really understand that much about computers, nor do they want to. They like to check email, surf the web, chat online, write in their blog, and upload their pictures for everyone to see. So the fact that the new Word might have a blog publishing feature is a big deal for most people who use the lastest versions of Word.
      • What the...

        Sanity? With regards to Microsoft?

        On Slashdot??

        You obviously haven't spent much time here. If you'd been responding properly to conditioning, your vision would have clouded over when you read the word "Microsoft," you would have begun spitting expletives at your monitor, and you'd have a screaming urge to write something incoherent and vituperative in a small text box. Then you would have gone to the nearest city's Main Street and thrown raw hamburger and stale Cheeps at pedestrians.

        At least, tha
      • Actually I think most of the people here and a large majority of the people around the world would appreciate it if Word had less features.

        They'd probably really like it if it:

        a) let them write a letter and format it intelligently without requiring a PhD in Word Markup Language

        b) there is no b

        Word has terrible header/footer implementation, terrible use of styles, terrible image embedding facilities, terrible table formatting tools, etc, etc, it does lists pretty well... I use it all the time to do outlines
        • Word has terrible header/footer implementation, terrible use of styles, terrible image embedding facilities, terrible table formatting tools, etc, etc

          Actually, if Word is the only thing you use, it isn't nearly as bad as you make it. And who is using InDesign to post to their blog?

      • If you actually looked at the source from the article (which was generated using word), it looked clean and readable. Nothing like the HTML we used to see from Word.

        Yawn... wake me when it can generate valid HTML [w3.org]...
    • It was Jeremy Reimer of arstechnica.com that made that claim, not MS.
  • About Time (Score:2, Interesting)

    In the last several iterations of Office, I've seen nothing different in Word (besides some stuff being moved around). I'm not particularly interested in a program that will help me blog (or even myself blogging at all), but it's cool that they're actually thinking of things.
  • Not bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:20AM (#15324490) Homepage
    You know, when people are saying that the quality of the generated data is "actually not that bad", with a surprised and delighted tilt in their voices, you know your customers aren't exactly expecting greatness anymore.
    • Re:Not bad (Score:3, Informative)

      by MadMacSkillz (648319)
      Greatness anymore would imply greatness to begin with...
    • You know, when people are saying that the quality of the generated data is "actually not that bad", with a surprised and delighted tilt in their voices, you know your customers aren't exactly expecting greatness anymore.

      It's genius marketing at work. Grab all the market share, then lower expectations so far that people are willing to cheer about any small advance and call it "innovation." Then, you patent food and start selling Microsoft Bread, and take over the world with an iron fist wrapped around the po
  • by neuro.slug (628600) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [__oruen]> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:22AM (#15324498)
    Blogs viewable with only IE7 with Windows Vista Cray Edition installed. :)

    Oh, and the ability to upload Word macros directly onto the internets! Wow, that should be infallible!! Right, right?
    • Word and Office are relatively expensive and a lot of people don't have those programs for that reason, and I don't think this is incentive to buy them. The largest share of users of Office and Word appear to be businesses, government and education, and I don't think their users are served well by this feature.

      There are already a lot of programs that allow you to edit locally and update to LiveJournal, WordPress and many other services and common softare. I just don't see the point in a feature like this
    • Oh, and the ability to upload Word macros directly onto the internets! Wow, that should be infallible!! Right, right?

      I would love to run Word macros on my own computer that IE automatically downloaded from some anonymous guy's blog post. That'd be the bees knees.

      Come on, admit it. You'd enable it just for the Russion Roulette-style excitement.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder how many people that start out blogging using MS Word 07 will register for the first publisher on the list: MSN spaces. Seems Blogger is also listed, so it's not all doom & gloom..
  • main effect (Score:5, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:39AM (#15324543)
    The main effect of this will be that we see even more blogs that use Comic Sans. Oh boy, I can hardly wait!
    • Re:main effect (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wfberg (24378)
      The main effect of this will be that we see even more blogs that use Comic Sans. Oh boy, I can hardly wait!

      Let's hope the fonts included in vista [poynter.org] catch on - they're actually quite fetching, and designed by some of the greats of contemporary typography. (Props to Lucas de Groot [lucasfonts.com]!) Georgia is gorgeous too, and included with the current generation of windows.. Microsoft actually can do some stuff right; they're paying penance for comic sans..
      • But will they actually remove Comic Sans? It doesn't matter how much you donate to charity if you murdered a million innocents.
  • Regardless of how good it is, there's a fair bit of competition in online blogging systems - many webhosts such as 50megs.com have had built-in html-helpers for years. Besides, when I think of Word, I think of letters & CVs & other formal stuff - certainly not blogging!
    As a side note, when the submitter says the HMTL is "not bad", could they clarify that a bit? Is it W3C compliant? (in which case IE6 may have trouble rendering it!)
    • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:49AM (#15324584)
      Is it W3C compliant?

      Nope. [w3.org] And that's after he hand-tweaked some of the output.
      • I promised myself awhile ago that I'd stop replying to posts like these, but it's just so misleading, I can't help it.

        You obviously didn't look at the page source as suggested. The parts of the page generated by blogs.msdn.com may have had validation errors, but only one of the errors actually came from the part that Word generated (and he later hand-tweaked). FTFA: "...look at the HTML starting with 'Word is a great tool...'," and later, "Did I mention that this was beta software and we were running hot?..
    • Regardless of how good it is, there's a fair bit of competition in online blogging systems

      Quick! Phone Netscape and tell them how much trouble programs bundled with Windows have "competing" with the established players.

      Regardless of that example, people will always prefer a package which provides a facility locally to one that operates over the web, even if the facility is web related. Everything works two or three orders of magnitude and more reliably when it's on your local processor using your local di

      • Ultimately, that's why mainframes are still rare and Web 2.0 is hype. No one actually wants it. Which is better: maps.google.com or Google Earth? There's no contest, is there?

        While I hate the phrase Web 2.0, it's not just hype. For what I use it, Google Maps is far superior to Google Earth. All I really need from time to time is to find out where a certain address is compared to where I live. Booting up Google Maps takes a second, wherever I am, rather than having to install Google Earth and wait for it t

    • Well, there's degrees of not-badness. Remember Jack Nicholson as President Dale in Mars Attacks!

      Now, I want the people to know that they still have two out of three branches of government working for them ... and that ain't bad!
  • Apple did this with iWeb (as part of their iLife suite) and it is a neat thing; just type and upload. The HTML is isn't awesome, either, but it has potentional.
  • by Funkcikle (630170) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:51AM (#15324593)
    1) More fonts. 2) More clip art. 3) Themes. Then it can tap into all that teeny blogging energy. "It looks like you are whining about your life. Would you like me to set your "Now Listening To:" music tag to something appropriate?"
  • Two Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rueger (210566) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:54AM (#15324601) Homepage
    Microsoft Frontpage [microsoft.com]

    Need I say more?

    The beauty of e-mails generated by Word, the strict adherence to HTML standards demonstrated by Frontpage and IE....

    And of course the literary values beloved by blogger everywhere...
  • An easter egg in the program reportedly allows a waterskier to navagate around a course and ends with a tricky jump over a shark contained in a small netted area.

    Face it MS. Word was pretty much done around 97 or 95 version.

    How bout triming it down and making it not suck for once?

    (Still uses notepad for most text creation.)
  • Wait for the whoops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xiroth (917768) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @10:55AM (#15324608)
    The first time that someone accidently blogs sensitive company/military information without realising it is going to be hilarious.
  • by Bazman (4849)
    But will they conform strictly to an existing blog API or do what they did with LDAP and mutate it into something not quite compatible?

  • by mennucc1 (568756) <d3@tonelli.sns.it> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:11AM (#15324665) Homepage Journal
    M-x doctor

    I am the psychotherapist. Please, describe your problems. Each time
    you are finished talking, type RET twice.

    I am concerned that Word 2007 will include direct publishing of blogs to the web from within the program.

    Why do you say that?

    Because Word's HTML output at any time in the past has always been terrible, embedding hundreds of unnecessary manual font changes, eschewing cascading style sheets, and generally producing HTML that makes a typical web developer want to vomit.

    Is it because word's html output at any time in the past has always
    been terrible embedding hundreds of unnecessary manual font changes
    eschewing cascading style sheets and generally producing html that
    makes a typical web developer want to vomit that you came to me?

    Yes, I am afraid that eventually MS's Word will include more features
    than Emacs.

    Does it bother you that eventually ms's word will include more features
    than emacs?

    Well, actually not. Thanks doctor.

    Don't mention.
  • I'm impressed, kind of. But I bet you can count on this thing working only or best) with MS products and services. That is, can I just configure the thing to FTP (or SFTP) to any web directory? Can I us any other product to edit it's strange code? Must I upload to some crazy (but free!) MSN account? C'mon. Nothing's free with these guys. It either is a strategic part of their plan to dominate the world or they don't bother with it.
  • If Congress passes their anti blogging and forum posting bill, does this mean Word 2007 would be baned from state libraries and schools?

    Maybe this is the news OpenOffice has been waiting for!

  • by jjohn (2991) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:28AM (#15324735) Homepage Journal

    Most blogging systems have some kind of web service now that allows integration with many editors. On my own site [taskboy.com] I manage updates and deletes [taskboy.com] through emacs (on Windows, no less). I'm curious to see if Word will support Blogger, which is owned by Google.

    Just filling out the web form for this comment fills like writing in cuneiform [wikipedia.org]...

  • "A new Word 2007 macro virus named W2007M.Melissa has been detected at multiple DOE sites and is known to be spreading widely."
  • This is overkill. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by v_table 0 (974659)
    I don't see why Microsoft has bothered to add new features to Office 2007 beyond the new shell.

    After playing with the Beta 1 Refresh, I think the gentlemen in Building 9 should have scrapped Vista's Glass in favor of the Office 2007 user interface. And other ISVs might seriously consider moving to the new Ribbon interface - in particular Adobe. Photoshop and similar products could certainly benefit from the new paradigm.

  • The big surprise is this: the HTML that is generated is actually not that bad.

    I'll believe it when I see it. Microsofts HTML printer filter, all of the office components, and even their "web development" products (Frontpage, frontpage express, etc.) all generate the worst HTML known to man. I don't mean to come across as cynical (really, at least not this time ;)) but based on Microsoft's track record, this is just something I will have to see to believe. I've used Frontpage in a pinch, but only in the sour

    • I read an interview by an Office developer about the ridiculous HTML generated by word. He said that Word was never meant to be a web editor. It generates HTML in an overly descriptive fashion in an attempt to make it readable by as many applications and browsers as possible (circa 1995).

      Frontpage is another story. Every time I click New in that program I have to erase like 8 lines of useless meta tags before even opening the HTML.
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:44AM (#15324822) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft wants to compete with Yahoo, MySpace, et. al. as a user-generated content portal. Everyone and his donkey uses Word. If you're already using Word, even though it will support Blogger and other blog sites, I would be surprised if it weren't just a bit easier to use with Windows Live Spaces [wikipedia.org].

    I think of this as somewhat analogous to the iPod/iTunes connection. Everyone has an iPod (yes, yes, I know not *everyone* has an iPod, and that a certain percentage of people just love Ogg Vorbis, but think Middle America here), so iTunes is a natural choice for music downloads. Everyone has Word, so blogging on Windows Live Spaces with the handy new "Blog it now!" feature is a natural choice.

    Will it work? I doubt it. There are just too many already available tools that make blogging easy. Plus, Microsoft's brand has been so damaged that I'm not sure even Ma and Pa Kettle are going to jump over to Windows Live Spaces in droves.

  • by Hugues999 (906652) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:44AM (#15324824)
    Where is your god now?
  • by Tim C (15259) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:47AM (#15324837)
    Sure, the quality of HTML produced by previous versions of Word has been awful. Most (all?) WYSIWYG HTML editors went through that phase, but Word certainly took a damn sight longer to grow out of it than most.

    However, MS tools generating decent HTML isn't new. VS.NET and ASP.NET generate acceptable HTML, and it all works cross-browser too. (Some of the controls degrade gracefully in non-IE browsers, but the basic functionality is still there - treeview controls still work, just less dynamically, for example).

    It's nice to see the Office group finally taking a leaf out of the dev tool group's book.
  • The employee churn at whatever level a "joe friend" employee resides must be absolutely horrible.

    Any Microsofties care to elaborate? Details? Bueller?
  • Does this imply that MS will make their WebDAV capabilities less broken now?

  • They say "not bad" because they know the only people who care about how "good" HTML is, usually are web dev nerds/geeks who read a site from right-click>view source.

    They've had plenty of learning experience with standards zealots while updating IE7 (see the comments in the IE Blog and you'll see what I mean) and know that plenty of the web devs who are aware of what webs tandards is feel superior and try to doctrinate their knowledge to everyone by calling bullshit on everything that is slightly off what
  • Oh boy. Another blogging client. Everything seems to be able to post to blogs now so I propose the Hostetler Corollary to Zawinski's Law [catb.org] "If a program can read or write email it will continue to expand until it can post to blogs."

    You heard it here first.

  • Does anyone RTFA? (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_womble (580291) on Saturday May 13, 2006 @12:57PM (#15325201) Homepage Journal
    Most comments made so far are completely irrelevant.

    If you read the blog post it is fairly clear that this means that Word will send what you wrote to a blog through a blog API like Atom.

    The means that the HTML that needs to be generated is fairly straightforward as it only needs to mark-up the text on a post and entire page - i.e. all it needs to do is paragraphs, lists, blockquote, headings, <em> and <strong>. It probably will be OK on the details given the the post.

    Secondly it means it will not be doing FTP transfers.

    Thirdly it means that this can only be used by someone who already has a blog with an API that allows posting with a blogging tool.

    It is a perfectly logical step given the MS principle of making a few complex tools rather than lots of simple ones.

    It is not a direct threat to Blogger, Moveable Type etc., as people will still need to host their blog somewhere. Of course MS might use the opportunity to point some people towards MSN Spaces - but the far stronger use of IE to point people towards MSN Search as not got them very far, has it?
  • This has gone beyond a joke now, Word had all that 95% of it's users needed around '95 / '98. Why do I need such bloat in my word processor when I can already use a perfectly capable browser to type 5 lines of text?

    Here's an idea, how about modularising the application such that when I buy it I get the very basic functionality, but having paid for it I get the oppertunity to download and install all the extra features I need? This allows the software company to carry on developing bloat, yet the users onl
  • Now blogs will become dependent on the HTML Word07 "embraces and extends". NonIE blog readers, beware.
  • Too bad their new "design" makes me vomit. Why, oh why did they have to fuck up the brushed metal look? And why on the earth do they always choose this puke inducing shade of blue for their default theme?
  • When it comes out in 2003...
  • Not to be a total spaz, but this line from the story description is inaccurate: Microsoft's term for a person who creates the specifications for software that programmers implement. Typically, a Lead PM is the person who manages the people who create the specifications for software that programmers implement.

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