I agree Hugh - something like Windows Live Writer for me - but then yesterday I was reminded of a feature in Live Photo Gallery that I had completely forgotten about. Simon Hughes, our UK director for small and medium business showed me the panoramic stitching option in Photo Gallery. No, not some new form of electronic crochet but the ability to seamlessly take multiple photos and create a panoramic composite. If your director of SMB is waxing lyrical on this, you know you have a hit!
This is the kind of technology you'd normally see reserved for higher end, paid for, photo editing programs but now it's available to everyone.
I just wish we shouted more about this stuff....see what a skeptical user thinks after playing with it.
Granted we still need to improve the install experience as I agree with Tom, pushing people down the Live search route through the installer just reminds me of when you had to work around similar "tricks" with RealPlayer. Trust me, that feedback has been vehement internally.
In my humble blogger opinion WLW is one of the best small scall applications that Microsoft has ever put out. It has a permanent place in my sidebar Software Suggestions and it is the only blogging tool that I recommend without hesitation. I have used it since the first available beta and even though I am a registered user for ecto ahd have tried others I remain a committed WLW user.
The Photo Gallery is new for me but time will tell if it because another must have MS app.
More about the installer crud in the comments to my blog posting at http://www.garyshort.org/?p=714#comment-38281
It gets worse then just aggressively pushing other MS products: it installs Windows Desktop Search without ever bothering to ask/tell you:
This obviously only happens on XP, since Vista already has the same search.
Do we reckon this is some of the Photosynth goodness beginning to make the mainstream?
Bradders - a few people have asked that. not sure and my inclination would be to say probably not but will do some digging
I had a question on my blog about a week ago regarding the panoramic feature in Windows Live Photo Gallery