Oh me of little faith!
Err... wow. I almost hate to admit it, since I always prefer open source if I can get something suited to my technical ability (i.e., I'm not brave enough to go linux), but I am seriously impressed. Windows Live Writer may not have a flash Flash upload media gui but it has something better - it does exactly the same thing simply (and without the flaws). With the same process as you'd use to insert a picture into a word processing file it uploads right into your blog server using the default path and name structure in the settings on your WP dashboard. It is UTTERLY compatible and takes no more configuration than inputting the blog URL. Writing in this window is definitely much more enjoyable than using the dashboard to write a post. I can insert more media more easily than I can on the dashboard, my categories have been imported into Writer so no need to reenter them as I was concerned I would.
I can control my layout more (see how this is an indented block quote? All I did was hit tab at the beginning of this sentence!) and use all the usual keyboard shortcuts for editing and formatting and all with the added bonus of my lovely cherry blossom graphic on the wysiwyg page - of course that's not quite as it would appear on the blog but it feels more customized who doesn't like that?
If you aren't quite ready to publish, you can store drafts either to your blog admin and/or locally (which means you can keep blogging your "where is my adsl!!" rants offline when moving or having ISP issues hehe) You can also Open any already published post or page right from WLWriter and edit it then simply click publish to update your changes.
If you need to manage your blog outside of the writing process there is a simple link to the right of the writing window which takes you to your dashboard underneath a "view site" link. A button with a speech bubble icon (which looks as though it may light up when there are comments to manage) which takes you directly to the comment page of your dashboard.
And there is plenty to keep you occupied, click the "Add a plug-in" button at the bottom of the insert list to the right of the editor frame and you have not only hours of potential procrastination but inspiration for the potential of your blog with many plug-ins to enhance your blogging experience. For example after I have finally published this I will be gong back to my Geisha of Gion review and testing a couple of plugins which allow you to link Amazon info to book images. These plugins installed smoothly and easily just like any other application and required no ftp into my wordpress file on my netfirms server which would be beyond many bloggers. This also means that if you have more than one blog on different platforms, or wish to change platforms you do not need to find plugins to do the same job for each platform and install them and work out how to use them twice!
I'll be testing this for a while to see if there aren't glitches afterall but at the moment I'm pretty well sold (can you tell?) If you want to try it yourself you can find the download page or more information by clicking here
Oh and by the way, you can set it to remind you to add categories and tags before you publish hehe