I've been using Windows Live Writer for a while now, but somehow it never worked properly from behind a firewall. Moreover, Aviva Solution's weblog is based on Sharepoint 2007, and WLW did not support this type of blog, up until now...
The Live! team has released beta 2 of Windows Live Writer. And obviously, this post has been written with this new beta from behind a firewall! I haven't been able to test with the MOSS blog (because WLW doesn't seem to like an ISA server in between), but I'm sure going to try real soon.
The original article that pointed me to this new beta also mentions a soon-to-arrive add-on that adds additional blogging features to MOSS 2007.
You can download beta 2 here. A note to the Dutch readers, make sure you tweak your IE language settings in such a way that the English language is on top the list. If you don't, you'll end up at the Dutch version of writer.live.com which does not host the new WLW version.
Update June 6th: I can now confirm that blogging to a MOSS 2007 site with WLW Beta 2 works like a charm. Just make sure you configure ISA server to allow clients to authenticate directly.
I haven't had a lot of time to investigate SilverLight yet, but if you haven't heard of it, I'm afraid you've been living in a cave for the last couple of months. Anyway, check out this great poster (click here
get a full-size version).
A few days ago someone showed some ideas for portal site for one of our customers and said: "I think they want a Ribbon, whatever". Well, of course the Ribbon is the fancy new toolbar of the Office 2007 suite, easy as cake. But then you start to think. Why does a portal, or any other application need a Ribbon? Why does Microsoft reinvent the toolbar every few years? Surely when Microsoft rolls out a flagship product like Office with it, it must mean something.
It is quite simple: people are good at pictures. You only need a glimpse of some 16x16 pixel button you used once, to remember its function when you see it again. Toolbars have always been a solid part of the graphical user interface, right from the start. The rule is, put all frequently used commands and functionalities in a toolbar as long as it doesn't eat up all client, or user area, of your window. Now what if your application holds hundreds of more or less frequently used commands and functions or even in the range of 1000? Some users use one set of functions a lot, and some use another set. Even at 16x16 pixels this will take up the full screen.
Suddenly you can see why Microsoft focuses on the toolbar and invents ways to make them flexible and as usable as possible. They need to be context sensitive, compact and adaptable to make sure all your most needed commands are one, visually attractive, click away. That is why Office 2007 has a Ribbon. Also, Microsoft will always thoroughly test the usability of any new UI. So if your program or web application has hundreds of commands and functions and you want to make sure your users find their way in it, think Ribbon. The only downside is that your graphic designer will need to do overtime.