Just when I thought I'd discovered a real GEM in 'Windows Live Writer', Microsoft has decided to cripple its functionality by closing down their video repository called Soapbox.
Apparently Microsoft said in June that it was re-evaluating Soapbox (it's in direct competition with Google's YouTube), although Microsoft vice president Erik Jorgensen said in a published report that Soapbox might become a site where bloggers and citizen journalists could post videos, possibly for a fee.
Whoa! That's not going to happen!
Microsoft have notified customers that Soapbox will stop accepting videos on July 29 and that users who want to retrieve their videos should do so by August 31. If you've used the feature you will probably receive an email notifying you of this fact. But you'd need to be extra vigilant to spot it because, if you're running a Windoze e-mail client, you will find that it is consigned to the 'JUNK' mail folder as the 'sender' cannot be verified. Hell of a way to run a circus!
A spokesman for Microsoft said, "We remain committed to delivering amazing experiences for consumers while keeping a keen eye on our business objectives during this tough economic climate."
Microsoft is focusing its resources elsewhere. The company is challenged by declining PC sales due to the worldwide economic downturn and has recently shut down other non-performing businesses, including the online encyclopaedia Encarta.
What does this mean to us, the average blogger?
Not a lot. Unless you are besotted by WLW's ability to upload your home videos!
I suspect that not many bloggers will be too worried about the loss of this functionality. All the other 'Bells & Whistles' in WLW remain intact for the moment so, if you're a fan and user, continue using it until such time as they pull the plug.
End of the bad news ...