View Microsoft recently released Windows Live Writer Beta 2, the long awaited next version of their blog editing tool. Although there are a few quirks with WLW, I find the user interface and usability to be really nice. They make great use of the right sidebar panel.

In their latest release, they’ve introduced a few more extensibility points including a Manifest, which allows you to have a branded weblog panel. More than just for cosmetic reasons, this will help those who manage more than one blog see in an instant which blog they are editing.

It looks like WLW is positioning to be the rich client interface into your blog, a direction I like.

Barry Dorrans just posted a manifest on his blog for Subtext based on the one Tim Heuer deployed to his own blog.

You can download the manifest from Barry’s blog. He also committed it to our Subversion repository, so it will be included in the next version of Subtext.

Subtext remains committed to providing a great experience when using Windows Live Writer with a Subtext blog. We were quick to support Really Simple Discovery (RSD) and the newMediaObject method of the MetaWeblog API. We’ll work hard on providing first class support for adding and deleting categories.

I have an open question for the WLW team. Is there a community officer I should be in communications with to get a heads up on future features that might require changes to the Subtext in order to provide first class support? I am wondering if this information was available somewhere and maybe I just missed it somehow. I would love to provide advanced feedback and that sort of thing if you are interested. Consider it an open offer. ;)

Now if we could just get WLW to support search and replace in their HTML editor, I’d be much happier.