The admin area looks much like the standard area for the “standard” version of wordpress, and includes the Dashboard area. I’d love for this area to include the ability to personalize the RSS feeds coming in…we’ll see if that pops up in the full release.
They’ve snuck a couple of fancy new AJAXy features in to the Write panel, including a drag-n-drop photo area which takes the guesswork out of dealing with photos.
For some reason, the presentation aspect of the site is very limited…only a very small number (8) of different themes to choose from, and no ability to format the CSS/HTML directly (unlike blogger, where you can make changes to the actual HTML of a given template). According to the FAQ, they’ll be changing that in the future to give people more control.
They’ve made WordPress categories more “taglike” and included a useful little popup that suggests other “tags” when you create a new category (much like del.icio.us).
Overall, it’s an interesting option in the hosted blogging world. I’ve been using the server version of WordPress for a long while now (since the .9, I believe) and have been incredibly pleased. If they can carry over the same usefulness to the hosted version, it should be an excellent option.
If anyone got this far, and wants an invite, it looks like I’ve got one to give out. Give me a yell if you want to use wordpress.com as your blog, and I’ll send it your way.