Microsoft Drops Its Blogging System In Favor Of A Competitor

Microsoft is discontinuing its own Windows Live Spaces blogging networking and will rely instead on as its blogging platform.

People who sign up for a Windows Live account can get a free blog from WordPress, said Dharmesh Mehta, director of Windows Live product management, in a blog post Monday.

Signing up for a Windows Live account is required for users to use Microsoft's free Hotmail e-mail service and the Xbox Live site.

Microsoft created the MSN Spaces blog site, later renamed Windows Live Spaces, in 2004. But more recently the company has altered its strategy to emphasize partnering with other consumer Web sites rather than trying to build everything itself. Windows Live Spaces has attracted fewer users than competing sites such as WordPress and Google Blogger.

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"Rather than having Windows Live invest in a competing blogging service, we decided the best thing we could do for our customers was to give them a great blogging solution through," Mehta said in his posting.

Mehta touted WordPress's scalable platform, "leading spam protection," and personalization and customization capabilities. He noted that WordPress "powers over 8.5 percent of the Web" and is seen by more than 250 million people every month.

Windows Live Spaces users can continue using the current system through the end of the year. After that they will have until March 2011 to switch to WordPress. Mehta said the two companies are developing ways for users to move blog posts, comments and integrated photos to and redirect Windows Live Spaces URLs to the new site.

When Windows Live Essentials 2011 is released later this year, Windows Live Writer will also use as its default blogging system, Mehta said.