Microsoft Opts For WordPress As Default Blogging Platform

Blogging received a major shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Microsoft is to abandon its drive for its own blogging platform and make WordPress its default system. “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 WordPress.com,” Microsoft said in a blog post.

The move was announced at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, where the chief executive of WordPress-maker Automatic, Toni Schneider, said “This is a unique advantage of web services, where somebody can transition a user base and still maintain a connection with them”.

Microsoft at the moment has 30 million people using its Windows Live Spaces blogging platform. They can port their blog posts, comments, and photos to WordPress, and redirect their old Spaces URLs to their new blog, Microsoft said. The move is the latest by Microsoft that allows users to access other services via Microsoft’s platforms, or simply replaces unpopular Microsoft services with more widely used equivalents.

If you run your blog on the Microsoft platform the next time you log in you will be prompted to migrate your data to WordPress. If you do not want to do this you have the option of downloading all material to your desktop, deleting the blog from the MS servers or delaying your decision for six months. If you go to the MS Live site to start a blog you will be automatically be diverted to WordPress.

Microsoft has recently closed its Soapbox video-sharing site, throwing in the white towel to YouTube, and now lets Windows Live Movie Maker post to to Facebook or YouTube. Windows Live Photo Gallery also lets people share photos directly to Facebook and Flickr as well as Windows Live.

This good news for people who run WordPress on a hosted platform as Microsoft will now be concentrating any improvements to its Live Writer blogging system for WordPress owners. Watch this space …

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Kevin Tea is a journalist and marketing communications professional who has worked for some of the leading blue chip companies in the UK and Europe. In the 1990s he became interested in how emerging Internet-based technologies could change the way that people worked and became an administrator on the Telework Europa Forum on CompuServe. With other colleagues he took part in a four year European Commission sponsored project to look at the way that the Internet could benefit remote communities. His blog is a resource for SMEs who want to use cloud computing and Web 2.0 technologies.