Is it an admission of defeat? I received an email from a friend that started with this question. He went on to comment on the irony of the changes being made by Microsoft in regard to their support of blogging software. He indicated how unbelievable the report from TechCrunch was on the topic of Microsoft dropping Live Spaces and shifting their blogs -- and nearly 30 million users -- to WordPress.
What is ironic about this move is not just that Microsoft is shifting away from its own blogging software, but that Microsoft is moving to WordPress, an Open Source product that uses things like PHP and MySQL.
Of course, the comments on the TechCrunch article are what make for interesting reading. The first comment by rbanffy sums it up nicely:
"Windows Live Spaces running of GPL'ed Wordpress, on top of GPL'ed Linux, storing data on GPL'ed MySQL."
So is Microsoft is moving their users to Linux and MySQL? That should make a few people do a double-take!
Also within the comments on TechCrunch, the question of "why" is being asked. Why would Microsoft shift 30 million users with around 7 million blogs to WordPress with no financial consideration? That is an interesting question raised. Speculation is that the reason ties to the comment that was made at TechChrunch Disrupt, in which it was stated that WordPress is running or run on 8.5% of websites. Darnell Clayton clarifies this in the comments by stating that this is actually 8.5% of the top million sites and not the entire web.
Of course, time will likely give more insight as to why this move was made by Microsoft. While Microsoft stated the change was made to give a better experience to their users. Having used Live Spaces, I can see where WordPress will be a better experience; however, that seems like an odd reason for the shift.
It will be interesting to see if the 8.5% of sites that were referred to start running Bing search or ads from Bing in the near future.