MSN Spaces Closing, becomes WP.com

As just announced on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, Windows Live (formerly MSN) Spaces is shutting down and migrating their 30m+ users to WordPress.com. Four years ago I was fairly worried as every internet giant (Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, Google) had a hosted blogging service. Now only Blogger remains, and is firmly in our sights. I’ve been impressed with Microsoft’s regard for their users in providing a solid upgrade and migration path with a really smooth experience, which I think is in strong contrast to Yahoo’s 360 or AOL’s Journals. Given that this effectively doubles WordPress’s user base, there is a lot of work to be done still, but I’m excited by the challenge. :) See also: official Windows Live post, official WP.com post, and 30+ other articles covering this on Techmeme.

99 thoughts on “MSN Spaces Closing, becomes WP.com

  1. This is such a great win for the WordPress community! Also I’m really proud of Microsoft looking out for their users by realizing that it made more sense to migrate them to a stable, feature rich platform rather than just building another cheap imitation.

    Congrats!

    1. Like I said in the post, I think it speaks to their respect for their users. It was probably a good business decision to discontinue investment in the service, so they looked for the best alternative to their users. They know that on WordPress.com there’ll be a team living and breathing making blogging easier every day.

      1. I think this deserves a congrats to you Matt and everyone (Automattic) involved in the history of WordPress. You’re a long way from where you started, thanks Matt!

  2. Wow, that’s a huge win for WordPress in particular (congrats!) and for the open source community as a whole!

    If MS is so ready to embrace an open source solutions, hopefully they are just as ready to contribute to core!

    Hey, a boy can dream, right?!? :)

  3. There are apparently only two products left in the market for people to blog for free. I don’t know about others, but I think that’s a bad news.

    1. That’s not strictly true, there are dozens of services still out there (just search for “free blog”) but the biggest are Blogger and WordPress.

  4. That’s great news for WordPress I think – its user base is growing and many will switch to self hosted eventually.

    I’m happy to hear that Microsoft is helping the Space users to have a smooth transition – we don’t hear many such things from them :)

    1. Sure, basically Microsoft gets to focus more resources on what they consider their core businesses, and we take the burden of hosting all the blogs but in exchange we get to introduce a whole new audience to the wonders of WordPress.

  5. This is really great news of this year in Tech world. I am using wordpress since 4 years. The power of wordpress increasing day by day and this the real example of this.

  6. Even if half of those users are still active (my guestimate is 1/4), this puts you within a stone’s throw away from Blogger.

    It also saves a thriving community from going under due to neglect (as Microsoft is better at search than social networks and blogs).

    Congrats to the whole WP team, and if any Windows Live users need help customizing their blogs, WordPress has an army of volunteers willing to help you out! :-)

  7. Great news for the overall progress of WordPress Matt – well done to everyone who pulled this deal off and Microsoft for thinking of their users!

    I just need to work out how to sell our services to them now :)

    1. That would be an amazing opportunity. Blogger is our #1 importer for WP.com and I think we could create a really great experience for Blogger users.

  8. Congratulations!

    I’m assuming that when you say this doubles WordPress’s audience you’re including self-hosted installs, not just WordPress.com, right?

    You also mentioned that Blogger is “firmly in our sights”. Exactly how many users worldwide use Blogger and how many use WordPress?

  9. AWESOME! I was going to say that I wish the same thing would happen with MovableType, but without MT, the world would never know what they are missing with WordPress. Kinda like having Honey Nut Cheerios without knowing how much regular Cheerios suck.

  10. Wow, a doubling of the userbase, that is extraordinary!

    Please, Matt, with a userbase like that you guys simply HAVE to get the whole IntenseDebate + WordPress integration sorted out, a more universal comment attribution system is desperately needed, I don’t want to see Facebook come to dominate that territory.

      1. Or rather, IntenseDebate + everything.

        I’d love to switch my Drupal site to ID, since I trust that you / Automattic will be good stewards of the code and data.

        Congrats on being the “ark” for the Live folks – they’re in good hands.

  11. I’ve seen a number of these hosted blog sites go under in the last two years. I think it’s pretty clear that Twitter has replaced a number of end-users’ needs to blog.

    On one hand, the people who write useless content (Aston Kutcher) that no one really wants to hear are now limited to doing it 140 characters at a time. On the other hand, is this degrading the overall quality of blogger and user-generated content.

    I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. The jury is still out IMO.

    All that said, major props to MS for making this transition easy for their users and not leaving them high & dry.

  12. Congrats Matt! Spaces had gotten convoluted to the point of almost being unusable. It’s also intersting to see Microsoft making some smart choices in partnering with Seesmic on the SM front and now WordPress on the publishing front.

    Of course the billion dollar question is whether this is a prelude to Microsoft buying WordPress? ;)

  13. Wow, that’s amazing.

    I met some of the guys from the Microsoft team while at WordCamp in SF and thought it was really cool that they were embracing WordPress. Who knew they’d make a move like this. Sounds like it’s been in the works for a while.

    That is quite an accomplishment dude! I think this calls for another party at your place!

  14. This is great news for WordPress! :) Congratulations. I am glad that Microsoft had their eyes open to all options when it came to upgrading their blogging service.

  15. Congrats, the windows live social platform was annoying as it was one to many in the every growing social area… the msn messenger i think they do well but never used the social blogging part of it they created… what about myspace / wordpress??

  16. see it just goes to show how awesome WP is. xD everyone has to have it, use it, whatever. I just wish blogger users would do the same, and they prolly would if WP.Com would allow for template customization and not just css changes.

  17. Yay Matt, that’s huge! :) Congrats!

    A great opportunity for all the Windows Live Spaces bloggers!
    I believe they all will appreciate it sooner than we think, hehe.

  18. So with this deal, what clout does that give MSN in dictating the WP roadmap? Quite a lot I would say if they’re doubling the WP user base. If there are no financials in this deal then who gets what? MSN give WP 30m users, you give them a platform on which they can still offer blogging to their users without the tech overhead but the still the option to moneitse the traffic. But MSN will want blogs locked in with all its product verticals – so who makes that happen? Them or you – and in either case if WP can’t do what they want, what obligations are you under to deliver?

  19. Hi Matt,
    Xmarks the popular browser sync service is going to shut down.
    You might have heard of it.
    Any ideas to adopt and give a new home at automattic ?

    Details: http://blog.xmarks.com/

    This move would surely benefit Automattic and we as users of the addon. And servers would not be a problem for you people.

    I’m just an Xmarks user and a wordpress lover.

    hopw you find time to reply to my request.

    Dr.T.Srinivas
    India

    1. I love and use Xmarks, but they haven’t reached out to us, and given the amount of money they raised it might be too expensive to take over.

  20. When is this going to happen, exactly? And how will it work for current subscribers of MSN Spaces? I just read about this on facebook…

  21. Congratulations! Nice to have the great work of WordPress and Automattic so visibly recognized and promoted.

    The emergence of the commercial product SquareSpace is transforming the market by making it so easy for non-coders to make beautiful websites. The commercial theme design community for WordPress.org has responded with theme frameworks like Headway that allow users to customize websites easily and intuitively. Do you think that Microsoft is invested in helping WordPress.com themes stay abreast of the market? If so this could be transformative.

    Code is poetry. For many of us, though, code is poetry in a language we don’t understand. What I love about this emerging work is that coders working behind the scenes are writing new code — a rich, visual, familiar, and intuitive language that users already know how to speak fluently — like drag-and-drop. I would love to see this partnership put such a powerful language in the hands of more users. I can’t wait to see the beauty they create.

    1. I would also love to see that drag-and-drop editing of the layout.

      By the way, Headway is not GPLed. I hope they change the license as what others did.

  22. I don’t know why so many people are so happy about this, but as a former MSN space user, I hated this change, I quit using them both after I tried WordPress. The big mistake, I hated to let all my friends know I have moved to WordPress.

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