How Microsoft went from 30 million Windows Live bloggers to 300,000

The popularity of Microsoft’s Windows Live Spaces blogs appears to have been greatly exaggerated.

Microsoft announced a few days ago at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference that it will be moving its 7 million active Windows Live Spaces blogs to Automattic’s WordPress blogging platform. But now that number seems closer to 300,000 blogs — according to internal emails from Microsoft executives obtained by Betanews.

At first, Betanews’s Joe Wilcox assumed that the 300,000 blogs would come out of Live Space’s total 30 million users — but as we previously reported, Microsoft said that it only expected to add 7 million blogs to WordPress’s platform. Microsoft divides its Live Spaces users into 7 million “authors” — who have a blog and update it regularly — and 23 million “visitors.”

But even that 7 million figure seems overblown. According to an email from one Microsoft executive (who apparently didn’t get the memo about Space’s 7 million active bloggers): “The net is: 300k sites are expected to migrate of the 30M ‘blogs’ — most are dead. WordPress is adding somewhere in the order of zero servers to handle this capacity. This was a ‘who has the best online service for blogging for our customers’ and had nothing to do with technology.”

The emails apparently stemmed from Microsoft employee frustration over moving such a significant service over to WordPress’s servers, which run on rivaling Linux software. Even though Microsoft showcased Automattic as a customer of its Windows Azure cloud computing platform, Automattic’s Paul Kim said that it has no plans to host the blogs on Azure.

Kim also mentioned that 50,000 Live Spaces blogs migrated to WordPress.com in the first two days. It’ll be interesting to see how that migration number ranks over the next few weeks.


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