WordPress to become default blogging platform for Windows Live

28 Sep 2010

It is understood that Automattic, the creators of WordPress, are forming a strategic partnership with Windows Live to make WordPress the default blogging platform for Windows Live users in a move that effectively kills Windows Live’s native blogging platform, Spaces.

According to reports, the partnership was announced at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference yesterday by Windows Live’s Dharmesh Mehta.

The move would be a major coup for WordPress, which was created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg as a fork of b2/cafelog. As of last month, version 3.0 had been downloaded more than 12.5 million times.

Under the deal with Microsoft, existing Spaces users will be able to migrate their blogs over to WordPress and keep blogging there. According to Automattic CEO Toni Schneider, 8.5pc of all sites on the web are powered by WordPress – adding up to 26 million current active blogs and 250 million visitors every month. Windows Live Spaces had about 30 million customers.

Automattic for the people

Though largely developed by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, where 50pc of WordPress’ core commiters are employees

WordPress development is led by Ryan Boren and Mullenweg. Mullenweg and Mike Little are the co-founders of the project. The core contributing developers include Dougal Campbell, Mark Jaquith, Donncha Ó Caoimh, Andy Skelton, Michel Valdrighi and Peter Westwood.

In 2008, Automattic bought Sligo-based tech firm Poll Daddy, which provides ordinary web users with the ability to provide high performance polls on virtually any subject.

In related news, Microsoft is preparing an avalanche of iPhone apps that are powered by its Bing search engine. These include access to Bing Travel for finding travel deals and a redesigned version of Bing Maps.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years