Microsoft Live Spaces Selling Out To – Not Outsourcing

It has been announced today that 30M (million) live spaces blogs will soon be migrated over to in a “partnership” between Microsoft (MSFT) and Automattic.


Microsoft is dumping these blogs anyway, and maybe gaining some other value from giving 30M users to Automattic.

This is like upgrading Windows 7 to Ubuntu (yeah yeah yeah)


Of those 30 million live spaces blogs, I bet 15 million of them don’t comply with Automattic’s rather strict terms of service, and of course Automattic don’t support any form of advertising unless you are a V.I.P.

Over a six month period, beginning today, Windows Live Spaces users will have the option to move their blogs to To make this possible, we’ve created a brand new importer for Windows Live Spaces to New Windows Live users will also be offered a blog when they choose to create a new blog.

That phrase is a little ambiguous but try this comment by raananbarcohen

@liamdaly — redirects will work forever and you can pick any URL you would like, and then map it with a custom domain.

Free Unrestricted 301 Redirects – Data Portability 101

I have complained in the past quite vocally about how badly Blogger/Blogspot treat people who leave their service by sticking interstitials in the redirects… I ended up a couple of months ago removing 100 pages of historical content back to Blogspot to effectively let it rot because there was no effective way for it to be an integral part of this site.

Microsoft need to find a way to 301 redirect their existing bloggers to whereever they require, as a free service, or WordPress need to provide that service for them. WordPress haven’t done that up until now.

The only way to move from is to pay a $15/year service fee for domain mapping. That is on top of the fees you pay for domain registration.

In many ways the most valuable thing you create when blogging is not the content, but the links to the content. You can always improve content, merge it together, even delete an article totally, but you have the option to redirect a visitor to something more current, and there is a search engine benefit.

Microsoft & need to come up with a better option because I know many real bloggers on Live Spaces who actually make a living from the occasional advert or affiliate link.

The headline from Techcrunch is misleading – this isn’t outsourcing it is selling out.

Their small businesses are effectively being terminated.

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  1. says

    This all sounds great in principle, though in practice, it’s going to be an absolute bun fight!!!
    I can’t wait to see Microsoft deal with the ensuing chaos…..time will tell.

  2. says

    >Microsoft need to find a way to 301 redirect their existing bloggers to whereever they require, as a free >service, or WordPress need to provide that service for them. WordPress haven’t done that up until now.

    I agree. Which is why when a Spaces blogger migrates to, Microsoft will automatically put in a 301 redirect to their new site.

    And I see that my comment on TechCrunch wasn’t super clear ;) I was referring to a custom domain, so that for example my blog is, but I map a domain on top of it, so it resolves to (301 as well).

    • says

      Raanan but that isn’t quite the same.

      With that method someone will be permanently locked into the $15/year fee for custom domains with

      But what happens if they want to use their own hosting, or even

      I have seen no statement that Microsoft will 301 redirect to other alternatives.

      They should still get a free 301 redirect to whereever they want to go. (not based upon Microsoft Terms of service, but general data portability concensus.

      The same really should also be true for anyone who want to leave – they should have free 301 redirects

  3. says

    I think live spaces was just horrible!

    I played around with it and it was buggy and just horrible.

    For 30M users being migrated I could see how this would be a bad move but really the service is just so bad I can’t help but feel its for the best…

    Painful for many, but really for the best…

    Great post… I’m a fan of wordpress. I host my own so that would be one easy way folks could get past the advertising problems with Automattic.

    If they need to run ads on their site, that they wouldn’t be able to run at, they could host their own… its pretty simple to setup with a standard hosting account.

    Great post!

    • says

      The problem is they wouldn’t be able to migrate their links unless they were willing to 1) Get a real domain 2) Pay Automattic $15/year just for the 301 redirect to the domain

  4. says

    Even when they are using WordPress i think most people of the *using* spaces wil not even go to use it.

    Wil it have plugins? Probally not, would recuire to much disk space.

    • says

      I know people with hundreds of sites on Microsoft Live Spaces – not just autoblogs but original content. The problem is it is commercial and would break terms of service.

  5. Web_Design says

    I didn’t even know Live Spaces existed, it’s good for those who have blogs on WordPress as it will further increase traffic on WordPress blogs.

    And yes, WordPress is too selfish to offer limited features for free and charging $12 for just a domain name.

  6. says

    This is clearly a great show and tell in the next seminar. Host your own blogs, get a domain, and stop wasting time on “free” blogs (at least as a main content management). Free blogs certainly have their space, but don’t expect to get much for what you pay.