Does WordPress Windows Live Spaces deal signal impending sale?
It was widely reported yesterday that WordPress acquired all the users from Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces. This is great news for WordPress as it adds 30 million users. It's great news for all the people blogging on Spaces, because Microsoft had a fairly lousy blogging platform to begin with, in spite of making an awesome blogging tool in the form of Windows Live Writer. Since Matt Mullenweg made it clear that there was no financial component to this deal in the comments on his post on the merger, it leaves me wondering if something bigger is in the works.
I wouldn't rule out a Microsoft acquisition of WordPress before the end of the year. We know that Microsoft is taking aim at getting search market share from Google via Bing. An easy way to get more search volume would be to tie all searches on WordPress.com blogs back to Bing in some way. Since the other large free blogging platform, Blogger, is owned by Google, it makes sense that Microsoft would want to own one too. And if they manage to acquire WordPress, they would actually have a great one instead of that mediocre offering that was Spaces.
While WordPress isn't such a great match up from a traditional Microsoft position, considering it's largely Linux, PHP, and MySQL focused, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a sensible fit. Microsoft is slowly recognizing that there's money to be made in places that aren't Windows desktops and WordPress creates a number of interesting opportunities.