By Woody Leonhard
In a move that surprised many Windows watchers, Microsoft last week handed its online bloggers an eviction notice: they get six months to pick up and move — to WordPress.
Windows Live Spaces is now vacant, bequeathing Spaces users some tools to help them migrate to WordPress.
The change was couched in Microsoft’s usual marketing pablum. Softie Dharmesh Mehta, posting on the Windows Live blog, stated: “There are 30 million people who are actively using Windows Live Spaces and have been eagerly awaiting the next set of new blogging features.”
The quote’s more than a little contrived. Windows Live Spaces has 30 million active users? Not a chance. MS could be saying that Live Spaces gets 30 million hits a month, but even that’s far-fetched. Independently reported statistics don’t shed much light. I do know that, according to a comScore article, Facebook had 179 million unique visitors in August and more than 500 million accounts — and Windows Live Spaces doesn’t amount to more than a pimple on Facebook’s posterior.
In a Betanews report, Joe Wilcox says he received a clarification from Microsoft that there are 7 million blogs on Live Spaces. (The 30 million figure cited by Mehta includes the blogs and their visitors.) But, he also states, an internal Microsoft e-mail exchange suggests that the vast majority of those blogs haven’t been updated in a long, long time. Even the Windows Live Team abandoned Windows Live Spaces months ago. (The final entry was made last May.) So Live Spaces seems truly dead and effectively has been for years.