Nearly six years after launching its own blog publishing platform, Microsoft is effectively ending development of Windows Live Spaces and announcing a partnership to upgrade users of the service to Automatic backed WordPress.com. The companies just made the announcement at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco to streamline its online initiatives, striking partnerships with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and focusing on core initiatives such as its battle with Google in Internet search.
Spaces users will have six months to move their blogs to WordPress.com using a specially developed migration tool that'll shift their posts, photos and other media to WordPress.com. The migration will also redirect existing Spaces URLs to new addresses. The companies will offer a service called "Messenger Connect" for WordPress.com users to share posts with their Live contacts, attempting to take place of the existing integration between Spaces and other Live services.
Microsoft also says its Windows Live Writer tool will use WordPress.com as its default blogging service when the company releases its Live Essentials 2011 software package this fall.