Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic, and Dharmesh Mehta, Director of Product Management for Windows Live, announced at TechCrunch Disrupt this afternoon that Microsoft will be migrating Windows Live Spaces users to WordPress.com.
The transition will take place over a six-month period. Existing Spaces users will have 4 options after logging in. They can choose to migrate immediately to WordPress.com, migrate later, download blog content or delete their Space. Automattic has simplified the migration process by releasing a brand new Windows Live Spaces importer that will move existing posts, comments and photos to WordPress.com. New spaces users will be directed to create a WordPress.com blog.
Automattic has also added support for Messenger Connect as a Publicize option. After connecting a Messenger account with WordPress.com, new blog post notifications will begin appearing in the feeds of Messenger friends.
It was also announced that WordPress.com will be the default blogging solution for Windows Live Writer beginning with the release of Windows Live Essentials 2011 later this year.
Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress, responded to the announcement in a post on his personal blog:
“I’ve been impressed with Microsoft’s regard for their users in providing a solid upgrade and migration path with a really smooth experience which I think is in strong contrast to Yahoo’s 360 or AOL’s Journals. Given that this effectively doubles WordPress’s user base, there is a lot of work to be done still, but I’m excited by the challenge.”