Automattic (the company behind WordPress) has just announced that they have been anointed by Microsoft (yes, that Microsoft!) to become their default blogging platform, replacing Microsoft’s home grown creation (Windows Live Spaces).
We’re excited to announce that WordPress.com is now the default blogging platform for Windows Live Spaces users. We’ve worked with our partners at Microsoft to create a simple migration service for Spaces bloggers to easily bring all their posts, comments, and photos to WordPress.com.
Over a six month period, beginning today, Windows Live Spaces users will have the option to move their blogs to WordPress.com. To make this possible, we’ve created a brand new importer for Windows Live Spaces to WordPress.com. New Windows Live users will also be offered a WordPress.com blog when they choose to create a new blog. (Official WordPress Blog)
Windows Live Spaces currently has 30 million users (note: how many are still active is uncertain. UPDATE: 30 million active users according to Jeff Kunins from Microsoft), which should help Automattic compete against Blogger who currently reigns as king of the blogging platforms (at least according to Compete and Quantcast).
By partnering with WordPress, Microsoft can focus on areas of strength (like Bing!) while at the same time forging alliances against an old foe.
It will be interesting to see if Automattic forges a deeper relationship with Microsoft (note: think WordPress for Windows 7 Phone), although for now WordPress’s status as a corporate CMS just went up a few notches.
Update: Post updated (see second paragraph after block quote above).