How Many Spaces Users Are There, Anyhow?

By  |  Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 10:21 am

One of the bigger pieces of news at this week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco was Microsoft’s announcement that it would be winding down its Windows Live Spaces blogging platform and helping Spaces users move to BetaNews’s Joe Wilcox has an interesting bit of followup: an internal Microsoft e-mail in which the (unidentified) authors say that they don’t expect all that many Spaces users to make the transition, and express angst over the fact that runs on Linux rather than Microsoft technologies.

In an earlier post, Joe had thought that Microsoft was saying that there are thirty million Spaces bloggers who will be affected by the shutdown and opportunity. It was a logical assumption, and one made by plenty of other folks–on the Windows Live blog, Microsoft honcho Darmesh Mehta had referred to thirty million Spaces “customers” and said they were “eagerly awaiting the next set of new blogging features.” But he didn’t define what a customer was.

As Joe points out in the new post, it turns out that the thirty million “customers” consist not just of bloggers but of  blog readers. Spaces gets thirty million visitors a month, mostly from people who don’t have blogs. There are only seven million active bloggers. And one of the e-mails Joe quotes estimates that only 300,000 of them will wind up on

Oddly enough, if you were at TechCrunch Disrupt and listening carefully, you already knew that there weren’t thirty million Spaces bloggers. When Mehta announced the news, he tossed around the thirty-million figure. But in response to a question, he clarified that there were only seven million active bloggers. (Here’s proof: When I wrote about the news from my seat at the conference on Monday, I quoted the seven-million figure and didn’t bother to mention the thirty-million one. (The latter number sounded like an exaggeration from the moment I heard it–if thirty million Spaces bloggers moved to, it would triple the number of blogs.)

I remain a tad confused, though. If there are seven million truly active Spaces bloggers and only 300,000 bother to move to, that leaves 6.7 million Spaces bloggers unaccounted for. Some will presumably opt for Blogger or Tumblr or something else other than Others may be so intimidated by the idea of moving their sites that they’ll give up blogging.

But doesn’t it still sound strange that a Microsoft staffer believes that 96 percent of these theoretically active Spaces bloggers aren’t going to take the most obvious route to continuing their blogs once Spaces is no more?


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. John Baxter Says:

    I'm one of the inactive Spaces bloggers. I kicked the tires on Windows Live Writer and never returned. I'll go in over the weekend and see what happens–if offered the option I'll delete what I have. (I had actually considered becoming a little bit active–I may do that once the Windows Live update comes out of beta.)

  2. Paul Kim Says:

    We don't have an exact estimate for how many Spaces bloggers will move over to in the next 6 months, but in the first 48 hours we've completed close to 50,000 blog migrations which is very promising. We'll keep you posted on our progress Harry.
    – Paul Kim, VP User Growth, Automattic

  3. Andre Da Costa Says:

    I am one of the active 7 million Windows Live Spaces users. I plan to move to WordPress since I have been using the service since December 2004. I understand that my 'List' won't be a part of the migration, so I need to back those up in a spreadsheet before I start the migration. Its bitter-sweet to see it go, I have to say, it made blogging easy. Prior to Spaces, I tried Blogger and it was horrendous, with the introduction of Windows Live Writer, it made even easier to use. The great thing about moving to WordPress, I will have more blogging options, such as using the WordPress app for iPod Touch to publish post. Also, the web interface blog entry is so much better than what I had on Spaces.