Microsoft Buys Vizrea
The Seattle Times: Brier Dudley’s blog
“Could this property be being built on the side to give Microsoft the photo sharing property that live.com is still missing and Media Center lacks? One of the executives heading up the effort is Mike Toutonghi who is credited by the Seattle Times as having previously started the Microsoft eHome division, which created Media Center for Microsoft.”
Remember when Thomas Hawk speculated back in February of 2006 that Microsoft might eventually buy Vizrea to give them the jump start that they need into the photo sharing space?
Well here you go. Looks like Microsoft just bought Vizrea (now renamed WebFives). It’s a good start towards their photo and video sharing initiative. What Microsoft needs to understand most of all though (which has made Flickr the success that it is) is the social side of photo sharing. If they can get this part down they may stand a chance.
One big advantage that Microsoft stands to exploit in the photo sharing space of course is their Media Center platform which now ships with every copy of Vista. Increasingly as Media Center PCs become embedded in the living rooms of the world they will need content on them to most fulfill their potential. Integrating the power of a social photosharing site to distill high quality photography with the display potential of Media Center PCs is a potential winning strategy.