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November 30, 2007

Microsoft buys WebFives phone photo sharing site

Posted by David Hunter at 10:32 PM ET.

Brier Dudley at the Seattle Times is reporting that Microsoft has acquired Internet startup WebFives (formerly Vizrea) headed by Mike Toutonghi, a former Microsoft distinguished engineer who is apparently headed back into the fold.

With support from some early Microsoft executives, Toutonghi in 2004 started Vizrea, a mobile phone image sharing service that never really took off.

Part of the problem was that it was geared toward advanced phones that are only lately getting traction.

After a big pullback last year, Vizrea was rechristened WebFives in May and positioned as a sort of social network for sharing videos and music, as well as photos, from a greater variety of mobile devices.

No terms have been revealed and in fact no formal announcement has been made, just a letter to WebFives subscribers from Toutonghi which also told them to get their content off before Dec. 31.

Update: John Cook at the Seattle PI has some more details including the unsurprising “‘It was more the technology value than the user base,’ said Toutonghi when asked about the sale.”.

Filed under Acquisitions, Microsoft

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