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.”.