WebFives/Vizrea aquired by Microsoft so download your content in the next 30 days

I set up a Vizrea account back in 2006 when they launched their service that was going to make it easy to get photos and video off of my camera-enabled phone and onto my PC so I could share it easily with others. I used the service a bit at first, but then moved on to just uploading pics to Flickr. Vizrea launched in 2006 with ex-Microsoft engineer Mike Toutonghi kicking off the service that he thought of after some frustrating camera phone experience at the DEMO conference. I just received the following letter in my email inbox, and it looks like Mike may be going back to Microsoft. WebFives (previously known as Vizrea) has been aquired by Microsoft and the service will shut down after 31 December.

WebFives/Vizrea aquired by Microsoft so download your content in the next 30 days
I set up a Vizrea account back in 2006 when they launched their service that was going to make it easy to get photos and video off of my camera-enabled phone and onto my PC so I could share it easily with others. I used the service a bit at first, but then moved on to just uploading pics to Flickr. Vizrea launched in 2006 with ex-Microsoft engineer Mike Toutonghi kicking off the service that he thought of after some frustrating camera phone experience at the DEMO conference.

I just received the following letter in my email inbox, and it looks like Mike may be going back to Microsoft. WebFives (previously known as Vizrea) has been aquired by Microsoft and the service will shut down after 31 December. It was nice to see they are giving customers a one month notice to get their content off before the servers are shut down and they give pretty specific directions to help you out. It is interesting to note that the WebFives/Vizrea service was available for primarily Nokia devices, yet Microsoft purchased the company. We may see some integration of this into future Windows Mobile devices and I would welcome the implementation.

Dear palmsolo at WebFives,

I originally started Vizrea Corporation, now known as WebFives, in August of 2003 with a vision of making video, photo, music sharing, and blogging easy and accessible to everyone from any device. Since that time, we have worked tirelessly to develop and release an award-winning service, which thousands of users like you continue to enjoy and use. For a number of reasons, we determined this year that the best course of action for our company was to sell its technology to a larger firm with the vision and capability to take the best of our efforts and eventually make them available to millions, rather than thousands of users.

In November of 2007, we reached an agreement with Microsoft, wherein Microsoft has acquired all rights to WebFives technology, patents pending, trademarks, and software to incorporate into its products and services over time. In order to make our wind down process as easy as possible for our users, Microsoft has agreed to provide us with a license to continue operating WebFives until the end of the year, giving you time to copy any information you would like to keep to your own PCs or another service prior to the end of the year.

What this means to you is that we will be closing the WebFives service at the end of this year, after giving you this notice and time to download and copy any content that you may be storing on our servers. In order to copy content from our servers, you can click on the item you would like to copy and look for the download links on the left side when viewing the item. Use right-click (on a PC) and select "save as" to save the file on your PC.

When we do turn off the WebFives service after December 31, 2007, any content previously uploaded to WebFives user accounts will be deleted from our servers and no longer available online. While WebFives has pioneered some great technologies, including automatic upload of content from mobile phones and PCs, high-quality video sharing services, and automatic RSS feeds for everyone, our next challenge will be to help Microsoft incorporate the best of those technologies into its already comprehensive suite of products and services. I encourage you to look at MSN Spaces and/or Windows Live services as an alternative to WebFives for serving your video, photo, music sharing, and blogging needs on the Internet.

I want to personally thank you for using WebFives and for providing us with your feedback and support. We have enjoyed serving you and are excited to work with the world class talent at Microsoft to bring the benefits of our ideas and technology to millions of people worldwide. While operation of our service will soon come to an end, with every end is a new beginning. We, the employees of WebFives, look forward to the New Year and an opportunity to serve you through our work on other products and services at Microsoft, a company that shares our passion for innovation and excellence.

Thank you and best wishes for the New Year! Michael Toutonghi CEO, WebFives Corporation

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