Microsoft Acquires MessageCast

Microsoft announced yesterday that their MSN division acquired MessageCast.  We were the seed investors in MessageCast and my partner Heidi Roizen sat on the board.

As with many acquisitions that happen early in the life of a company, this one is bittersweet.  On one hand we are very happy with the deal and excited for the entrepreneurs (Royal Farros and Dave Hodson) and their team.  On the other hand, we were enthusiastic about the long term prospects for MessageCast and were looking forward to a continued working relationship with a group of folks we know and love working with (Heidi and Royal go back many years as they were partners in T/Maker – the folks that brought us clip art.) I was the backup partner on MessageCast and delighted in badgering Royal and Dave about RSS whenever I had the opportunity.

This is a completely logical deal for both Microsoft and MessageCast.  They had been working very closely together around the MSN Alert service.  MessageCast had integrated MSN Alerts with RSS and build an extremely publisher friendly service to enable a publisher to distribute his RSS feed (or any other data feed) via Microsoft Messenger.  MessageCast was beginning to work with other IM services (the usual suspects) but had such significant IP around the MSN Alert SDK it made perfect sense for Microsoft to integrate this into their Alerts business.

Royal, Dave, – congrats.  Microsoft – well done!