Microsoft is one of the largest and most valuable tech companies in the world. Best known for products like Office, Xbox, Windows, and Skype, Microsoft is known as an industry leader. As such, the tech giant has unsurprisingly made the leap into the world of open source.
In collaboration with web development agency WebDevStudios, Microsoft migrated several of its websites and blogs to WordPress.
“Most of the public facing blogs and websites that WebDevStudios migrated to WordPress for Microsoft ran on the same proprietary ASP.NET and SQL Server based Content Management System,” WDS CTO and Co-Founder Brian Messenlehner told Torque.
“The other Microsoft websites WebDevStudios migrated were made up of various SQL Server database schemas with different custom ASP.NET front ends.”
Most of the sites that WDS built for Microsoft are blogs and blog networks and include the following,
- Microsoft Europe
- Microsoft News Center
- Microsoft Windows Blogs
- Microsoft Corporate Blogs
- Microsoft Office Blogs
- MSDN Blogs
- Technet Blogs
- Microsoft Openness Blog
- Why Microsoft
- Skype in Media
- Skype Blogs
The WDS team also built a custom Wiki solution for Microsoft Dynamics to power their client-side CRM help tool via the WordPress API.
WebDevStudios built several custom plugins for Microsoft to meet their unique needs, which includes “custom plugins to work with Azure Active Directory, Azure Storage Containers, Single Sign-on, Elasticsearch integration, and more,” Messenlehner said.
Microsoft is also running a number of popular WordPress plugins, including Gravity Forms, WordPress SEO, ElasticPress, WP Optimize, and WP Multi-Network.
Microsoft leverages Multisite functionality, making it easy for admins to manage multiple websites from one localized network. This simplifies the workflow involved in updating and maintaining multiple websites.
According to Messenlehner, roughly 20,000 blogs, totaling more than 1 million posts and boasting roughly 1.2 million comments were migrated to one Multisite network from the MSDN and Technet blogs combined.
“Some of the same functionality that already existed in many of the websites that WebDevStudios migrated to WordPress had to be retained in WordPress,” Messenlehner said. “Most of the data was migrated over to WordPress Posts or Custom Post Types with meta fields and taxonomies that are exposed in the new WordPress templates we built.”
Since the relaunch, the sites have experienced an uptick in speed, major SEO improvements, and improved site navigation on desktop and mobile browsers.
Microsoft For Open Source
In a short time, the tech community has embraced open source, with giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft leading the charge.
According to Messenlehner, as part of Microsoft’s big push into open-source software, they researched the best CMS to use and landed on WordPress.
“You would think that Microsoft would use their own technology to run all of their websites but the fact is they wanted to save time and money like a lot of other big companies going Open Source,” Messenlehner said.
The proliferating adoption of open-source software isn’t slowing down any time soon. It’s free, flexible, and easy to use, maintain, and update. It provides companies with the agility to move faster without breaking the bank.
“Lots of enterprise companies still pay a lot of money with licensing fees and maintenance on outdated proprietary software,” Messenlehner said. “These companies could dramatically cut their costs by switching to an open-source solution like WordPress.”
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