Who will Microsoft buy next? (Answered)

The mystery of who will Microsoft buy next didn't take long to be solved. On Friday, mobile photo and video-sharing site WebFives notified its users that its assets had been scooped up by Microsoft.

The move comes just days after Microsoft took part in a panel discussion on the types of companies it would look to acquire.

Managing Director Mark Wolfram had indicated that the Entertainment and Devices area might be ripe for an acquisition.

Ripe indeed.

The deal, which was noted Friday by ZDNet blogger Matthew Miller, could bring back to the company a former exec, if WebFives CEO Michael Toutonghi decides to rejoin his former employer. Toutonghi was previously the corporate VP in charge of Microsoft's eHome unit, before setting off on his own venture.

One thing that apparently won't be surviving the transition is WebFives service. According to the note on WebFives' site, users have only until the end of the year to download their content onto their PC.

"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," Toutonghi said in the letter.

"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."

Toutonghi suggests that users look to Microsoft's Windows Live services to get similar features to those that have been provided by Web Fives. The Seattle Post-Intellingencer had a few more commentsfrom Toutonghi.

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