Windows Live Furthers Contact Portability

According to a Microsoft blog post today, Microsoft is expanding upon their Windows Live platform by releasing their Windows Live Contacts API. This new service is similar to that of the Google Contact API paving a path for increased data portability.

The biggest part of the announcement is a partnership with Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Tagged and LinkedIn to “exchange functionally-similar Contacts APIs” which will open a “two-way street for users to move their relationships between our respective services.” This is a significant step especially for Facebook who has so far been one of the most closed-off social networks. 2008 is truly becoming the year of contact data portability and while the average Joe may not yet understand what’s going on, they soon will.

It appears that the larger players are now realizing that data portability is a must and is no longer an option. We are witnessing a transformation of the web landscape toward cloud computing and data portability having a significant impact for many of the businesses that have been closed off until now. Do you think today’s news about Microsoft is significant? Why don’t the other social networks create two-way portability for anybody?