Microsoft has confirmed it is killing off document sharing website, Docs.com, this December.
Docs.com, which originally began as a collaboration between Microsoft and Facebook to provide a service similar to Google Docs, is being closed in favour of SlideShare, a service that Microsoft acquired along with its purchase of LinkedIn.
In 2015, Microsoft assumed full control of Docs.com, quietly incorporating it into Office 365 at the same time as launching its newest product, Office Sway.
Docs.com was a source of confusion to many people as it enabled 'universal sharing' by default, which effectively published documents and made them discoverable to search engines, and some people therefore accidentally shared things that they didn't mean to.
At one point, the search feature had to be deactivated after it was discovered that sensitive information was accessible in documents placed in the portal.
It was misunderstood that Docs.com was supposed to be a universally accessible portal, but many assumed that their documents were saved in private silos, as with Office 365 and OneDrive.
While this was an option, it was not the default or the original purpose of the site.
No new accounts can be created with immediate effect, with a tool for administrators to migrate to OneDrive for Business available from 19 June.
Publishing and editing will cease on 1 August, when it will become view or download only. Between now and closure, users will have the option to backup all their files to OneDrive when they first login to Docs.com, before the official discontinuation on 15 December.
Finally, from 15 May 2018, any live links from Docs.com that are already in the ether, will be redirected to the content on OneDrive.
Although Microsoft is recommending SlideShare as the natural successor to Docs.com, in a rare show of commen sense, it has opted to use OneDrive for backups, so nothing that should not be posted publicly gets accidentally transferred.
The announcement read: "Following Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn, SlideShare has joined the Microsoft family, and represents the ideal platform for publishing your Word, PowerPoint, and PDF content with its audience of 70 million professionals, and vast content library.
"For custom sharing, OneDrive offers additional tools, permission settings, and security to help share and protect your data and content. With the retirement of the Docs.com service, we hope to streamline our offerings in this space and provide you with a more cohesive experience.
"We appreciate your patronage of our service and apologize for any inconvenience resulting from this transition. We are happy to provide automatic backup of compatible files to OneDrive and OneDrive for Business."
It should be noted that Microsoft will only provide storage up to the paid subscription for the account. If users need to back up more data than their OneDrive subscription allows, they will need to upgrade accordingly.
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