Microsoft has announced plans to discontinue providing forum support for Windows 7, 8, and Windows RT from next month.
In addition, it will also stop providing online support for Microsoft Security Essentials, IE 10, and Office 2010 and 2013, the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface RT, Surface 2, Microsoft Band and the Zune music player.
Furthermore, not only will the forums no longer be attended by Microsoft staff, but some will be locked entirely, preventing casual users from providing even peer-to-peer support.
The move on Windows 7 and 8, in particular, could affect millions of users as Microsoft attempts to push people and businesses onto Windows 10. In any case, Microsoft has already scheduled Windows 7 for end-of-support on 14 January 2020 - in just 18 months time. This will no doubt be preceded by a major corporate rush to upgrade just ahead of the cessation of support.
In the case of the Band, Microsoft recommends posting in the Band 2 forum, and for the "Mobile Devices" forum, it recommends the "Other Windows mobile devices" forum. In the case of the ill-named Zune, it appears as if Microsoft is finally laying it to rest, despite its small and loyal fanbase that continues to doggedly support the device.
Microsoft calls this policy 'shifting scope', but users might see it differently. Under CEO Satya Nadella, the company has stepped up efforts to shift away from packaged software, while trying to push users onto Windows 10 - the last-ever Windows.
The news was conveyed via a Microsoft Community posting late on Friday:
Effective July 2018, the Microsoft Community forums listed below will shift support scope and Microsoft staff will no longer provide technical support there. There will be no proactive reviews, monitoring, answering or answer marking of questions. The forums will still be moderated by Microsoft agents to ensure participants can engage in a safe and positive environment.
Microsoft Community participants are welcome and encouraged to continue to use the forum to ask questions and post answers with each other.
The support for the below products will be discontinued across different forums in the Community.
- Windows 7, 8.1, 8.1 RT
- Microsoft Security Essentials
- Internet Explorer 10
- Office 2010, 2013
- Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface RT, Surface 2
- Microsoft Band - this topic will be locked. Users are invited to participate in Microsoft Band 2 topic.
- Mobile devices forum - Microsoft support will continue in "Other Windows mobile devices" topic
- Zune - this topic will be locked, but will remain available for browsing
Thank you for being part of Microsoft Community!
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