Late final month, Microsoft introduced it might hearth its Xbox assist workers and exchange them with unpaid volunteers. It was an exhilarating transfer for the company, whose internet price is effectively above $500 billion, and the agency is shifting to capitalize on its newfound energy by killing off the assist boards for a number of Home windows merchandise. In some circumstances, the transfer even is smart.

In response to a brand new message posted by Michelle Mad, “Efficient July 2018, the Microsoft Group boards listed beneath will shift assist scope and Microsoft workers will now not present technical assist there. There will probably be no proactive opinions, monitoring, answering or reply marking of questions.” Boards will nonetheless be monitored for abusive content material, however no different type of curation will probably be offered.

This announcement applies to the next boards:

  • Home windows 7, eight.1, eight.1 RT
  • Microsoft Safety Necessities
  • Web Explorer 10
  • Workplace 2010, 2013
  • Floor Professional, Floor Professional 2, Floor RT, Floor 2
  • Microsoft Band – this subject will probably be locked. Customers are invited to take part in Microsoft Band 2 subject.
  • Cellular gadgets discussion board – Microsoft assist will proceed in “Different Home windows cellular gadgets” subject
  • Zune – this subject will probably be locked, however will stay accessible for looking

A few of these bulletins make sense. The Zune has been lifeless for years. Workplace 2010 is an eight year-old product. The primary two generations of Floor gadgets are considerably newer, however as long as the boards stay on-line and previous data can nonetheless be discovered there, they need to be nice. However killing general assist for Home windows 7 and eight.1 strikes us as a bit untimely, on condition that thousands and thousands of customers around the globe proceed to depend on these working techniques. Each are additionally nonetheless in lively safety assist, with Home windows 7 not ending till 2020 and Home windows eight.1 in 2023. On the very least, one would possibly suppose Microsoft would make security-related bulletins in these boards when relevant.


The flip aspect to that is that Microsoft’s group boards and basic assist tips merely aren’t very useful. I don’t need to say I’ve by no means discovered the answer to an issue I used to be having in a Microsoft discussion board. In reality, I’ve discovered a pair small ones, although I don’t recall exactly what they had been. What I do bear in mind, nevertheless, is that these type of “Eureka!” moments are the exception relatively than the rule. Usually talking, the group boards had been stuffed with well-meaning and minimally useful individuals, very a lot together with the workers. To be truthful, this typically isn’t the discussion board rep’s fault. Having a pc downside and having the ability to present the entire related particulars of stated downside in a way that helps result in an answer should not the identical factor.

One of many main adjustments Microsoft made with Home windows 10 was a basic push to maneuver Assist and system data into on-line queries, including extra steps to the method and feeding new Search engine optimization-gaming web sites, which sprung up in a single day in an try to sport the system by offering these solutions themselves. The corporate’s emphasis on its Group boards was part of that push, although clearly the discussion board system predates Home windows 10. Nonetheless, MS has made a significant effort to maneuver increasingly more of its assist to both on-line assets or, as with Xbox, to remove it altogether.