Microsoft has announced that it will stop participating in the online support forums devoted to consumer questions about Windows 7 and a host of other products. The announcement, posted over the weekend to several of the affected support forums, said the change would take place in July.
Along with Windows 7, the other products covered by the mandate include Windows 8.1, Office 2010 and 2013, Microsoft Security Essentials and some Surface / Surface Pro devices.
Interestingly, Microsoft have stated that this move only impacts “products that reached end of support,” even though software such as Windows 7 has years left before it’s officially retired – January 2020 to be precise.
The discussion forums, located at answers.microsoft.com, primarily consist of user-submitted questions and answers, but Microsoft employees do post in the threads – providing clarifications and solutions to problems.
These Microsoft posts, considered the “official” line from the company on the subject under discussion, is what will be dropped in July.
The full statement can be read below:
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!”