Microsoft Plans Newsgroups Shutdown
Microsoft plans to close the more than 2,000 public newsgroups and 2,200 private newsgroups devoted to its various products and services. Discussions hosted on those newsgroups will be ported onto Microsoft Answers, TechNet, MSDN and presumably other company forums. Microsoft argues that the newsgroups were running on an outdated forum and that the additional features of its other forums will better support users. Microsoft has been aggressive about eliminating legacy programs and services over the past year.Microsoft will start closing the more than 4,200 public and private newsgroups related to its products and programs, beginning in June, and porting those discussions to Microsoft forums such as Microsoft Answers, TechNet and MSDN. Microsoft argued that the newsgroups run on "an outdated and discontinued forum that is no longer supported," and are thus vulnerable to spam and other problems. "Currently, Microsoft hosts more than 2,000 public newsgroups that cover virtually all of our products, along with more than 2,200 private newsgroups that reach specific audiences including Certgen, SBSC, Partner Programs, MVPs and Direct Access, among others," said the announcement on Microsoft's Website. The shutdown and move to Microsoft forums, the company added, "will centralize content, make it easier for contributors to retain their influence, reduce redundancies and make content easier to find."
The company also said community participation in its newsgroups declined 48 percent over the last fiscal year, while visits to its Microsoft forums were increasing at a monthly rate of 12 percent. In theory, the forums will also allow Microsoft to add new features and connections between groups as the need arises, and moderators will be able to bring threads to Microsoft's attention if necessary. Microsoft Answers, TechNet and MSDN will host the new audiences.