Microsoft Cutting 4,200 Support Newsgroups In June

We have enjoyed using Microsoft’s newsgroups over the years.  Including technical newsgroups on topics like Windows, Office and SharePoint products.  It will be a shame to see them go.  According to Microsoft, this June they will shift from Usenet to online forums including Microsoft Answers, TechNet and MSDN.  They list centralized content, easier search and better spam management as advantages to the new method.

According to Microsoft:

Microsoft has a long history of establishing newsgroups that channel users and issues into the newsgroup (NNTP) space where information is shared and problems can be addressed by the community. Currently, Microsoft hosts more than 2000 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.

Meanwhile, customers are turning online more and more for information and help. Microsoft is revamping its communities to make it easy for customers to find help and information when they need it. Using forums as the online support strategy will reduce the number of redundant resources and centralize content, making community contributions more broadly available and impactful.

Beginning in June 2010, Microsoft will begin closing newsgroups and migrating users to Microsoft forums that include Microsoft Answers, TechNet and MSDN. This move will centralize content, make it easier for contributors to retain their influence, reduce redundancies and make content easier to find. Overall, forums offer a better spam management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by encouraging a healthy discussion space.

Instead of “Microsoft is cutting Usenet” or “Microsoft is discontinuing newsgroups” they went with “Microsoft responds to the evolution of communities” for the title.  Dress it up anyway you like.  Lots of us will miss the Microsoft newsgroups.