Microsoft pulls agents from Windows 7, 8.1 and other forums - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft pulls agents from Windows 7, 8.1 and other forums

Microsoft announced on Friday that Microsoft Community forum support will be discontinued for several company products including Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Microsoft's Answers Community is operated by Microsoft. It has forums for many Microsoft products and Microsoft employees a number of agents, usually third-party contractors, who interact with users who post on the forum.

While the forums are more miss than hit usually when it comes to finding help, they are certainly very popular as lots of users post there on a daily basis.

microsoft end forum support windows7 windows8

If you research a Windows or Microsoft product issue using your favorite search engine, you usually get Microsoft Answers results in the top ten listing. The quality of Microsoft Agent support is not always the best, however, as you will get copy and paste responses often at first.

Microsoft won't offer technical support anymore in the following forums starting July 2018:

  • 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.
  • Mobile devices forum – Microsoft support will continue in "Other Windows mobile devices" topic
  • Zune – this topic will be locked.

The forums will remain available online and community members can still use the forums to post new topics or replies (with the exception of those that are locked in July 2018). Microsoft agents will still moderate the forums to remove spam and other undesirable messages from the forums but they won't interact with users anymore when it comes to providing technical support.

The company notes that "there will be no proactive reviews, monitoring, answering or answer marking of questions".

It is interesting to note that another Microsoft support agent posted a similar announcement in the Windows 8.1 forum highlighting that Microsoft would so for products that "reached end of support".

Please be advised that effective July 2018, the forum topics for products that reached end of support will no longer receive technical support from Microsoft agents.

The products listed on that page are Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT; all three products are still supported (albeit in extended support).  Windows 7 exited mainstream support in 2015, Windows 8.1 in January 2018.

It is unclear if Microsoft's wording is off as Microsoft could mean "extended support" instead of just "support". Extended support includes paid support and security updates at no additional cost only, and that is what Microsoft could have meant.

Closing words

Microsoft surely has a plan for 2020 when Windows 7 support ends and it may be the case that the company plans to push users even more towards Windows 10 by ending forum support in July 2018 already.

The forum is a hit and miss for support topics, mostly miss, in my opinion. While it does offer help for some issues, users who post there got canned responses usually that most of the time did not help at all.

Now You: Do you use the Microsoft Answers forum? (via Woody)

Summary
Microsoft pulls agents from Windows 7, 8.1 and other forums
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Microsoft pulls agents from Windows 7, 8.1 and other forums
Description
Microsoft announced on Friday that Microsoft Community forum support will be discontinued for several company products including Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Iron Heart said on June 11, 2018 at 8:37 am
    Reply

    Pulling Windows 8.1 from the support forum years before the official EOL (January 2023) is a bit gross. Same for Office 2013.

    I personally never needed the support forum, though. Just in case, there are other support forums out there.

  2. LAprince said on June 11, 2018 at 8:43 am
    Reply

    > Microsoft surely has a plan for 2020 when Windows 7 support ends and it may be the case that the company plans to push users even more towards Windows 10 by ending forum support in July 2018 already.

    No Shit Sherlock!

    That is their plan for a long time now, to push everyone and everything to their telemetry malware OS, and this is only the first stage of their ulterior plan. the next step will be a subscription model for what it seems to be their Cloud OS strategy.

    You thought the upgrade from 7 was ‘free’ huh?

    1. Iron Heart said on June 11, 2018 at 2:27 pm
      Reply

      @LAprince

      Believe it or not, some people still think that Microsoft is going to extend Win 7 support. Personally, I don’t see that coming.

      1. anon87643 said on June 12, 2018 at 9:38 am
        Reply

        Not going to happen for the normal editions (Home, Pro, Ultimate, Enterprise)

        The only case i see this happening is only for the Windows 7 embedded editions (ATM machines,Cash registers, Kiosks etc) The same happened with Windows XP Embedded, regular embedded editions of XP had support till April 12, 2016 but MS decided to extend this to April 9, 2019 for the POSReady 2009 edition.

        So yeah even if it’s possible to get updates from these editions, this will involve some kind of hacking, and something tells me this time it won’t be as easy as it was with the POSReady registry hack.

  3. ShintoPlasm said on June 11, 2018 at 8:56 am
    Reply

    Microsoft support forums are atrociously bad. All the answers you’ll be getting from MS, to any query, are generic scripts from a bunch of bored guys in Bangalore.

    1. stupid jimmy said on June 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm
      Reply

      Thats why there is https://www.sevenforums.com and so on depending on which version you are using.
      But yes. I agree. Most of their solutions is.
      -Have you run CHKDSK and sfc /scannow?
      -Have you installed all the recent updates from Windows Update? Yes it did not solve the problem.
      -Sorry we cannot help you..
      And their last resort, startup repair never worked. Always said “Startup Repair couldn’t repair your PC”

      1. bwat47 said on June 11, 2018 at 6:41 pm
        Reply

        Don’t forget:

        -Reinstall windows
        -???
        -Profit!

      2. stupid jimmy said on June 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm
        Reply

        With windows all issues are solved by reinstalling windows..there really is no other way.
        Forget those days like in the 90’s when you sat the whole weekend deleting malware and viruses etc this and that.

      3. dmacleo said on June 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm
        Reply

        LOL love south park references :)
        https://vimeo.com/79954057

    2. Anonymous said on June 12, 2018 at 5:57 am
      Reply

      I just read the comments on the Woody page. I didn’t know those people are contracted and not Microsoft employee. No wonder the support is so bad! Good riddance

  4. Yuliya said on June 11, 2018 at 9:23 am
    Reply

    Typical MS Answers discussion:

    User: After the last update there is occasional sound clipping if I pause then resume audio playback in any player using 32-bit float output. (btw, an actual isssue on Windows 10 1607, if you can believe it)

    MS MVP: Did you try adjusting your volume to a lower level?

    User: Yes I did. It’s not the issue, clippig occurs after pause/resume for 20 seconds. Not even touching the volume controls.

    MS MVP: Click on the speaker sign on the taskbar, lower right, then move the slider down.

    User: I already tried it! Volume is not the issue!

    MS MVP: You don’t see the speaker sign? No worry, right click on task bar and select customize icons…

    Why is the sky blue?

    MS MVP: Because the birds can fly. Such as the one in my head.

    1. exrelayman said on June 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm
      Reply

      Yes! Exactly so. Totally worthless place if you need helpl

    2. Emil said on June 11, 2018 at 4:01 pm
      Reply

      ROFL – it’s so true!

  5. Rafael said on June 11, 2018 at 9:40 am
    Reply

    “While the forums are more hit than miss usually when it comes to finding help”

    Did you mean the say the opposite?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2018 at 9:54 am
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      Got me there ;)

  6. AnorKnee Merce said on June 11, 2018 at 10:07 am
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    M$’s never-ending malware-like GWX campaign, ie by degrading support for Win 7/8.1.

  7. Tom Hawack said on June 11, 2018 at 10:56 am
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    “While the [Microsoft’s Answers Community] forums are more miss than hit usually when it comes to finding help”

    So true, which is why I stopped finding answers to Windows on Microsoft pages (whatever ones) a long time ago. Microsoft answers are always formatted in the “check-list” mould and when good sense is the last resort the answers elude the problem. No hope with Microsoft various help and information platforms.

    Microsoft pulling agents from Windows 7, 8.1 and other forums won’t have more effect on my computing life than a mosquito’s bite on an armor. Insignificant.

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 11, 2018 at 11:01 am
      Reply

      “miss than hit” and not “hit than miss”, that’s how I had understood it before Rafael’s comment above corrected the inversion. (funny as we sometimes jump over words when the meaning imposes itself to our understanding).

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 11, 2018 at 11:08 am
        Reply

        You are a mindreader ;)

      2. Tom Hawack said on June 11, 2018 at 11:15 am
        Reply

        Tell that to my brains :=)
        Sometimes this may be problematic when it appears that we interpret rather than read or listen to words : “– that’s not what I said/wrote — No but it’s what you meant” … not always. I guess this time my brains were lucky, lol!

  8. Cinikal said on June 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Reply

    Soooo who will this affect (or is it effect hmmm affect effect affect). Never found an answer on any of micrososofts sites yet.

    Still looking to boot linux on my tablet.

    1. Cinikal said on June 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm
      Reply

      That comm£nt m!ssing a ? mark.

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 11, 2018 at 1:29 pm
        Reply

        Where would you position that question mark?

        1- Soooo who will this affect? (or is it effect hmmm affect effect affect)
        2- Soooo who will this affect (or is it effect hmmm affect effect affect?)
        3- Soooo who will this affect (or is it effect hmmm affect effect affect)?
        4- Soooo who will this affect? (or is it effect hmmm affect effect affect?)

        I’d choose (4) …

      2. Cinikal said on June 11, 2018 at 9:23 pm
        Reply

        3 looks right to me. 👌👌

  9. peerer said on June 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm
    Reply

    What about windows xp?

    1. klaas said on June 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm
      Reply

      Windows XP, what’s that?

      1. Tom Hawack said on June 11, 2018 at 1:25 pm
        Reply

        XP is an American mummy (sometimes referred to ‘OS Mommy’) said to be still alive according to several correspondents throughout the World.

        I laugh but I’ll face the same laughs the day I’ll mention Windows 7 when the planet will have shifted to Windows, 10th or 12th ot whatever…

      2. klaas said on June 11, 2018 at 1:41 pm
        Reply

        I love your answer Tom ;-))

      3. John Fenderson said on June 14, 2018 at 10:36 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        I’ll never laugh at anyone using Win 7. After having to use nothing but Win 10 at work for so long, I got to do some work on a laptop that still had Win 7 installed.

        It reminded me of what a serious downgrade Win 10 is from Win 7.

      4. Tom Hawack said on June 14, 2018 at 10:57 pm
        Reply

        @John Fenderson, a tribute to an older OS by someone using the latest is far more relevant, significant than whatever inexperienced comment. I’ve never even faced a Win10 screen! It’s all Microsoft fault, if the company hadn’t complied to force-feeding a moreover problematic OS (at least at the time, no idea if it’s getting better now) I may very well have switched to it…

        Anyway, who cares of laughs (better laugh than cry!) when we feel comfortable, satisfied, happy with what we have, use. This said of course there may be better leading to greater comfort, satisfaction, happiness… but it’s not really my conclusion regarding Win10 users feedback!

        A quiet, modest, humble happiness! Happiness is something people are evoking more and more, it’s becoming a statistical value about to become comparable to a country’s gnp per capita! Why more, more and more when less, less and less appears to be a problem-less and tranquility plus contribution to placid happiness? Why? Warum? LOL

        Can’t remember that US cartoon which always included “You know what? i’m happy” — The effect of that simple sentence would lead me to deep thoughts … already then!

      5. Iron Heart said on June 11, 2018 at 2:24 pm
        Reply

        @klaas
        Completely outdated trash that some people continue to use as they haven’t used anything else since birth.

      6. kalmly said on June 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm
        Reply

        That wonderful OS that MS stopped supporting a few years ago and has run even better since the desertion.

    2. P said on June 11, 2018 at 6:34 pm
      Reply

      Was gonna say I was at Fry’s Electronics the other day, still using XP!

  10. Brittle said on June 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm
    Reply

    Personally, I never found useful solutions on “Community support” and did not use it any longer after a few pathetic answers. For me it appears more like a tokenism for MS than anything else.

    And I agree with others, MS is trying to push Win10 in every possible and impossible way. MS is blunted by their own habits, so they don’t see the easiest way, to make Win10 a success. Giving back control to the user, being straightforward with their telemetry and let users opt in or out without any backdoors. But, of course, this is too hard to understand for these so brilliant minds at MS. Or is it brittle minds, …. now I’m confused, too.

  11. Andrew Deal said on June 11, 2018 at 4:18 pm
    Reply

    Like the M$ forums were any help? Sorry, but provided “canned” answers is not what I call support, and it was evidenced when responses from M$ were continually slammed for that reason. Sevenforums has been much more beneficial.

  12. Jozsef said on June 11, 2018 at 4:35 pm
    Reply

    If you loved the forum that insulted your intelligence by offering up useless and stupid advice, Insiders Preview a year or two ago acquired a place where you could request an immediate telephone call from a Windows support team. A person speaking in a thick accent would helpfully misunderstand your situation completely, offer a suggestion that is simplistic along the lines of telling you to face the screen in order to find your windows, making sure that your eyes are open, and then hang up on you when you tried to explain that they had not understood your problem. Maybe I was too polite and so they didn’t respect me because the hangups would invariably come in less than two minutes.

    Windows use has become a master/ slave S&M ritual wherein you will be degraded and insulted and be expected to love the experience. Who could ask for more? :P

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 11, 2018 at 4:52 pm
      Reply

      Masochists!
      I haven’t experienced your thrilling adventures with Windows Support but they don’t surprise me. By analogy I have in mind a garage mechanic who would happen to be helpful only with drivers facing problems for the sole reason of an empty tank.

  13. Kevin said on June 11, 2018 at 6:22 pm
    Reply

    “Supported until 2023” roughly translates into “Supported until I don’t feel like it anymore” in corporate lingo. lol

    I figured this one out when they blocked users from critical security updates on Windows 8.1 if the user upgraded to Ryzen. This occurred while Windows 8.1 was in mainstream support!

    But just like the forced updates and undesired bloatware in Windows 10, all these tactics from Microsoft do, is push me more to Linux.

  14. AnorKnee Merce said on June 11, 2018 at 6:37 pm
    Reply

    Maybe soon, OEM Win 10 devices that are more than 4 years old will no longer be supported by M$.

  15. Brittle said on June 11, 2018 at 6:58 pm
    Reply

    MS will keep pulling this crap until people give up and go w/Win10 and whatever desaster will come after it. The rest simply has to find a different system and abandon MS or stay with an outdated system, no support, updates, etc. Not much to say about it anymore. Either you follow or change.

  16. Pekka Reittilä said on June 11, 2018 at 7:07 pm
    Reply

    My personal plan is to stop giving me an opportunity to use any of the MS-bloatware in the near future which means that I’ll say goobye to miss and no hit “support” of MS-family if I ever met it anyway?
    Wellcome Linux!

  17. Zouzou said on June 11, 2018 at 8:01 pm
    Reply

    “not supported anymore, create a github issue”

  18. Darren said on June 12, 2018 at 12:23 am
    Reply

    The general consensus is right, MS’s help forums were generally useless anyway. That’s what makes places like Ghacks so useful and worth supporting.

  19. ULBoom said on June 12, 2018 at 1:41 am
    Reply

    Good for links to other MS pages with powershell or dos commands, otherwise, inane. Not sure I’ve ever seen a MS rep solve a problem, usually a poster does directly or links out to another forum for an answer. Not uncommon unfortunately, OEM’s generally have dreadful support forums. Maybe google groups are sillier, it’s a toss up which is more useless: “start over” or Bernoulli’s principle to explain how to fix a faucet leak.

    MS has been selling devices with Linux which scares me a bit about their plans to maybe wreck Linux, too (long live git hub.) I wish there were far more Linux apps, I’d be there tomorrow.

  20. Jozsef said on June 12, 2018 at 7:33 am
    Reply

    They will not wreck Linux because Linus T. owns and controls it. He is very smart and does not have an ego so he can’t be drawn into any stupidity by the likes of the MS greed merchants. He doesn’t hate them, he just isn’t interested in their way of doing things because it’s uncivilized. (I’m not quoting him, just explaining in my own words.) He loves creating software so that’s what he does. I worry about many things but Linux is not one of them.

  21. dmacleo said on June 12, 2018 at 5:53 pm
    Reply

    the OS forums just plain sucked.
    the office forums often had users who were ms mvp and did have good answers.
    will miss the office 2013 support but…..I’ll get over it.

  22. bawldiggle said on June 12, 2018 at 11:32 pm
    Reply

    …and I thought I was just dumb, too embarrassed to admit the struggle I had with XP and later on, to a lesser extent, in the early days of Win-7.
    Trying to search the MS forums was a 90% failure, so I harassed anybody with a PC for help …. PC shops, anybody. Mostly I just paid a guru to fix it, especially in 1999 when our federal government introduce a VAT on all purchases starting in 2000.
    I was self employed and didn’t have a clue about operating systems. The only solution was to pay for all repairs.
    I didn’t even know there were a sqillion forums out there.

    Then I found SevenForums.com … a life saver. I am still staggered that there can be thousands of help-seekers on the forum at some times in the day.

    The dumping of the MS forums is no loss in any way. Just a waste of space on the web.

    ———–
    I was born in ’45 so IT was not in my DNA as for most people my age.
    By sheer determination I taught myself VBA and eventually was selling Excel VBS addons to individual professionals in my industry. It barely paid for the coffee.

    1. John Fenderson said on June 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm
      Reply

      “Trying to search the MS forums was a 90% failure”

      It’s not just you. I’ve had a similar experience for so long that I gave up on using those forums at all a few years back.

  23. Wolfie0827 said on June 12, 2018 at 11:34 pm
    Reply

    “While the forums are more miss than hit usually when it comes to finding help”

    Ending MS MVP support now means that people might actually find answers in the forums!
    And I agree, I can’t remember ANY MS MVP actually getting a solution right other than “Wipe and re-install Windows”.

    I went there in my job just to find the links to other forums (sevenforums as an example) where the real solution could be found whenever I dealt with a problem I hadn’t run into before.

  24. bawldiggle said on June 12, 2018 at 11:52 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft Security Essentials ?

    Is about the only forum I might miss, but then I don’t think I have ever needed it.
    There are plenty of resources out there if you use a decent search engine … and it isn’t big G.

    DDG .. https://start.duckduckgo.com/ … my default search engine

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