Microsoft’s in-unit PR staff continues to show its moxie, this time burying news about the demise of free tech support for a wide variety of products – covering half of all Windows customers, for starters – in a series of blog posts unveiled on Saturday morning.
Olga_Gh, a highly respected (if anonymous) Microsoft Agent posted the following message in six different Microsoft Answer forums:
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. There will be no proactive reviews, monitoring, answering or answer marking of questions. The forums will still have Microsoft moderation 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.
Thank you for being part of Microsoft Community!
… which is Microsoft-speak for “thanks for spending billions and billions of dollars on all of these products, but we won’t talk to you anymore unless you pay for it. We just don’t have the budget to pay contractors to handle free tech support, even if your product is still in extended support.”
Here’s the master list of products that will no longer receive Answers forum support from Microsoft:
- Windows 7
- Windows 8.1, 8.1 RT
- Office 2010
- Office 2013
- Surface RT
- Surface 2
- Surface Pro
- Surface Pro 2
- Microsoft Security Essentials
- Every version of IE except IE 11 (even then, only if you post on the IE forum)
- Microsoft Lumia and Nokia Lumia
- Asha and Nokia Series 30/Series 40
- Symbian, Nokia X, and MeeGo
- Phone accessories
You might note the conspicuous absence of Windows Server versions.
If you bought a new Surface Pro 2 from Microsoft four years ago, golly, this announcement’s for you!
The lack of support on the Microsoft Answers forums apparently extends to both the base product itself and patches released. That makes me wonder if we’ll see any official Answers Forum help with future bad patches. In the past, Microsoft Agents have been involved in answering questions about bad patches and, in theory, relaying user screams to a higher authority.
Olga_Gh has been one busy agent. On Saturday, she (they? it?) posted similar admonitions in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Turkish, Thai, Swedish, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hungarian, Hebrew, French, Finnish, Spanish, Greek, German, Danish, Czech, and Arabic – and probably other languages that I didn’t find. Pretty good for a Microsoft contractor.
Kinda makes you wonder if somebody at a higher level than “agent” had a hand in it.
Thx to Susan Bradley.
We’re still here to help on the AskWoody Lounge. Yes, even with Windows 7, Office 2013 and the Surface Pro 2.