Intel signs death warrant for support forums

No chance of last minute reprieve this time

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Intel is casting its users into the outer darkness by finally closing its processor and motherboard support forums. The news comes as some surprise given that the original closure notice on 18 July was withdrawn nine days later following a torrent of complaints from regular forum users.

But this time, Chipzilla's mind appears to well and truly made up.

The original July 18 death notice read: "Intel is announcing the closure of the Intel Motherboards for Pentium III or Pentium II processors support forum. The forum closure will begin July 28th, by transitioning to read-only for 2 weeks, then closing down completely on August 11th, 2000."

That July 27 retraction: "This forum was originally scheduled to close on August 14th (sic), 2000. Based on the feedback received from our forum participants, Intel is re-evaluating the forum closure schedule and it will be updated at a later date. Please continue to use these forums according to their charter."

But this time it really is curtains: "Forum Closure Notification: Due to the need to realign support resources to improve web site content and expand email services, Intel is closing the Intel Pentium lll processor support forum. We invite you to seek product assistance on our support website at: http://support.intel.com/support/processors/pentiumiii/ or via e-mail by completing the email form at:

"For the product resellers who are members of http://program.intel.com, we will continue to offer the password-protected forum to leave technical and product related questions and get answers from other product integrators and Intel technical support.

"The forum closure will begin September 27 by transitioning to read-only for 2 weeks, then closing down completely on October 11, 2000".

Intel's official line on the closures remains unchanged. The company claims it will provide support by direct email response and that many of the forum postings were duplicates.

An Intel Europe spokesman claimed there were a 'substantial number' of support personnel who would be answering user email queries, but regular visitors to the forums will testify that there are only four or five Intel support staff replying to queries.

Let's hope they've negotiated an attractive overtime rate. ®

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