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Microsoft kills off newsgroups

Herds users into forums instead

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Microsoft is killing off its newsgroups and encouraging users to move to forums instead.

The software giant has over 2,000 public groups covering its various products, as well as 2,200 private groups for the likes of Microsoft resellers. But from June 2010 these will be moved to revamped forums on TechNet, MSDN and Microsoft Answers.

Microsoft said: "Forums offer a better spam management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by encouraging a healthy discussion space."

Apart from spam Microsoft said it was appealing that "we own the app" and could continue to develop new back-end services. These include support for Questions and Answers flagged by authoritative users, subscription to RSS or notification services and voting for useful posts.

Forums also last longer - newsgroup posts were typically deleted after 90 days.

Although Microsoft admitted there would be some cost-savings from the move it said visitors to newsgroups had fallen by a half over the last fiscal year. It will post notices in the groups it closes in a progressive manner, starting with the least-used groups.

More from Microsoft here. ®

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