Microsoft Answers support forums for Windows 7 and 8.1 no longer supported by official staff
Microsoft Answers support forums for Windows 7 and 8.1 have been discontinued officially. The Redmond company has made the announcement on its website, where the statement clearly states that the forums will no longer be supported by official staff.
You can still browse the forums, search for existing issues, etc. You can even create new posts, and the forums will still be moderated to ensure that the posts adhere to the rules. The fact that no official Microsoft Certified professional will answer your question or resolve your issue, is a bit unsettling. You now have to rely on volunteers, who may or may not be knowledgeable.
Let’s analyze the situation?
Windows 7 will no longer be updated after January 14th, 2020. So, we are looking at about 18 months, after which every web browser provider will stop supporting Windows 7. The same can be said about Windows 8 whose end of life date is January 10th, 2023. That’s well over 3 and a half years, and in that perspective, does killing the Microsoft Answers support forums for Windows 7 and 8.1 still make sense ? Absolutely not, this is a horrible decision by the company, which might come back to haunt it, in the event many users mess up their computers by listening to advice from non-Microsoft Windows forums. We wouldn’t be surprised if the decision is reversed, at least for Windows 8.1.
Is this really surprising though?
You see, Microsoft has been running marketing campaigns for Windows 10 for quite a few years now. The biggest one, was of course the free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 to Windows 10. But, what many people don’t know is that Windows 7 and 8.1 are not officially supported by Microsoft, on new Intel and AMD chipsets, starting from Intel’s Skylake and AMD Ryzen processors. To the untrained user, this is absolutely worrisome. To the tech-savvy user, this is not a big deal, because if you visit the website of your processor and motherboard manufacturer you will find official drivers for your processor, for Windows 7 and 8.1. Microsoft however, blocks Windows updates for such processors on the operating systems. To bypass this, you need to use unofficial ways to get updates, which is a whole different pain.
So, what can we take from this?
Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be the only operating system on PCs. And it will not stop at finding new ways, to ensure that people upgrade to it. That’s the reason why the company has shut down the Microsoft Answers support forums for Windows 7 and 8.1.
That being said, we have been using Windows 10 since the first Windows 10 Insider Build was released for the public, and never looked back. But hey, we don’t ask you to stop using Windows 7, do we?
Support forums for Windows 8.1 RT, Microsoft Security Essentials, Internet Explorer 10, Office 2010, 2013, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface RT, Surface 2, Microsoft Band, and Zune were also closed by Microsoft along with the Windows 7 and 8.1 communities.