Microsoft has announced plans to shut down its outdated and spam-infested newsgroups after ceasing support for them.
The software giant aims to close 2,000 public and 2,200 private newsgroups, redirecting their users to Microsoft forums, which will be supported by Microsoft Answers, TechNet and MSDN.
The decision is largely based on the declining user base for the newsgroups, which registered a 48 per cent fall in users over the last fiscal year.
Industry insiders suggest another reason, too: that Microsoft wants to promote its forum service as a significant line of consumer support. Microsoft's forums receive 15 million page visits a month, and their user base is growing at a rate of 12 per cent a month.
In a statement to US newspaper, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “Moving to forums aligns the end user experience with current market trends, reduces the number of redundant support resources with centralized, searchable content, allows users to identify content contributors across forums.”
The closures are expected to start on 1 June according to the statement here. In comparison, Google purchased Dejanews nearly a decade ago and has been a thriving albeit niche part of the search giant's ecosystem since then.