Microsoft revealed in a forum post on the official Microsoft Answers forum that it plans to shut down games servers for games that require Internet connectivity for its Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows ME operating systems.
Windows 7 has just a few months of support left under its belt. Microsoft will end support for the operating system on January 14, 2020 after a last Tuesday Patch Day for the operating system in January 2020.
Notifications about the upcoming end of support are already pushed to customer devices.
Enterprise and Education customers may extend support by up to three years but everyone else is out of luck. Windows 7 systems will continue to work for the most part but some features may become unavailable.
Microsoft Internet Games that are part of Windows 7 won’t be playable anymore starting January 22, 2020.
Microsoft will shut down game servers on that day for Windows 7 games. Game servers for Windows XP or ME games will be shut down on July 31, 2019 so that the games won’t work anymore on these systems.
- Microsoft Internet Games services on Windows XP and ME will end on July 31, 2019.
- Microsoft Internet Games services on Windows 7 will end on January 22, 2020.
Here is the list of affected games and the operating systems the games are available on.
- Internet Backgammon (XP/ME, 7)
- Internet Checkers (XP/ME, 7)
- Internet Spades (XP/ME, 7)
- Internet Hearts (XP/ME)
- Internet Reversi (XP/ME)
- MSN Go (7)
Microsoft notes that players will be able to play these games until the server shutdown date.
Current players may enjoy the games until the dates above, when game services will cease, and the games listed will no longer be playable.
It is unclear at this point whether the games will show an error message on start that informs players that game servers are no longer available, or if they will simply show connection errors (which they did in the past when game servers were not available).
Microsoft removed many of the classic games in Windows 8. Windows 8 users have options to install games from the Windows Store.
Microsoft shutting down game servers quickly after Windows 7 support end may not sit well with gamers on these machines as Microsoft kept game servers for Windows XP and even Windows ME up for years after support end.
It is Microsoft’s decision in the end and there is little that customers may do in this regard. If you ask me, I’d loved to have seen Microsoft open sourcing the games and game servers so that they could live on as independent products.
Now You: What is your take on the decision? (via Windows Latest)
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