Microsoft to shut down discussions feature in Windows Live Groups

By LiveSide | In News | Posted September 23, 2012 6 comments

Windows Live GroupsThe last time Windows Live Groups got any significant upgrade was back in the Wave 4 update in 2010. Since then, Microsoft had been shifting the focus away from Groups, and organizing it as a subset of SkyDrive, despite its strong ties with Calendar and Messenger. In the latest update, Groups did manage to receive the “modern” makeover, but failed to receive any major feature updates, and instead Groups has lost its standalone homepage and Microsoft has made it harder than ever to access each of your Groups’ main profile page.

Despite not gaining any new features, it seems like Groups is about to lose another feature. If you visit your Group’s profile page today, you’ll see a notice indicating that Microsoft will soon be removing the “discussions” feature in Groups, and encourages you to download the existing discussions should you choose to archive them somewhere:

Groups Discussion discontinued

This doesn’t come as a surprise to us given that Microsoft had been refocusing its web services to become less of a social network in itself, but rather to become the single destination to connect all your other social networks to your Microsoft account. In fact, Profile had lost its “notes” and “private messages” features a long time ago, both sharing a common origin as Group’s “discussions” feature back in the Wave 3 days.

With Windows Phone 8 about to introduce a new feature called “Rooms”, questions remain as to whether it will have any relationship with Windows Live Groups, or will it directly replace Groups?

Posted September 23rd, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Category: News
Tags: Groups, Windows Live
  • pfizerdiamonds

    I started a group way back in 2003 for my friends and I after graduating from school.  I posted a few pictures and that was about it.  It’s been on my account ever since, but I haven’t touched it.  I’ve also been invited to take part in a Google group or two.  That has also failed miserably.  Microsoft would be wise to retool their whole group think idea.  Individuals tend to share pictures and other announcements in their personal life over FB and other social networks.  Enthusiasts over topics tend to share information from the source or expert website.  For example, when was the last time you used a Live or Google group to share information on your favorite band or sports team?  I’ve not really group chatted over anything in the last 10 years either. 

    New Groups should allow for:
    1.  Calender sharing and updating – good for small groups like junior’s sports teams.
    2.  Member contact – type in the box and send to the other member(s) by preferred method like text, email, or MSN/Skype Messenger. Also let this send out urgent broadcast messages – ie game cancelled.
    3.  Video Chat
    4.  Shared workspace experience – share office documents and notes.
    5.  Allow for a way to collect money for the group – ie pay little league dues at the group site.
    6.  News feed – the ability to bring in new feeds on your topic of choice from national news services.
    7.  Use skype/msn technology to facilitate comments to posts.

  • pfizerdiamonds

    I started a group way back in 2003 for my friends and I after graduating from school.  I posted a few pictures and that was about it.  It’s been on my account ever since, but I haven’t touched it.  I’ve also been invited to take part in a Google group or two.  That has also failed miserably.  Microsoft would be wise to retool their whole group think idea.  Individuals tend to share pictures and other announcements in their personal life over FB and other social networks.  Enthusiasts over topics tend to share information from the source or expert website.  For example, when was the last time you used a Live or Google group to share information on your favorite band or sports team?  I’ve not really group chatted over anything in the last 10 years either. 

    New Groups should allow for:
    1.  Calender sharing and updating – good for small groups like junior’s sports teams.
    2.  Member contact – type in the box and send to the other member(s) by preferred method like text, email, or MSN/Skype Messenger. Also let this send out urgent broadcast messages – ie game cancelled.
    3.  Video Chat
    4.  Shared workspace experience – share office documents and notes.
    5.  Allow for a way to collect money for the group – ie pay little league dues at the group site.
    6.  News feed – the ability to bring in new feeds on your topic of choice from national news services.
    7.  Use skype/msn technology to facilitate comments to posts.

  • Kit Y

    MSN Groups was way better.

  • Kit Y

    MSN Groups was way better.

  • http://macrosofter.wordpress.com/ quikboy

    What a shame. The slow-moving Windows Live group pushes everyone to not bother with their services, because users expect updates, features, etc. on a more frequent basis. Dropping features isn’t helping their image. Most of my college friends are using Google, Facebook, Box.net etc. for group related functions.

    Having built-in discussions is useful for conducting conversations about topics, without having to check and look back at Twitter/FB/e-mail/whatever. At least being able to have some sort of “wall” would be helpful. Carrying on conversations outside of the group isn’t as productive.

    Also, I hope Microsoft realizes how important it is to integrate features across all their products. Having “Rooms” and “Groups” offering similar functionality, but are yet separate would be dumb, but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done something like that. This is 2012. Having a connected and integrated service is somewhat expected.

  • http://macrosofter.wordpress.com/ quikboy

    What a shame. The slow-moving Windows Live group pushes everyone to not bother with their services, because users expect updates, features, etc. on a more frequent basis. Dropping features isn’t helping their image. Most of my college friends are using Google, Facebook, Box.net etc. for group related functions.

    Having built-in discussions is useful for conducting conversations about topics, without having to check and look back at Twitter/FB/e-mail/whatever. At least being able to have some sort of “wall” would be helpful. Carrying on conversations outside of the group isn’t as productive.

    Also, I hope Microsoft realizes how important it is to integrate features across all their products. Having “Rooms” and “Groups” offering similar functionality, but are yet separate would be dumb, but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done something like that. This is 2012. Having a connected and integrated service is somewhat expected.