IT'S THAT TIME in the evening when Windows XP, ME and 7 desperately want to go to bed, but a few diehards are clinging on long after Microsoft dropped some not-so-subtle hints about needing to be up in the morning. Now the company is ready to bring out the big guns: it's packing up the board games.
Yes, Microsoft's series of multiplayer board and card games have a retirement date in sight. It's the end of the road for Backgammon, Checkers, Spades, Hearts, Reversi and MSN Go.
"Hello, Microsoft Internet Games players, it is with heavy hearts that we have made the difficult decision that the following games will no longer be supported," Microsoft said, while gathering up all empty bottles and half-empty tubs of sour cream and chive Pringles. (Heavy Hearts isn't a hardcore variant of Hearts, by the way.)
Of the affected platforms, Windows XP and ME are the most impacted, losing access to everything bar MSN Go. For Windows 7, it's just the end of Backgammon, Checkers, Spaces and MSN Go. And Windows 7 users also get a bit longer too, with the service packing up on 22 January 2020, while Windows ME and XP gamers will be kicked off in just two weeks' time, on 31 July.
"We truly appreciate all the time and passion you've put into Microsoft Internet Games," Microsoft continued, while looking up local taxi firms in the Yellow Pages.
"This has been a great community. However, the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences."
It's hard to believe that Microsoft has a team of thousands keeping games for Windows XP working, but every little helps. Hopefully, there will be room elsewhere in the company for any employee stuck working on Backgammon, because a CV bragging about Windows ME games is unlikely to be anywhere near the top of recruiters' piles.
"While we're saddened to leave this chapter behind, we continue to be committed to delivering engaging, delightful gaming experiences," Microsoft concluded, ushering XP users out into the hallway to collect their coats. "We hope you'll come with us on this journey and join the community of any of the other Microsoft casual games."
Oh look: the lights are still on at Windows 10's house. Another round of Reversi, anyone? µ
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