Some of the most popular classic games for legacy Windows operating systems will soon stop working. Microsoft has confirmed that the “Microsoft Internet Games” project has been taken offline. While games will cease to be accessible and therefore playable at the end of this month for Windows XP and Windows ME, Windows 7 users have a little more time. The developer of the Windows operating system has indicated that the project will not continue. The main reason for this decision appears to be a consolidation of processes and resources at Microsoft.
Microsoft is ending the ‘Microsoft Internet Games’ project. This essentially means that the online editions of Backgammon, Checkers, Spades, Hearts and Reversi will be offline soon. Microsoft XP and ME users will be the first to lose when playing these games. Windows 7 users have a bit more time to play these classic games. However, even the Windows 7 platform won’t be able to access these games beyond the end of January next year. Interestingly, Windows 7 will officially come to the end of its support life on January 14, 2020. Therefore, it looks like Microsoft is just making sure that users have yet another push to upgrade to Windows 10.
Interestingly, since the whole project is going to be taken offline, even Windows 10 operating system users should not be able to access these popular classic games. However, the move is a clear indicator of the reorientation and reorganization of departments and resources at Microsoft. Windows 10 has a brand new Microsoft Store that is home to tons of games developed by third-party developers. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense for Microsoft to continue hosting legacy games, and that too for outdated operating systems.
– PC player (@pcgamer) July 11, 2019
Which Microsoft Internet games on Windows XP, Windows Me, and Windows 7 are ending?
Essentially, all classic games that users of the legacy Windows operating system have played will be taken offline. All of these games are part of the ‘Microsoft Internet Games’ project. Here is the list of games that Microsoft will make unplayable:
- Internet Backgammon (XP / ME, 7)
- Internet Checkers (XP / ME, 7)
- Internet spade (XP / ME, 7)
- Internet cores (XP / ME)
- Internet Reversi (XP / ME)
- MSN Go (7)
As the list above shows, the games are hosted on remote servers. In other words, these games cannot be completely installed and played offline. Moreover, it is clear that all these games will be killed first on Windows XP and ME. Incidentally, Microsoft has confirmed that the 31st July 2019 will be the last day Windows XP and Windows ME users can play these classic Windows games on the internet. Windows 7 OS users have a bit more time. Microsoft has allowed Windows 7 users to play these classic games until January 22, 2020. The date is a bit odd mainly because Windows 7 as an operating system will not be officially supported after January 14. 2020. Microsoft announced the end of access to these games via an article on the Microsoft forums that read:
“We really appreciate all the time and passion you have put into Microsoft Internet gaming. It has been a great community. However, now is the time for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources in newer technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences. Current players can enjoy the games until the above dates when game services will cease, and the games listed will no longer be playable.“
The choice of words makes it clear that Microsoft is not interested in continuing to host these games on its own servers. However, the company was quick to reiterate that Microsoft Store currently hosts thousands of popular games on the internet or online. “While we are saddened to leave this chapter behind, we continue to be committed to providing engaging and enjoyable gaming experiences. We hope you will accompany us on this journey and join the community of one of Microsoft’s other casual games.
Microsoft Store offers many alternatives to classic Windows games:
A quick search of the Microsoft Store in the Windows Applications Section reveals hundreds of alternatives to popular classic Windows games. Besides the very popular new game titles, there are dozens of alternatives to backgammon, checkers, spades, hearts and reversi. In other words, gamers still interested in these games have a lot of choices.
The real intention behind shutting down access to classic Windows games on the “Microsoft Internet Games” project is amply clear. Gamers interested in playing these classic games must have Windows 10 operating system installed. They will have to forgo using legacy and obsolete Windows operating systems like Windows XP, ME and Windows 7. There is no mention Windows 8 or 8.1, but surely Microsoft would like all or at least most users to adopt its latest operating system. .
– Nerd House (@thehouseofnerd) July 11, 2019
Despite repeated notifications and warnings, Windows 7 and even Windows XP continue to command millions of users. The user base for these outdated operating systems is still staggering and a cause for concern for Microsoft. The company has tried several techniques, including donating its Windows 10 operating system for free, to get people to ditch older operating systems. While Windows 7 still commands a respectable user base, Windows 10’s user base has recently grown. In other words, Windows 10 has recently become the most used Windows operating system among all of its previous iterations.
From a gaming perspective, Windows 10 has proven to be a worthy platform. Players enjoyed the subtle developments which add significantly to the smooth gameplay. In addition, the Windows Store quickly proves to be a good option for discovering and playing thousands of casual games. In view of these developments, it is important not to miss access to a dedicated platform which only hosted classic Windows games.