Classic Windows Games For Windows 7, XP Will Be Taken Down Soon As ‘Microsoft Internet Games’ Is Handed Over To Partners?

Some of the most popular classic games for legacy Windows operating systems will soon cease to function. Microsoft has confirmed that the ‘Microsoft Internet Games’ project is being taken offline. While the games will stop to be accessible and hence playable at the end of this month for Windows XP and Windows ME, Windows 7 users have a little longer time. The Windows operating system developer has indicated that the project will not continue. The primary reason behind the decision appears to be a consolidation of processes and resources at Microsoft.

Microsoft is shuttering the ‘Microsoft Internet Games’ project. It essentially means that the online editions of Backgammon, Checkers, Spades, Hearts, and Reversi will soon go offline. Users of Microsoft XP and ME will be the first to lose out on playing these games. Windows 7 users have a little longer to play these classic games. However, even the Windows 7 platform will be unable to access these games beyond January-end of next year. Interestingly, Windows 7 will officially come to an end of its support life on January 14, 2020. Hence, it appears that Microsoft is merely ensuring users have yet another incentive to move onto Windows 10.

Interestingly, since the entire project is going to go offline, even Windows 10 OS 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 offers an entirely new Microsoft Store that houses tons of games developed by third-party developers. Hence it makes little sense for Microsoft to continue hosting legacy games, and that too for obsolete operating systems.

Which Microsoft Internet Games on Windows XP, Windows Me, and Windows 7 Come To An End?

Essentially, all classic games that legacy Windows operating system users played will be taken offline. All these games are part of the ‘Microsoft Internet Games’ project. Following is the list of the games that Microsoft will render unplayable:

    • 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)

As evident from the list above, 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 of 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 internet-based classic Windows games. Windows 7 OS users get a little more time. Microsoft has allowed Windows 7 users to play these classic games until January 22, 2020. The date is a little odd primarily because Windows 7 as an OS won’t be officially supported after January 14, 2020. Microsoft announced the termination of the access to these games through a Microsoft Forums post that read:

We truly appreciate all the time and passion you’ve put into Microsoft Internet Games. 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. Current players may enjoy the games until the dates above when game services will cease, and the games listed will no longer be playable.

The choice of words clearly indicates Microsoft is not interested in continuing to host these games on its own servers. However, the company was quick to reiterate the fact that Microsoft Store currently hosts thousands of popular internet-based or online games. “While we’re saddened to leave this chapter behind, we continue to be committed to delivering engaging, delightful gaming experiences. We hope you’ll come with us on this journey and join the community of any of the other Microsoft casual games.”

Microsoft Store Offers Plenty Of Alternatives To Classic Windows Games:

A quick search on Microsoft Store within the Windows Apps section reveals hundreds of alternatives to popular classic Windows games. Apart from new titles of massively popular games, there are dozens of alternatives to Backgammon, Checkers, Spades, Hearts, and Reversi. In other words, players still interested in playing these games have plenty of choices.

The true intention behind shuttering access to classic Windows games on the ‘Microsoft Internet Games’ project is amply clear. Players interested in playing these classic games must have Windows 10 OS installed. They will have to give up using the legacy and obsolete Windows OSes like Windows XP, ME and Windows 7. There’s no mention of Windows 8 or 8.1, but Microsoft would surely want all or at least most of the users to adopt its latest operating system.

Despite repeated notifications and cautionary warnings, Windows 7 and even Windows XP continue to command millions of users. The user base of these obsolete operating systems is still staggering and a cause of concern for Microsoft. The company has been trying several techniques, including free give-away of its Windows 10 OS, to get people to ditch the older operating systems. Although Windows 7 still commands a respectable user base, Windows 10’s user base recently gained momentum. In other words, Windows 10 recently became the most used Windows operating system among all its own previous iterations.

From a gaming perspective, Windows 10 has proven to be a worthy platform. Gamers have appreciated the subtle developments that significantly add to smooth gameplay. Moreover, the Windows Store is quickly proving to be a good option to discover and play thousands of casual games. In light of these developments, switching off access to a dedicated platform that only hosted classic Windows games should not be sorely missed.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.