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Microsoft Internet Games services are finally being ended

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Gaming has always been a big part of the Windows experience, a relationship Microsoft put a special emphasis on with the release of Windows ME in 2000. It included not just the usual must-play titles like Spider Solitaire and Minesweeper, but a series of five games that you could actually play on the internet—against other people!

I make fun (lovingly), and the Internet Games suite obviously didn't revolutionize the industry, but it was actually kind of a thing for some people. Dedicated gamers had been playing online for years prior to that, but for people with no real online experience (remember, this was two decades ago) or whose gaming habits never got beyond a few rounds of Klondike while they were stuck on hold, the idea of playing checkers against some other person in some totally different place could be pretty exciting.

But all good things come to an end, and so too will Internet Games. Microsoft has announced that Windows XP and ME services will be ended on July 31, while Internet Games services for Windows 7 will be halted on January 22, 2020. The shutdown will impact the following games:

  • 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)

"We truly appreciate all the time and passion you’ve put into Microsoft Internet Games. This has been a great community," the Windows Gaming Team wrote (opens in new tab). "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."

The games will continue to operate as normal until the listed closure dates, at which point they will no longer be playable. Make those memories while you can, people.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.