File photo: A sign marks the Microsoft office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. January 25, 2017. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
Every now and then, a company will make a product or service that arrives on the market, is ignored by most people, and then is shut down without warning — and very few people actually care. Such seems to be the case with Microsoft’s Docs.com document sharing service, which is being shut down after a little more than two years.
Docs.com was intended to serve as a place to show off your Office documents, but it never really caught on among users. Microsoft posted a bulletin that displays at the top of the site’s home page indicating that the service will officially shut down on December 15, 2017.
Microsoft’s message is simple and straightforward:
"Microsoft is retiring the Docs.com service on Friday, December 15, 2017 and we are hereby advising all users to move their existing Docs.com content to other file storage and sharing platforms as soon as possible, as Docs.com will no longer be available after this date."
Microsoft’s stated reason for closing down Docs.com is that there arebetter options available. When Microsoft purchased LinkedIn last year, it inherited the popular SlideShare service that also hosts Word, PowerPoint, and PDF documents to share publicly with other users. According to Microsoft, SlideShare has an audience of 70 million professionals, making it a vastly more meaningful platform than Docs.com.
In addition, Microsoft has its OneDrive cloud storage service, which allows for a host of sharing options. The company is promising to improve its sharing offeringsto make up for whatever has been lost with the shuttering of Docs.com. Microsoft also has its Sway service that can be used for publishing multimedia presentations, and it is directing users there as well.
If you happen to be one of the relatively few people using Docs.com, then as of today you’ll be able to access your existing documents that are stored there but you won’t be able to upload new documents. If you’re not using Docs.com, then you won’t be able to create a new Docs.com account — not that you’d want to. Existing users can sign into Docs.com and have their content automatically backed up to OneDrive.
You can find more details at Microsoft’s Office support site, including instructions on how to copy your documents out of Docs.com. There’s a host of information on the decision’s impact, and so Microsoft isn’t leaving its Docs.com users completely high and dry, even if it’s providing very little time to plan for an alternative.