Monthly Archives: June 2016

Groups feature disappears

Over the past week the persistent groups feature in Messenger has completely disappeared.  If you had existing groups loaded in Windows Live Messenger or Butterfly Messenger, they will now appear as offline.  Additionally, if you delete your locally stored cache of contacts or sign in somewhere you haven’t signed in before, you will see that any existing groups simply no longer exist.

Back on the server side of Messenger, if you attempt to access the groups or create another one, the service will reply with the error message “Circle no longer supported”.  (Circles is the original name of the groups feature.)

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Why this finally disappeared now is unclear, as the underlying groups feature in OneDrive had its demise back on October 16th and you haven’t been able to reliably create new groups in a while.

Additionally, this seems to be the end of group messaging on Messenger, as the alternative of adding people into conversations hasn’t been working since June of last year.

I’m thinking of making of a relay bot to get group messaging working again in some way, would anyone be interested in that?

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Outlook.com dropping DeltaSync support (and possibly MSNP) June 30

If the title sounds familiar, it’s because this whole situation started back in December.  Subsequently the disastrous KB3093594 patch was released to replace DeltaSync with Exchange ActiveSync, and then withdrawn.  The patch was clearly rushed and untested, as it crashed on Windows 10 and usually fell short of fully synchronizing messages.

Just like back in December, a number of users have notified me that they’ve received an e-mail from Microsoft entitled “Action required for users of Windows Live Mail 2012”.  This was sent last month and I’ve still yet to get my own copy of the message.  I’m guessing you need to be a daily user of Live Mail to have received it.

The following are the important portions:

It appears that you are currently using Windows Live Mail 2012 to connect to your Outlook.com account. Windows Live Mail 2012 does not support the synchronization technologies used by the new Outlook.com. When account upgrades begin at the end of June, you will no longer be able to receive email sent to your Outlook.com account in Windows Live Mail 2012. Rest assured, you can always access your email by logging into Outlook.com from any web browser, and you will continue to have access to all your data that is currently in Windows Live Mail 2012.

Please take action before June 30th, 2016, which is when we’ll begin upgrading accounts that currently use Windows Live Mail 2012. If you have more questions, please find answers to common FAQs in this help article, or you can contact Microsoft support.

Both in the email and the above referenced help article, they do not cover using IMAP or POP3 as an alternative so you can continue to use Live Mail. Instead they’re more interested in pushing you to the Windows 10 Mail application or signing you up for Office 365. Re-adding your account using IMAP would be my recommendation if you make use of Live Mail and Outlook.com/Hotmail.

What does this mean for Messenger?

Even if you don’t have Messenger installed, Windows Live Mail 2011 and 2012 partially sign you into Messenger using MSNP21.  This Messenger connection is used for e-mail notifications (when it worked) and although it’s technically a separate service, downloading your contacts.  While the announcement from Microsoft specifically mentions receiving e-mail, which is done over the separate DeltaSync protocol, there is a possibility that this has been one of the key reasons that MSNP21 is still operating and therefore the protocol could be shut down on June 30th.  Without further details there is no way to know until then.