As 2017 comes to a close, Microsoft will shut down its long-running Connect beta test website. As noted by a recent ZDNet report, Microsoft Connect will no longer be used as a central hub to test and report bugs on Microsoft apps, including Visual Studio, SQL Server, etc.
Instead of using the Microsoft Connect website, users can report bugs directly from within the Microsoft app or through the app’s UserVoice or Feeback Hub. While Microsoft Connect is being phased out completely, there is a new website that will take its place, called “Microsoft Collaborate.” According to Collaborate’s documentation page, Collaborate is aimed to connect users more efficiently with Microsoft engineers to fix app bugs and more.
“The Microsoft Collaborate portal provides tools and services to streamline engineering collaboration within the Microsoft ecosystem by enabling the sharing of engineering system work items (bugs, feature requests, etc.) and the distribution of content (builds, documents, specs).
Register to participate in Microsoft preview, pre-release, collaboration and co-engineering engagements for external partners and customers. This includes engagement definition, feedback exchange, binary and content sharing and collaboration work spaces.”
It is possible that Microsoft wants to avoid confusion with its popular annual Connect events, but that’s just my guess. Apparently, Microsoft is going full steam ahead with its company mission for enterprise collaboration in Office 365, and this is their most recent development with Microsoft Collaborate. Anyone with a Microsoft account can register here for Microsoft Collaborate.