http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/microsoft-shutting-down-its-docs-com-office-file-sharing-site/article/494709

Microsoft shutting down its Docs.com Office file sharing site

Posted Jun 9, 2017 by James Walker
Microsoft has announced that it is shutting down Docs.com, the company's little-known file sharing site that lets you upload and publish Office documents. The closure comes shortly after a major security incident on the site.
Docs.com
Docs.com
Microsoft publicly announced the unexpected shut down in a support post and email to users today. The company will be taking the website offline on December 15, 2017. The procedure starts today and various parts of the site's functionality will become inaccessible in the months ahead.
Microsoft hasn't given any precise reasons for the closure. The service is designed to let you "showcase and discover" Office documents from users around the world. You can upload your content to your personalised profile and publicly share your best work. Users can like and save content, inspect how it was made and embed it on webpages.
Docs.com also includes a form of blogging functionality that lets you create public posts using Microsoft's Sway service. Built-in analytics features provide insights into the distribution and reach of content.
Despite being a surprisingly fully-featured platform, Microsoft never actively promoted Docs.com, leaving many users unaware of its existence. The service was never directly integrated into any of the core Office apps.
Docs.com
Docs.com
For most users, Docs.com existed only as a tile in Office's app launcher on the web. A glance at the site's homepage shows how few Office customers actually engage with the service. Even the most successful content rarely exceeds a few thousand views.
Docs.com can currently be used to share Word documents, PowerPoint and Sway presentations, Excel spreadsheets and OneNote notebooks. There's also the option to upload PDF files and even Minecraft worlds created in Minecraft for Windows 10.
The first step in the shutdown process starts today. If you wanted to try out the service for the first time, you can no longer do so as Microsoft has disabled the account creation page. Existing users can continue to use the site as normal until August 1st, 2017. On this date, the publishing and editing of content will be disabled. On December 15th, 2017, the entire site will go offline.
Microsoft confirmed that it will be deleting all user data. It has created migration tools that let you move any files you stored exclusively on Docs.com to your OneDrive account. The company has also created redirects that will ensure links to Docs.com content still work after the closure, provided you transfer your work to OneDrive.
Microsoft hinted at the future of the Docs.com concept by advising users to rely on SlideShare for their future document uploads. SlideShare is a LinkedIn product, a company now owned by Microsoft. The service is well-established and much more popular than Docs.com. It focuses on the same core premise of public file sharing, although without the intriguing blogging facilities offered by Docs.com.
Docs.com
Docs.com
"Following Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, SlideShare has joined the Microsoft family, and represents the ideal platform for publishing your Word, PowerPoint, and PDF content with its audience of 70 million professionals, and vast content library," said Microsoft.
"For custom sharing, OneDrive offers additional tools, permission settings, and security to help share and protect your data and content. With the retirement of the Docs.com service, we hope to streamline our offerings in this space and provide you with a more cohesive experience."
The service's shutdown comes less than three months after a flaw in the site's search feature made highly sensitive files visible on the web. Although the issue was caused by users marking their uploads as public rather than private, it led to criticism of Docs.com that caused Microsoft to temporarily block the site and then return it without a search bar. Microsoft hasn't commented on whether the closure is related to the widespread press coverage of the privacy scare.
Docs.com users can find more information on how to download or transfer their content away from the service in Microsoft's support article. The company has also published resources to help Office 365 administrators migrate company data to OneDrive for Business. It said it will provide more help through the shutdown procedure.