MSDN Magazine Ends in November

Posted on August 6, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 11 Comments

Microsoft announced this week that it will stop publishing MSDN Magazine in November after a 19-year run.

“MSDN Magazine originally started as two separate magazines, Microsoft Systems Journal and Microsoft Internet Developer, which consolidated into MSDN Magazine in 2000,” an announcement on the MSDN website reads. “Our first issue that year was entirely devoted to the Windows operating environment. How far have we all come since then? As Microsoft products and services expanded exponentially over the years, MSDN Magazine has gone through its own evolution, as well. We realized that it is time to retire MSDN Magazine and to carry on its work through Web channels like Microsoft Docs.”

I was a long-time subscriber to both Microsoft Internet Developer and MSDN Magazine, but like many, I long ago let my paper-based subscriptions lapse as the world went digital. (And Microsoft Systems Journal is of particular interest to me now for research related to the Programming Windows series.)

Microsoft notes that current subscribers will receive a pro-rated refund, based on the time remaining on their subscription. Refund checks will be mailed out to those subscribers after the November issue arrives.

But I hope that Microsoft follows through on its promise to make all MSDN Magazine issues available online. Browsing the content now, I see only web-based issues back to 2009, and then issues from 2003 to 2008 in CHM format. So there are at least three years missing, and I’d argue that getting Microsoft Systems Journal and Microsoft Internet Developer up there is important historically as well. Let’s get this one right, Microsoft.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “MSDN Magazine Ends in November”

  1. gregsedwards

    Maybe now I'll finally stop getting multiple copies in the mail every month. ?

    • wright_is

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      In the UK, we used to get Computing and Computer Weekly, both weekly magazines aimed at IT pros. But they both had one problem, they were free and it was easier/cheaper for them to add you to their list again, when you changed jobs, than to update the old record on their database! (Probably advertising revenue per copy was enough to keep them churning out ever more copies.)

      The company where I did a summer job, they had about 20 IT pros working there (1982), but they received around 35 copies of each magazine every week!

      When I got my first job, there were around 40 people in our building, but we'd get in excess of 60 copies of the magazines. By the time I joined, there were strict instructions not to apply for a personal subscription, there were enough copies to go around!

  2. skane2600

    I suspect the online resources won't be of the same quality as the magazine was. There's something about committing to paper that raises the bar.

  3. wright_is

    I worked at a company, where we received the MSJ for a while. It was always an interesting read, but I never qualified for an MSDN or MSJ subscription and the price was pretty high in the UK, ISTR, so I couldn't justify subscribing for myself.

  4. rmac

    Whether it came from my first purchases of VB or VS and ultimately an MSDN subscription when I could afford it, I found MSDN Magazine inspirational. particularly around the time of the first release of .NET

    Inevitably paper is an expensive resource to be superseded with all things online, but one thing I really have missed in a long time were the former graphics, which I've been trying to say to MS are important 'memory placeholders' for old articles to be looked back on for reference. I see the new graphics in most of the MSDN sites e.g. ASP.NET and the online MSDN Magazine as an unmemorable set of pointless cartoons. In fairness to MS, this month's articles have, for the first I can recall in a long time, much more decent 'banner graphics' which I can subconsciously associate with the article subject (a bit like your site, Paul, if I may say). Much better and just that bit more inspirational.

  5. Steven Ball

    That's a bummer! I get MSDN magazine through my Visual Studio subscription at work and enjoy reading about all the fun new stuff I can't use while supporting those legacy applications.

  6. jwpear

    Used to love getting these and reading through them. A little sad to see it go. Not sure why, I stopped subscribing 4-5 years ago.

  7. eric_rasmussen

    I loved getting the giant computer catalog called Computer Shopper, and I couldn't wait for the new Dr. Dobbs and MSJ magazines to come out. I feel like information was slower to spread back then and that helped keep technologies around longer. Now days, as soon as you learn something it's already deprecated for something newer. I miss the slower days. Good bye, MSDN, I will always have many fond memories of great documentation and funny Dr. GUI articles.

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