In 2004, a few Microsoft employees hatched the idea of creating a site where developers, designers and others in the community could get to know the people who worked at Microsoft through non-marketing-sanctioned video interviews. That's when Microsoft Channel 9 was born. Today, November 5, 2021, that chapter is coming to a close, with the announcement that Microsoft is folding Channel 9 into Microsoft Learn.
Robert Scoble and Charles Torre, the primary two credited with Channel 9's founding, named the site after the United Airlines audio channel that enabled passengers to listen to cockpit conversations unhindered. Over time, the site grew to include hosted discussion forums like the Coffeehouse and Forums.
Microsoft is migrating the existing Channel 9 technical content over to Learn later this month, officials said, and the existing Channel 9 site will be shuttered. Most of the video content -- including what was published before or after November 2017 -- will be automatically migrated to the new platform, along with some "notable older videos," officials said. (Update November 18: Changed the wording on the dates "most" content will be migrated, based on an update from a spokesperson.)
Officials said the team behind Channel 9 will stay put and continue to work on video content for the developer community. Microsoft is planning to add more one-on-one interviews, more behind-the-scenes info and continue doing live streaming from events like Ignite and Build. Users will be able to add videos, shows and events to a collection that they'll be able to share or keep for themselves, officials said.