people in those regions wishing to continue chatting will need to switch to instant messaging via microsoft messenger.
the catalyst appears to be the tremendous amount of misuse that is occuring in the chat rooms on a daily basis.
by giving access to the unsupervised services only to subscribers, the company hopes to be able to hold users more accountable. this is a great move by microsoft, and i hope others follow suit.
as always, the announcement is creating reaction from two sides; advocates applaud the move to protect users and children, whereas others feel it will impede free speech. there has been way too much crap floating around various chat rooms, and it is dangerous to children.
Online chat rooms created by the company itself are still in service and use.