Xbox LIVE’s general manager Marc Whitten (Gamertag Notwen) has posted this letter to the community announcing that the XBL service for Original Xbox Games and consoles would be discontinued on April 15th.

Marc outlines these reasons for the upcoming changes:
Your Xbox LIVE community has grown to 23 million strong. And as we look down the road, we’ll continue to evolve the service with features and experiences that harness the full power of Xbox 360. To reach our aspiration, we need to make changes to the service that are incompatible with our original Xbox v1 games. We will contact the Xbox LIVE members directly impacted by this change and if this includes you, I encourage you to check your LIVE messages and associated e-mail account over the coming weeks for more details and opportunities. We view you as a partner in this process.

Hopefully we will see the XBL Friend cap disappear, or get raised, shortly after these changes.

Hat tip: Major Nelson