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Microsoft Responds to the Evolution of Online Communities

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by nntp@microsoft.com, May 4, 2010.

  1. nntp@microsoft.com

    nntp@microsoft.com Flightless Bird

    Date 5/4/2010
    Starting in early summer 2010, Microsoft will begin progressively closing down the Microsoft public newsgroups to enrich conversations in the rapidly-growing forum platform. This decision is in response to worldwide market trends and evolving customer needs.

    Microsoft continues to invest in forums to reduce customer effort, consolidate community venues and make it easier for active contributors to retain their influence. Forums provide a healthy community environment with less spam and make answers easier to find by customers and search engines. Additionally, forums offer a better user and off-topic management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by facilitating discussions in a clean space.

    We understand that some newsgroups are still active, and important to the community. In the coming days and weeks, we will be rolling out tools and resources to minimize disruption to the community discussions.

    We are working diligently on providing additional resources and information in local languages later this week. In the meantime, please refer to the official Microsoft Newsgroup website http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/default.mspx concerning this issue. The Microsoft Newsgroup website will be made available in additional languages in the next few days.
     
  2. Leonard Grey

    Leonard Grey Flightless Bird

    "This decision is in response to worldwide market trends and evolving
    customer needs."

    Baloney!

    This decision is in response to Microsoft's desire to control users'
    backlashes against its faulty software; to edit and delete posts at
    will; to control who is allowed to post to their forums; and to 'mark as
    the correct answer' responses from Microsoft acolytes that are
    irrelevent, vague and/or dead wrong.
    ---
    Leonard Grey
    Errare humanum est

    nntp@microsoft.com wrote:
    > Date 5/4/2010
    > Starting in early summer 2010, Microsoft will begin progressively closing down the Microsoft public newsgroups to enrich conversations in the rapidly-growing forum platform. This decision is in response to worldwide market trends and evolving customer needs.
    >
    > Microsoft continues to invest in forums to reduce customer effort, consolidate community venues and make it easier for active contributors to retain their influence. Forums provide a healthy community environment with less spam and make answers easier to find by customers and search engines. Additionally, forums offer a better user and off-topic management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by facilitating discussions in a clean space.
    >
    > We understand that some newsgroups are still active, and important to the community. In the coming days and weeks, we will be rolling out tools and resources to minimize disruption to the community discussions.
    >
    > We are working diligently on providing additional resources and information in local languages later this week. In the meantime, please refer to the official Microsoft Newsgroup website http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/default.mspx concerning this issue. The Microsoft Newsgroup website will be made available in additional languages in the next few days.
    >
     
  3. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    +1

    Leonard Grey wrote:
    > "This decision is in response to worldwide market trends and evolving
    > customer needs."
    >
    > Baloney!
    >
    > This decision is in response to Microsoft's desire to control users'
    > backlashes against its faulty software; to edit and delete posts at
    > will; to control who is allowed to post to their forums; and to 'mark as
    > the correct answer' responses from Microsoft acolytes that are
    > irrelevent, vague and/or dead wrong.
    > ---
    > Leonard Grey
    > Errare humanum est
    >
    > nntp@microsoft.com wrote:
    >> Date 5/4/2010
    >> Starting in early summer 2010, Microsoft will begin progressively closing
    >> down the Microsoft public newsgroups to enrich conversations in the
    >> rapidly-growing forum platform. This decision is in response to
    >> worldwide
    >> market trends and evolving customer needs. Microsoft continues to
    >> invest in forums to reduce customer effort,
    >> consolidate community venues and make it easier for active contributors
    >> to
    >> retain their influence. Forums provide a healthy community environment
    >> with less spam and make answers easier to find by customers and search
    >> engines. Additionally, forums offer a better user and off-topic
    >> management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by
    >> facilitating discussions in a clean space. We understand that some
    >> newsgroups are still active, and important to the
    >> community. In the coming days and weeks, we will be rolling out tools
    >> and
    >> resources to minimize disruption to the community discussions. We are
    >> working diligently on providing additional resources and
    >> information in local languages later this week. In the meantime, please
    >> refer to the official Microsoft Newsgroup website
    >> http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/default.mspx concerning
    >> this issue. The Microsoft Newsgroup website will be made available in
    >> additional languages in the next few days.
     
  4. Tom Willett

    Tom Willett Flightless Bird

    +2
    "PA Bear [MS MVP]" <PABearMVP@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:uTlIdkB7KHA.4208@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    : +1
    :
    : Leonard Grey wrote:
    : > "This decision is in response to worldwide market trends and evolving
    : > customer needs."
    : >
    : > Baloney!
    : >
    : > This decision is in response to Microsoft's desire to control users'
    : > backlashes against its faulty software; to edit and delete posts at
    : > will; to control who is allowed to post to their forums; and to 'mark as
    : > the correct answer' responses from Microsoft acolytes that are
    : > irrelevent, vague and/or dead wrong.
    : > ---
    : > Leonard Grey
    : > Errare humanum est
    : >
    : > nntp@microsoft.com wrote:
    : >> Date 5/4/2010
    : >> Starting in early summer 2010, Microsoft will begin progressively
    closing
    : >> down the Microsoft public newsgroups to enrich conversations in the
    : >> rapidly-growing forum platform. This decision is in response to
    : >> worldwide
    : >> market trends and evolving customer needs. Microsoft continues to
    : >> invest in forums to reduce customer effort,
    : >> consolidate community venues and make it easier for active contributors
    : >> to
    : >> retain their influence. Forums provide a healthy community environment
    : >> with less spam and make answers easier to find by customers and search
    : >> engines. Additionally, forums offer a better user and off-topic
    : >> management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by
    : >> facilitating discussions in a clean space. We understand that some
    : >> newsgroups are still active, and important to the
    : >> community. In the coming days and weeks, we will be rolling out tools
    : >> and
    : >> resources to minimize disruption to the community discussions. We are
    : >> working diligently on providing additional resources and
    : >> information in local languages later this week. In the meantime,
    please
    : >> refer to the official Microsoft Newsgroup website
    : >> http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/default.mspx concerning
    : >> this issue. The Microsoft Newsgroup website will be made available in
    : >> additional languages in the next few days.
    :
     
  5. shakey

    shakey Flightless Bird

    Has anyone ideas of where, how we might continue this and other ms
    newsgroups?
    I can only think of IRC but that might be hard for new comers to get to and
    its real time but I have gotten a lot of questions answered there.
    SG
    <nntp@microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:e3Y1yt$6KHA.6052@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
    > Date 5/4/2010
    > Starting in early summer 2010, Microsoft will begin progressively closing
    > down the Microsoft public newsgroups to enrich conversations in the
    > rapidly-growing forum platform. This decision is in response to worldwide
    > market trends and evolving customer needs.
    >
    > Microsoft continues to invest in forums to reduce customer effort,
    > consolidate community venues and make it easier for active contributors to
    > retain their influence. Forums provide a healthy community environment
    > with less spam and make answers easier to find by customers and search
    > engines. Additionally, forums offer a better user and off-topic
    > management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by
    > facilitating discussions in a clean space.
    >
    > We understand that some newsgroups are still active, and important to the
    > community. In the coming days and weeks, we will be rolling out tools and
    > resources to minimize disruption to the community discussions.
    >
    > We are working diligently on providing additional resources and
    > information in local languages later this week. In the meantime, please
    > refer to the official Microsoft Newsgroup website
    > http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/default.mspx concerning
    > this issue. The Microsoft Newsgroup website will be made available in
    > additional languages in the next few days.
    >
     
  6. Rob

    Rob Flightless Bird

    shakey <NOONE@NOWHERE.NET> wrote:
    > Has anyone ideas of where, how we might continue this and other ms
    > newsgroups?


    Make sure you access the group from another server than msnews, and
    that the maintainer of that server has disabled the processing of any
    rmgroup commands that Microsoft might send.
     
  7. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Flightless Bird

    Leonard Grey wrote:

    > nntp@microsoft.com wrote:
    >
    >> Starting in early summer 2010, Microsoft will begin progressively closing
    >> down the Microsoft public newsgroups ... This decision is in response to
    >> worldwide market trends and evolving customer needs.

    >
    > Baloney!
    >
    > This decision is in response to Microsoft's desire to control users'
    > backlashes against its faulty software; to edit and delete posts at
    > will; to control who is allowed to post to their forums; and to 'mark as
    > the correct answer' responses from Microsoft acolytes that are
    > irrelevent, vague and/or dead wrong.


    The feedback and discussion forums for the "Microsoft Forums NNTP Bridge"
    proxy prove how unreliable is Microsoft's solution. It might work but then
    stops working, it doesn't support the normal suite of NNTP commands, and a
    myriad of other problems reported by users of this gateway. Reading their
    forums shows that lots of users can't get their proxy working or keep it
    working. Also, access is very s-l-o-w when using their client (as it is
    when using their web interface).

    Personally I have yet to get their proxy to even connect to their server.
    Their proxy pukes with "Your profile was not found" despite creating an
    active Microsoft Connect account (which you need to download their client)
    and with a validated profile. Their instructions have you visit their
    *other* forums to create yet another profile. You must create a forum
    profile, not just a Connect profile. Below are their install instructions:

    - Go to any of the online forums at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/
    and click "Sign in" in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
    Understand the Windows Live ID is the same one that you want to use with
    this Client. This is a onetime effort to create your online profile. You
    don't need to do this every time you use this application. If you already
    have a Windows Live ID that you have used to sign on to any of the forums
    below then you can skip this step.
    - When logged into forums, users need to click their "My Settings" ...

    No matter which of their forum groups that I visit (MSDN, TechNet,
    Expressions, Answers, or Microsoft), the only link to my profile settings is
    "Create Profile". That has no "My Settings" page which is where you must
    visit to enable the "NNTP bridge" access by their client. Their proxy is a
    non-solution for me for NNTP-to-forum access. They don't have or are
    currently missing the requisite pieces at their web site to enable access to
    their web forums using their local client.

    When I was logged in and tried to post a message ("Ask a Question"), I got
    "Error 500: Sorry, we were unable to service your request. Please try again
    later." or "Error 500: The page you are attempting to view is temporarily
    unavailable due to system maintenance. Please try again later." depending on
    which forum group (MSDN, TechNet, Expressions, Answers, or Microsoft) where
    I was attempting to submit a post. Yeah, no big surprise that their web
    forums are screwed up again, a long-time ailment of their webnews-for-boobs
    interface, too, so maybe that's why I cannot get a "My Settings" page. Yep,
    Microsoft sure has provided a reliable venue for community support ... NOT!
    Even if an NNTP server goes down, I can always connect to a different one to
    access a newsgroup.

    It is also an ass-backwards solution. Forums that implement a
    forum-to-Usenet gateway (aka a webnews interface) have the gateway run on
    their forum's server which links to their NNTP server that peers to the mesh
    network of other NNTP servers (aka Usenet). Instead Microsoft wants you to
    install their proxy on your host (which is not configurable regarding its
    listening port), figure out how to load it on Windows login (since they
    don't do that setup), and reconfigure your newsreader to use this local
    proxy. The gateway should be running up on *their* server to permit
    standard NNTP access to their web-based forums. That this is how the rest
    of the world provides a webnews interface but which eludes Microsoft on how
    to implement a similar reliable solution. The reason Microsoft is
    ass-backwards in their approach is that they want their local proxy to
    authenticate to their server, something already provided in the NNTP
    protocol but which Microsoft doesn't want to support (despite still doing so
    for their private newsgroups). NNTP already has the necessary
    authentication to provide login credentials for users to log into validated
    accounts on the server. The NNTP server that I'm using to post here
    requires me to authenticate (i.e., it is not an anonymous NNTP server and
    instead requires me to login to the account that was created for only my use
    on that server).

    Be aware that Microsoft will demand more than just the install of their
    "NNTP bridge" proxy to access their web-based forums. When you attempt to
    download their installation file, you are required to also install their
    "File Transfer Manager" program which handles the download. You may never
    need it again but you'll waste the disk space leaving it on your host
    because no entry gets added in the Add/Remove Programs applet in Control
    Panel to let you uninstall this fluff that is no longer needed after
    downloading their "NNTP bridge" proxy. Using something like Zsoft's
    Uninstaller to monitor the install of FTM lets you later uninstall this
    superfluous program (and the same for a clean uninstall of their proxy if
    you decide you don't want to use it or find that you can't use it).

    As I recall, the Start dialog (when you have to manually tell their proxy
    client to make a connection) says this program isn't even created by
    Microsoft. There was some message at the bottom of the dialog indicating
    that Microsoft didn't create this program; however, some of the text was
    cutoff because whoever coded this client didn't bother to make it a
    DPI-aware program (I upped my DPI from the default of 96 to 120 to make use
    of the higher resolution of my LCD monitor so text stays the same size and
    also gets sharper).

    Microsoft isn't scrambling away from Usenet because of problems with their
    NNTP server. According to Microsoft, "The existing newsgroup platform
    (NNTP) is running on an outdated version of Microsoft Exchange that has
    reached its end-of-life and is no longer supported due to a business
    decision taken by Microsoft many years ago. This makes it impossible to
    enhance basic functionality, keep the platform secure and deliver a healthy
    experience for you and our communities." Operating an NNTP server is not
    rocket science as there are many one-person setups in operation worldwide
    (I'm using one of them right now to post this message). The problem is with
    Microsoft's interface beyond their NNTP server. Apparently the folks in
    charge of the NNTP-to-forums interface don't have the budget to get a newer
    version of Exchange from their own company.

    So you get to install software for a NNTP-to-forum converter proxy despite
    that NNTP already has the authentication needed to ensure users log into an
    account that is allocated for only their use. This proxy doesn't support
    the normal suite of NNTP commands. The interface is flaky. You need to
    modify your profile up on their server to enable access via their proxy
    client (if you can get at the "My Settings" page). The web-based forums are
    slow which also means access using their NNTP-to-forum converter proxy will
    also be slow. Oh joy, I just can't wait to devolve to dial-up speeds with
    flaky access.
     
  8. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Flightless Bird

    VanguardLH wrote:

    > The feedback and discussion forums for the "Microsoft Forums NNTP Bridge"
    > proxy prove how unreliable is Microsoft's solution. It might work but then
    > stops working, it doesn't support the normal suite of NNTP commands, and a
    > myriad of other problems reported by users of this gateway. Reading their
    > forums shows that lots of users can't get their proxy working or keep it
    > working. Also, access is very s-l-o-w when using their client (as it is
    > when using their web interface).


    I got the thing working and now I see why so many users are having severe
    problems with this NNTP-to-forums proxy: Microsoft is NOT using a valid
    Message-ID value. When you look at the headers for an article retrieved by
    their proxy, it has something like:

    Message-ID: <20073bca-ecf4-4593-89b4-9fec1443bc4f>

    Apparently Microsoft can't be bothered to slide in a valid domain-field on
    the right-side of an "@" character. A valid MID should look like:

    Message-ID: <20073bca-ecf4-4593-89b4-9fec1443bc4f@nntpbridge.microsoft.com>

    or more simply:

    Message-ID: <id-left@id-right>

    Because many newsreaders use the MID for sorting or threading, the invalid
    value is screwing over a lot of newsreaders.
     

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