Microsoft these days announced that it is going to close its newsgroups and move the contents to its forums. It will start with the lowest-volume newsgroups, beginning in June 2010.
Personally, I am not very much surprised about this step: Some months ago I subscribed to several MS newsgroups – but many of them had quite a low daily message volume. Regarding similar topics, I was able to find a lot more up-to-date information using the respective MS forums. Responsiveness was also way higher there.
The low volume is one of the reasons Microsoft states for its move – but there are many more; among the most important are:
- Support for Q and A: In the forums one can easily see the direct relationship between a question and its answers
- Voting: Easily distinguish between rubbish and well-made answers
- Profile: Users can be identified as active users by visualizing their points they earned so far, their role (e.g. MVP)
- Spam prevention: Easier spam removal in forums than in newsgroups
…and many more. If you are interested in the whole list, I suggest you have a look at:
However, since especially for MVPs-to-be the newsgroups have been essential pillars ever since, I am wondering whether these awards can now be (partially) obtained by actively participating in forums.
The information, however, isn’t lost – it’s only moved to the forums. It won’t affect me a lot, since for support during the last months I have turned to the forums anyway – mostly due to the lacking responsiveness, spammers and the diminishing contributions.
All in all my personal conclusion is: Good move, MS! Once in a while it is necessary to get rid of legacies, especially when they turn it to be no more feasible.
Stay tuned and have a nice week,