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MS and their new forums idea?

 
 
Bobby Johnson
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      05-07-2010
I have to sympathize with all of you about MS and their "forums" idea.
My experience with it is that everyone, including Apple users, think the
forums is where you go for any computer problem; even hardware problems
that Windows obviously has no affect on. One post I saw recently was
asking how to fix his broken USB receptacle that his brother had totally
broken off the laptop.

How can anyone think they can get a broken piece of hardware fixed in a
Windows forum?
 
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TMA
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      05-08-2010
And windows users flood Apple forums with windows/hardware related problems
too. That's what open web based forums are.
Of course anyone can come to usenet and post their brilliant questions here
too, but it's more unlikely.

I could add thousands of examples of why I think web forums suck, but here
I'll add just some of them:

1) Really bad design of most of them
2) Mirrowed forum threads. If you google a single post, sometimes you can
find the same threads in multiple domains
3) No qualified answers since anyone in the world can easily find your
question and decide to be funny and mess up with it
4) The necessity to sign up in each one of them in order to see an answer.
This is annoying and spreads your e-mail address all over the place
attracting a lot of spams. Not to mention the necessity to create new
passwords all the time or use old ones improving the risk to get totally
screwed. Some people will be dumb enough to sign up to a site and put the
same password used in his email address.
5) Sort of slow and hard to navigate
6) Unreliable answers
7) Off topic threads
Annoying Adds. Thousands of them.
9) The possibility to input virus in the posts since it's all HTML coded
10) It's difficult to keep track of relevant posts, because using the
bookmark feature of the browser to do so is a bad joke, isn't it?

Now why do I think specificly M$ should keep USENET?

1) All of the above, specially 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8
2) Because Bill Gates original strategy was to make his OS public and known
by the public. That's what made Windows the most common OS worldwide (not
its functionality or price or stability for sure). Experienced users
exchange is a lot more accurate in USENET than in web forums. That would
just ease the process of solving small problems.
3) No significant investment needed, so definitely it wouldn't hurt M$ to do
so.
4) If M$ could monitor these threads, it would get more accurate feedback on
their products since USENET users seem to be at least half a step higher
than the other ordinary users.
5) Because we would stop complaining

To illustrate the scenario I see these days, with the growth of Linux and
even Apple computers, let me share a few things I've noticed.

Lots of computers come with Linux pre-installed. That makes the computer a
lot cheaper in the store, and even though the user in most cases are not
really happy with it, they end up buying it. If he is not very demanding and
decides to play with it, he'll notice that no extra software is required to
do the most common tasks (ie. browsing, printing, burning cd/dvd, listening
to music, watching movies/pictures, conferencing even with a webcam and mic,
typing a text in a word-like program, etc). In addition, if he RTFM (and
everyone does in case of problems), he'll end being encouraged to enter an
irc channel where he can be instructed to solve almost any kind of problem
he might be experiencing. All free, all there in a irc chat room 24/7. Much
better than USENET even. Of course Linux is much more complicated to most
users, but when you have a step-by-step online instructor to tell you
exactly what to do, even though you have no clue of what you're doing (and
who said Windows users know what they're doing all the time?), the final
result will be much better.

On the other hand, apple is raising back to the market. They finally
surrendered to Intel architecture and dropped their prices a little bit.
They sell pretty stable monolithic computers to geeks and ordinary users.
There's not a really wide variety of third party software because apple
seems to put everything into bundles and sells itself the best solutions
available. This ensures performance and makes computer use experience
flawlessly in most cases. It takes a hardware problem or a really geek mac
use in order to make the system fail. And if does, he can google his problem
and will end up falling in the 3 or 4 big web based forums related to apple
products. That's not perfect, but the marketing graphics show that the
amount of problems versus the amount of mac forums are something you can
live with.

Now look at windows. 300 thousand billion third party software. Some old
enough to be Win95 compatible. Viruses all over the place and together with
them, a whole bunch of anti-spyware, anti-virus, anti-malware, etc. If you
have windows XP, you will be encouraged to upgrade to IE 8 and, if you do so
with default options, you will have a browser that takes 5 to 10 seconds to
open depending on your hardware/configuration. Then someone will tell you to
install Firefox or Google Chrome. Then you have to deal with MS Office or
OpenOffice, then a software to burn cd's, then a software to manage your
webcam, then a complicated firewall system, UAC, etc, etc. Then the
false-positive software counterfait message. To each of these "solutions",
thousands of options that users have no further info about, even though each
will cost 50+ dollars. Then, of course, you will have compatibility
problems, constant updates, etc. In the end of the day, it's a miracle M$
made a decently stable piece of OS even though all these things. And fact is
that your Windows OS will decrease performance as all these
updates/upgrades/third-party installs take place. Then you will need support
and you will find 300 thousand billion web based forums with questions like
the broken USB you spoke about. Why? Because M$ insists to SELL solutions
instead of just giving them. But this paragraph explains why it's so
expensive for them to keep each windows version running.

That being said, I believe M$ should do anything possible to ease access to
technical solutions to their products. They will still make money with
solution providing, they will still making money selling software, they will
still make money with all those banners in their web based forums. Don't
fear that M$, we'll be always with you, at least for a while.

> I have to sympathize with all of you about MS and their "forums" idea. My
> experience with it is that everyone, including Apple users, think the
> forums is where you go for any computer problem; even hardware problems
> that Windows obviously has no affect on. One post I saw recently was
> asking how to fix his broken USB receptacle that his brother had totally
> broken off the laptop.
>
> How can anyone think they can get a broken piece of hardware fixed in a
> Windows forum?


 
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Charlie Russel - MVP
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-10-2010
Yup. We used to get our share here in the early days, when 64bit showed up
at the top of the web interface.

Get the NNTP Bridge (on Connect) and use that. It works. A bit slow (but
getting better), and I've got some other quibbles with it, but it does work.

--
Charlie.
http://msmvps.com/blogs/russel




"Bobby Johnson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:eioEq$(E-Mail Removed)...
>I have to sympathize with all of you about MS and their "forums" idea. My
>experience with it is that everyone, including Apple users, think the
>forums is where you go for any computer problem; even hardware problems
>that Windows obviously has no affect on. One post I saw recently was
>asking how to fix his broken USB receptacle that his brother had totally
>broken off the laptop.
>
> How can anyone think they can get a broken piece of hardware fixed in a
> Windows forum?


 
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Bogey Man
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      05-10-2010
"TMA" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:uNE$(E-Mail Removed)...
> And windows users flood Apple forums with windows/hardware related
> problems too. That's what open web based forums are.
> Of course anyone can come to usenet and post their brilliant questions
> here too, but it's more unlikely.
>
> I could add thousands of examples of why I think web forums suck, but here
> I'll add just some of them:


So could I.

> 1) Really bad design of most of them

Agree

> 2) Mirrowed forum threads. If you google a single post, sometimes you can
> find the same threads in multiple domains

Same thing happens with Usenet.

> 3) No qualified answers since anyone in the world can easily find your
> question and decide to be funny and mess up with it

This happens no matter where you post.

> 4) The necessity to sign up in each one of them in order to see an answer.
> This is annoying and spreads your e-mail address all over the place
> attracting a lot of spams. Not to mention the necessity to create new
> passwords all the time or use old ones improving the risk to get totally
> screwed. Some people will be dumb enough to sign up to a site and put the
> same password used in his email address.


You only have to sign in at the beginning of your session and you email can
be munged as far as I can see.

> 5) Sort of slow and hard to navigate

Sure is. However you can add various forums to "My Threads"

> 6) Unreliable answers
> 7) Off topic threads
> Annoying Adds. Thousands of them.
> 9) The possibility to input virus in the posts since it's all HTML coded
> 10) It's difficult to keep track of relevant posts, because using the
> bookmark feature of the browser to do so is a bad joke, isn't it?
>
> Now why do I think specificly M$ should keep USENET?
>
> 1) All of the above, specially 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8


If they want to control what is posted and have control all of the newgroups
can be set up as "Moderated" and that will solve the problem right away.


 
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