Looking to do some brief interviews with TechNet Forum users... RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • One of the teams from Microsoft involved with the TechNet forums is doing a small customer interview project this month (Sept/Oct).  If you are willing to give us 15 to 20 minutes of your time and are selected out of the list of volunteers who fill out 'yes, I'll talk to you' survey (link below), you will be invited to do a 15- to 20-minute dial-in phone interview and receive a $25 gift card upon completion of the conversation as a token of thanks.

    Click HERE to volunteer for the interview, and there's more detail below if you're interested.

    Why are we doing this?

    We know some of you are dedicated users who frequently ask or answer questions. Some of you may be browsers, coming here to check out things that interest you. And some of you may simply land here as you do a search for a technical issue you’re having. We want to know more about how the TechNet Forums are working out for each of you. What we learn can help us make changes to improve the experiences for everyone.

    When is this happening and how will it work?

    Starting with the date of this post, we are actively soliciting participants. We will review your information for eligibility, and if selected as part of the sample, we will contact you by email and once we get a response, we'll work with you to schedule a dial-in phone interview (i.e. we won't call you and don't need your phone #), within one to two weeks. We will keep the sign up open until we have gathered enough volunteers to fill the interview slots, and we’ll post back here when we’re done to let you know that we’ve finished.  We plan on doing this multiple times over this year and so you may see this post repeated in this forum later in the year.

    What exactly are you signing up for?

    Only that you’d be willing to talk to us for this specific one-time interview. The only personal information you will need to give us for signing up is an email address for us to reach you at. If selected for the interview, we will provide you with a dial-in number to call. Click HERE to read the Microsoft Privacy Statement.

    Who is eligible?

    Pretty much everyone who is comfortable conversing in English and is not affiliated with Microsoft Corporation is eligible to participate. Depending on the number of volunteers, we may not be able to interview everyone who is eligible.

    Dennis Pollett
    Microsoft PM

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:29 PM

All replies

  • Hi Dennis,

    Is this related to the forums only or is Microsoft finally reaching out to get some serious feedback on the demise of TechNet subscriptions? It doesn't sound like you are, but I ask only because of where you posted this thread (TechNet feedback).

    If this questionnaire is only related to the forums, I would recommend moving (or reposting) this thread to one of the Using Forums forums instead. Forums Redesign - Q&A / Discussions or Suggestions and Feedback for the Forums would probably be the best, in my estimation. Even Forums Issues or Annoucements for all Forums would be better if you're not actively looking for feedback on the (IMHO) bad decision to retire TechNet subscriptions.

    I'm sure you're going to hear very bad things about the redesign. It's pretty terrible, but at least there have been significant improvements over the last few releases. I would prepare to hear many requests of 'Give me my old forums back, I can't stand this new design', even three months after the fact. Some of us have gotten used to it, others have left for good (which is a very sad thing for your customers who could have benefited from their experience and knowledge).

    Either way, I'm glad to see Microsoft soliciting feedback and not just leaving Bryant to handle all of this flak by himself. I just hope that it actually gets listened to.

    Bottom line, I'm a huge fan of the forums and I would hate to see them "upgraded" any further. I enjoy helping others, and I get to learn new things along the way. Total win-win situation.

    Don't retire TechNet! - (Maybe there's still a chance for hope, over 11,925+ strong and growing)

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 12:16 AM
  • Mike hit the nail on the head...you're going to hear some very bad things about the redesign. The new garish look of everything. Nothing resizes correctly and I'm looking at a constant 50% of the screen on either side of threads are just wasted white space.  I mean, really...I didn't think things could get any uglier, but you've simply outdone yourselves again this week with the new home page announcement...

    Who decided to put the ugly green blocky box with the black VMWare vs. Microsoft...and then surround everything with bright blinding white? You must be color blind to actually put this on your home page:

    Is this really what Microsoft want's people to see? That ugly green and black look...and then surround everything with white? It's terrible. Simply terrible. 

    Then we go right below that and this is what we see...

    Look at that. There is more wasted grey space than there is information in each box. In addition it looks all dark, foreboding, and completely uninviting. It's like a graveyard. I can hardly even tell that's a Windows logo or is it a tombstone?

    Atrocious. What design school did that come from? The Borris Karloff School for vampires?

    The new TechNet design makes y'all look like amateurs....and I know you are not. I know you are some of the smartest people on the planet, so what gives with this travesty? What manager stuck you with this albatross?


    In any case...sure...I'll sign up. Wonder if I'll be accepted?


    • Edited by ABCFED Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:03 PM Because I like chairs.
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 1:16 AM
  • Dennis,

    Look at what I see when I scroll through the threads on my monitor. Just look at the vast amounts of wasted ugly white space to the left and right. Why can't the forums autosize to the browser window? This is not a technical challenge...this appears to be a conscious design choice. Is this really how the TechNet forums were designed to look...like suckiness? Seriously? You want it to look this way? Is anyone at all proud of this effort?

    As a contrast, this is what Windows 8 looks like. It is full of color, life, and everything is interesting. There are no white spaces anywhere. It resizes automatically to fit your screen. Things are organized as the user wants them. Look how much better of a design this is...because you've spent Billions on it as a company...

    Why can't your flagship technical forums look like your current operating system? It's as if you've got two different design teams going in completely opposite directions. One is stuck in the black and white 50's (aka the TechNet site) and the other is off into the land of Skittles rainbows (aka Metro). Your TechNet site looks like Trent Reznor designed it and your main operating system looks like the Teletubbies designed it.

    • Edited by ABCFED Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:58 AM Reason. Reason. Reason. Reason.
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 1:57 AM
  • ABCFED: Bit of good news for you - the bug about making a reason for an edit required was fixed a few releases ago. You can just leave it blank now if you want.

    EDIT: Yay, no reason required!

    Don't retire TechNet! - (Maybe there's still a chance for hope, over 12,000+ strong and growing)

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 2:22 AM
  • Really good point Mike, I should have put this in the Suggestions and Feedback for the Forums forum, kind of an obvious miss on my part!  And, to clarify, it is really specific to the forums vs. the TechNet site as a whole and/or the subscriptions.  And, thanks for the heads up and fair warning :-), I do appreciate that and definitely expect a bit of that...for a bit more context, I'm part of a team that focuses on the MSFT Support experience in general and our area specifically is more in the social space, so includes community forums (we also work with the more 'consumer oriented' MS Community (AKA 'Microsoft Answers') site a lot as well, so just trying to get another feedback channel other than the pop-up surveys that come up. 

    So yeah, I'll move this thread when I get into the office tomorrow, thanks!


    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:30 AM
  • Thanks, appreciate the thoughts (and per Mike's point above, I'll move this thread in the AM).  While we'll certainly take feedback around the design and make sure to pass it on to Bryant and team (though I'm sure it probably won't be totally new feedback from what I've heard :-), we're more looking at how people think of community, what they think 'success' is, what kind of things within the experience 'matter' the most, etc. etc.

    And, it's ok if the feedback isn't positive:-), won't have any bearing on the selection process...basically, the selection process is really more around getting a 'representative' pool of users, since we tend to get a little higher proportion of folks who are 'regulars' volunteering (which is expected of course), but we'll be doing this several times during the year, so if we don't catch you in the first go around, we'll probably try you later in the year also.



    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:36 AM
  • Dennis,

    I'm confused. There are hundreds if not thousands of TechNet posts already lambasting the new design, the decision to remove TechNet, the MCT/MVP access, and others. There is so much feedback about our TechNet "experiences" and how they "matter" already just in this forum it is staggering.

    If you will notice in those threads, at least 95% of the feedback you have received has been negative. It's not even a close call...the vast majority hate the new decisions you've been making...yes...pretty much ALL of them.

    So far you've completely ignored all of our major feedback and it has been that way for months and months. You've gone to extreme measures to really really make us mad and piss us off by continually ignoring just about everything we say. There is a petition right now that has more than ten thousand signatures on it...from your most elite admins...all over the world...and yep...you've managed to completely ignore that feedback too. 10,000+ of your best and brightest...and you so far have shown you could care less about their feedback.

    So, we got the hint...that Microsoft was transforming into a device and services company and really wasn't looking to help us anymore. Not sure anyone but Ballmer likes this idea, but it's your company...you can do what you want I guess. Okay. We got that message loud and clear. You drilled it into us with your incessant form letter "read the FAQ" responses to any of our questions or suggestions.

    Now, suddenly, months later, you want to elicit MORE feedback from us? Why? This is strange.

    Was there something about the first 1000 times we said no, we do not like the change that didn't ring for y'all? Did someone of the TechNet team not inform you of the already overwhelming negative feedback threads that you could browse through to...literally...answer the questions you probably have...right now?

    Success, by the way...if you want the answer for TechNet, is listening to the very people that want you to succeed the most and communicating with them effectively. Then working together to create solutions.

    • Edited by ABCFED Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:57 PM
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 1:36 PM
  • Yes, agreed, there is a large amount of feedback on the new design and other issues related to TechNet, not disputing that or arguing that in the least, all I'm trying to say is that the point of this particular survey/feedback process isn't targeted at those areas.  The particular team I work with doesn't own TechNet (the site, platform, UI, etc.), we look at social support (i.e. community forums, Twitter, Facebook, etc. etc.), so while we can (and will) pass on any UI feedback we get as a result of this process to the teams that own that area (which, as you mention above, I'm sure they're aware of:-), we're actually looking for different kinds of data points around social support.  Hope that helps clarify a bit why I put the post up.



    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:37 PM
  • Instead of vague beating around the bush suggestions as to what you might be possibly considering thinking about what you want to maybe ask us in this phone survey that we might be selected for at sometime in the near to late future...how about just coming out and SAYING exactly what sort of survey it is going to be?  I am interested, but only if I would be able to provide relevant data points.


    So obviously this is not about the UI, the forum redesign, or the loss of TechNet Subscriptions (that ship has sailed, or more appropriately, sunk).  It is apparently about getting a 'representative' cross section of users to glean some sort of 'information' about the 'social networking' aspects of support.  To me, that means exactly zip.  Is MS looking to make a FB competitor?  Merge TechNet into Google+?  What, exactly are you looking for?  I would like to participate, but again, only if it is relevant.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:50 PM
  • Not trying to be vague, just not doing the survey itself in this thread...again, the point is not so much about TechNet itself per se, or research for creating a new product, etc.  We'll be asking questions such as: what 'success' means for individuals using community forums, what aspects matter the most to them (who responds, timing of responses), expectations for MSFT or MVP presence and what 'presence' means, whether using a community support modality is a primary choice of how to find a solution or simply a result of an internet search, etc. etc. 

    Hope that helps a bit.



    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:15 PM
  • Dennis, using the community forums with the new changes = less success than with the forums the way they were a year ago. Thousands of other TechNet members have already voiced their opinion to the same.

    I really don't see the point of the feedback survey or what it is supposed to address if you are not even looking at the elephant in the room. You'll never get anywhere if you continue to ignore that.

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 5:02 PM
  • Hi Dennis,

    And here I thought you'd come to help us. Silly me.

    Well, good luck with your survey then. You have a great day.


    • Edited by ABCFED Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:51 PM
    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:49 PM
  • If my custom CSS wouldn't suppress these ridiculous "vote" buttons, I might vote this post up. It is a really great summary of what I think, too. You (MSFT) ignored almost all basic feedback and did some minor and meaningless updates, but the big issues still exist and are well documented and expressed in feedback posts.

    On the other hand I don't care about these ridiculous "vote" counts, so I might not vote it anyway ;-))

    Thanks ABCFED for your post!


    NO THEY ARE NOT EVIL, if you know what you are doing: Good or bad GPOs?
    And if IT bothers me - coke bottle design refreshment :))

    Restore the forum design - my user defined Cascading Style Sheet!

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:19 PM
  • Dennis, from your desciption you "work at Microsoft in the Support side of the business and am part of the team that helps to manage and evolve the Community experience for Microsoft."

    When you came here and found out this massive failure within your product group, you then seem to want to just slink away from us without doing anything about the "community experience" that you are "supposedly" in charge of.

    Sir, I'm appalled at your management style. Again, your limited feedback survey is meaningless when you are ignoring the much bigger issue.

    • Edited by dogimed Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:19 PM
    Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:17 PM
  • Dennis,

    Are you really not going to respond anymore? The "community experience" feeling you are apparently in charge of is absolutely in the toilet in these forums....and all you can do is slink off and not help? 

    I'm not sure what you do as a job because you obviously could care less about the "community experience".

    Why don't you try to become more of a "solution" rather than just a problem. We already have enough problems around here with Mike Kinsman continually ignoring our questions and pointing us to FAQ links.

    Monday, September 30, 2013 5:45 PM
  • Ok, I will give one more shot to try and clarify...so, I understand and hear the frustration about the community forum UI on TechNet and MSDN.  I'm not arguing it, disagreeing, or trying to gloss over.  And, while part of my job does involve social and support, I'm not part of the TechNet or MSDN teams within Microsoft and so don't have any decision-making authority or voting or anything like that on anything having to do with the site, the UI, the subscriptions, the naming, or anything else, for better or for worse. I'm simply doing some research on social experiences, one of which happens to be TechNet/MSDN.  Microsoft is a big company with lots of different pieces, and I also recognize that as part of that company I get to hear and take the feedback (good and bad), but I also don't want my post above to mistakenly drive the perception that I'm the person who can make the changes you're seeking on this site, I don't want to misrepresent those folks. I can make sure that what you're saying gets passed on to those who do (and I'll do that), but the questions we want to ask folks are much more generic and are about using social channels for support, etc....the TechNet and MSDN forums were just one of several places where we put our link in to reach out to IT Pro and Developer social users, not specifically as a means to gather feedback about TechNet and MSDN as a site in and of itself. 

    Hopefully that makes a bit more sense,



    Monday, September 30, 2013 9:29 PM
  • Danny,

    Kudos for actually responding without a canned form-letter response that linked to one of your FAQ. I like the fact that you are not sticking to a script and are telling us the information we need...

    ....which is that you can't help because you are just a cog in a bigger wheel...

    Again, thank you for responding Danny...I respect that. However,

    1. To whom can we communicate with on these issues if not you?

    2. If you can't answer #1...then expect to be bombarded by really, really upset people.

    We really need someone to work with us. Danny, just to summarize my position...I am so pissed off with y'all right now I'm ready to burn my MSCE card in protest. This is no idle joke. I am currently triple MCITP certified and have passed 49 MS exams. Been certified since Windows NT 3.51 and working with your products for 20 years now. Take THAT information to your "leaders".

    • Edited by ABCFED Tuesday, October 1, 2013 3:17 AM
    Tuesday, October 1, 2013 3:11 AM
  • Dennis - 

    As others have said, thanks for answering in a non-form letter type response.  I sincerely wish that those who ARE responsible for this area...those people to whom you will send our complaints...I WISH they would actually be conscious to our requests.  Please tell them that above all else...they should be READING these forums and actually REPLYING to us with more than "Thanks!  We'll put that on our list of things to do and get to it real soon!"  That's all we've gotten here lately and it is one of the reasons why you are being put through the ringer.


    Honestly, I do not envy you.  The parent has come into the playroom and taken all the games and put them on a high shelf.  And the kids can only get to them by climbing a ladder than is broken and falling over.  Then we have to very politely ask to get a game...in a language that we don't really know...and then we are handed a game we didn't ask for and told "Too bad, play with it anyways."  We get down the ladder to find that the game inside is not what is printed on the box and that there are missing pieces and our friends got sent home.  Then you come in and want to ask us how much fun we are having with our toys.  So yeah...one guess as to how we might react.

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013 3:12 PM
  • Thank you all for your responses. We understand that several users still feel that they are not as productive in the redesign. I can assure you that we are still taking suggestions and feedback. In order to address these properly we do encourage you to post in the other Forums (as canned as that sounds, I do apologize). Please find THIS announcement for best practices. The reason I say this is that it helps provide constructive feedback directly to the engineering team. Although we do not respond to every thread we review every suggestion/feedback item. We then execute on these based on user priority and complexity (obviously if we can resolve issues faster we will be implemented these first). We currently have a large list that is in our queue which we continuously review before the start of each release cycle. Voting does help us priorities these, although we are not solely using this as a prioritizing mechanism. However, we would still encourage you to vote to help us prioritize. As Dennis mentioned, his survey is differentiated from the redesign or UI. Therefore, I would encourage you to start threads if there are suggestions/feedback items you do not believe have already been stated in the Suggestion and Feedback for the Forums forum. This really is the best way to reach out to the engineering team.

    Forums Program Manager

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013 4:14 PM
  • Bryant,

    But we've been complaining for months now, every single forum thread on the matter is negative, and you have over 12,000 angry TechNet subscribers who have signed a petition. Nobody likes these changes. Nobody.

    None of us can see that you are taking any "suggestions/feedback" and we see things slowly declining steadily in quality. All we see is everything is getting worse....constantly. Again, you have a petition out there with 12,000+ names on it...not sure you need any more feedback to understand what you have created here is a turd. You seem to simply be ignoring the feedback given to you so far.

    Frankly, I'd rather you just throw out everything you've done over the past year and just give us back the TechNet site that we had a year ago. Whatever you are doing lately...it's just a terrible half-assed effort from what I'm seeing.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but that's the facts.

    I hate to butt in on this, but I want to back up the statement I made in my first post. I disagree with the statement that there haven't been any improvements made since the redesign. Granted, most of them have simply returned functionality from the previous design but at least we're a few steps closer to a better experience. See here, here, here, here, and here for more details if you're interested.

    The fact that I can now see the information about who/when marked/proposed an answer, edited a post, moved a thread, etc is big enough of a deal for me to be happy with the progress so far. Most of my other remaining complaints are related to visual issues rather than performance or content. (A few examples in no particular order: add some actual color, use the entire screen real estate, bring back paging on the thread list (or at the very least snap to the top when changing pages), move the poster's name, avatar, and timestamp back to the top of the post.)

    I'd certainly welcome a return to the old design, but there's zero chance of that happening. I don't even think of it as a possibility. It took me quite a while to get used to the new design (and I've learned enough tricks and workarounds in the past few months to tweak the visual annoyances to a point where I don't notice them as much), but I think I can honestly say that I'm pretty much used to it by now. There's still a long, long way to go, but I still definitely think we've seen enough progress to hold out hope. EDIT: Okay, maybe I'm grasping at straws here, but I'm still really trying to stay positive...

    Also, I don't think the petition mentions the forums redesign. Once I heard about the 'brilliant' plan to kill TechNet, I quit complaining about the redesign (for a while, at least) and focused on something much more important. If Microsoft would agree to bring the subscriptions back, they can keep the forums as they are and I won't complain at all. I promise.

    Don't retire TechNet! - (Maybe there's still a chance for hope, over 12,000+ strong and growing)

    Thursday, October 3, 2013 4:56 AM
  • Max, what you have posted is completely off topic. 

    If you have an issue with forums management I'm sure you can take it up with Ed Price.

    Thanks! Josh

    Monday, October 7, 2013 10:51 PM

  • Perhaps your dismissive reply (characterizing mine as off topic, but none of the others here) serves as an additional example for Dennis to observe.

    And perhaps you didn't notice that my original posts here were deleted, and I restored them under the user name Sigmund Freud.

    Mate I hadn't looked to be honest..

    Thanks! Josh

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013 1:11 AM
  • ABCDEF: Actually, one of the main Metro (Live Tiles) designers was a part-time Teletubbies producer...

    OKAY, I'M KIDDING, but... just for a second, you almost believe me, didn't you?


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 3:29 AM
  • And, ABCFED has some valid points. Look at the HUGE difference just switching between the bland, TechNet overall forum to the MSDN part of the forums - the latter having much more pleasant design - as ABCFED and some others have pointed out, it's like "a disembodied melee" - it's like completely different design companies; no seamless experience of going from one Microsoft area to the next - and, yes, Microsoft is HUGE; and we know you have 15,487 divisions, with, 431,110 departments, and 286,000,000 employees, but... it's just NOT a consistent experience to the users/public. Maybe nothing can be done about it, since all divisions would probably fight against any cohesion of design, right?

    Thanks for listening. CLICK "VOTE!" EVERY VOTE MATTERS - and, when you vote for me, it matters to me! ;-)


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 3:36 AM
  • ABCFED: Or, to "repair" broken solutions. So true. Okay, "bent," not completely broken.

    But, granted, the 'feedback' mentioned was not related to the forum design, per se, more to some 'social aspect' of what they're doing (not that the 'design' isn't related to the social aspect), but... you get the drift.

    Why can't it be like "So You Think You Can Dance," where the COMMUNITY gets to 'vote' on the design, and all the related aspects? Just a thought. I will attempt to be coherent, from time to time.


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 3:42 AM
  • Kamin, you guessed it (I'm guessing): Microsoft wants to find out WHY so many people have clamored to facebook and have bought iPhones and what all factors into those consumer decisions.

    Again, I am guessing, just like you - but maybe it's along those lines, and they can't spill too many beans, until the grease in the pan is hot enough to cook those darned Microsoft Beans.

    MSBeans, then, is my suggestion for the name of new Microsoft Social Nirvana - it will be an all-encompassing, fully transparent, yet fulfilling seamless user experience between Windows Phone, Surface Tablet, Laptop and MicrosoftGlass (Microsoft's version of Google Glass). Not only will your contacts flow to and from "the cloud" effortlessly, your entire life will be backed up in the cloud - pictures, DNA / Genomic fingerprint, favorite TV shows, your "permanent" record, and MORE - and, you will be able to download your life, at any time, "free of charge," from ANY MSBeans-compliant device!

    MSBeans - Something NEW is cooking; and it smells like "burnt Facebook" ...

    Brought to you by our sponsor - Piedmont Natural Gas... ;-)


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 3:55 AM
  • Actually, it (using the Forums and related resources) is fast becomng a "primary choice" for finding solutions. Many experts reside here, hang out here, or breeze through here; and there's a wealth of useful, focused (for the most part) information.

    The forums and related resources are becoming what a lot of other places "pretend to be:" as close as possible to being an actual "knowledge base" of problem resolutions, troubleshooting steps and educational, tutorial and research information.

    Feedback, response, reward, satisfaction. Those are the "drivers." Not all feedback (ahem: forum design) can be acted upon immediately or directly but, to KNOW that "the owners" are listening - that helps with retention of the "loyal underpinnings" of the community - those experts who don't mind taking the time to help and share and, at the same time, still learn and grow and, yes, sometimes be "put in their place."

    [It's like Green Acres - I think I hear a patriotic tune playing... ]


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:04 AM
  • Yes, it does make more sense. Thank you for clarifying further.


    FYI, I was replying to Dennis - thanking  him for clarifying the Microsoft survey.
    • Edited by TNJMAN Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:35 AM optional
    Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:10 AM
  • Mike Laughlin: Yours is an "A NUMBER ONE" suggestion: "... move the poster's name, avatar, and timestamp back to the top of the post." <------ YES!!!! I agree!!!


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:21 AM
  • Mike Laughlin: Yours is an "A NUMBER ONE" suggestion: "... move the poster's name, avatar, and timestamp back to the top of the post." <------ YES!!!! I agree!!!


    There's a voting thread here if you want to join in on the fun:


    Don't retire TechNet! - (Maybe there's still a chance for hope, over 12,110+ strong and growing)

    Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:30 AM
  • Definitely. TechNet subscriptions were fantastic!


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 4:38 AM
  • I will visit that thread - thanks for letting me know. Voting, after all, is a repsonibility, not just a right. ;-)


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 6:36 PM
  • Okay, I visited the "place the post author on top" link; I posted, I voted, I participated.


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:44 PM
  • As for TechNet subscriptions; I think that is more of a "Hey, we can cut costs HERE!" type of thing.

    I think they want to provide "The ENTIRE UNIVERSE via [The Cloud]."

    So, instead of 500 TechNet DVDs, you just download 12 Terabytes of TechNet goods from "The Cloud."


    Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:49 PM
  • I responded and I agree to give my honest opinion about forums. I've been expressing my opinion in many threads in Forum's Issues and Forums Re-Design forums.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law

    My blog

    My TechNet articles

    Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:04 PM
  • Dennis, is there a deadline? Will you tell us when you're done?

    We're going to sticky this thread for now so more people see it.


    Ed Price, SQL Server Customer Program Manager (Blog, Small Basic, Wiki Ninjas, Wiki)

    Answer an interesting question? Create a wiki article about it!

    Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:57 PM
  • I've signed up - but like others have said - it won't be pretty.

    Responders don't actually read the post/question.  They spot a few keywords, go and cut & paste a generic article then don't read responses.

    I've posted quite a few challenging questions and never get anyone that can resolve the issues.  I'm now realizing it's a waste of my time and my clients time to bother posting here.

    It's so demoralizing to realize Microsoft has put forth so little effort (or QA) into their latest products.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:27 PM
  • Just to throw in something positive feedback which I use Technet forums for. (Also signed up for interviews)

    I work as consultant, so its important for me to stay heads up on errors and issues with a lot different products. Rather than relying on a single persons ability to post on a personal blog I scout technet forums to see which errors and issues are mentioned often. If its within my area, I could use some effort, trying to repro and fix as this will benefit my own work. 

    Secondly I use the technet forums for inspirational knowledge on solutions. Every once in a while I pick up a piece which can be used to improve the way I design different solutions. 

    Third I like helping other people, even for free.

    Fourth, while I don't like the design changes, I still get the benefits, which is the reason I am here and not because its pretty, it never was.

    Fifth, Microsoft have designed, developed and released their products trusting the community in order to help them resolve, test and fix all the issues. They are more open on this approach than ever and is more than ever reaching out to the different communities. What do I get in return for this? 1: A job, 2: Fame, 3: Glory - and that is what drives me doing what I do.

    One interesting thought, how much feedback does Microsoft handle per day, looking at the different platforms they have made available. Technet, Connect, MSDN etc?

    Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:42 AM
  • I'm sure Microsoft is inundated with "too much" feedback and that may be part of their shotcoming - not being able to read, react, respond to all feedback in a practical and timely manner. They probably need a "Feedback Czar" and they probably have one - and likely, they have an entire "Feedback Division." With a company that large, with such a diverse product base, it's quite a nice "free benefit" having people come here and voluntarily support their products.

    If I am stuck on an issue (SharePoint 2010/2013, DFS, Server 2012, Server 2008, Exchange 2010/2013, Hyper-V 2008/2012, SCCM 2007/2013, Active Directory), I will search for solutions here.

    TechNet acutally is a "feather in Microsoft's cap" - allowing customers, peers and experts to collaborate on solving issues related to various Microsoft products.

    We don't (yet) get any benefit other than the "badges" and points, but maybe one day we could be rewarded "MicroBucks" to spend at Microsoft's online store, so that we could buy, try and support even more Microsoft hardware and software. How about MicroBucks to spend to enhance our Microsoft training/knowledge via formal "real" or "virtual" classes on Microsoft products?

    Has that been suggested? Would it be a useful incentive?


    Thursday, October 17, 2013 1:11 PM
  • John W. in Carolina : where are these "challenging questions?" Are they / were they technical, or related to forums use/design or what?

    Granted, I have had a few that were not able to be answered - and I have some old profiles I would like to have cleaned up and/or merged but, for the most part, I'm able to obtain answers; more so now than in the recent past. It seems there was a time when TechNet was... "less than helpful," but recently, things seem to have gotten better, as far as effort regarding some answers.

    At the same time, there are those people, as you have indicated, who just "cut and paste" and don't really even READ the question; much less put any effort into responding. What everyone has to realize is that these are just "normal people," like you and I - they are NOT Microsoft employees; so, if "Joe User" from Afghanistan decides to "cut-n-paste" a 'canned' answer, that's just a fact of having an 'open forum;' there's nothing really that can be done about that.

    Here are some types of the more lame/lazy answers that irritate me:

    "Check here: http://abc.xyz.com"

    And that's it - no intro (or outro) or anything that says, "I found the answer to your solution at this helpful link. Please check here: http://abc.xyz.com."

    Even worse:


    With NO comment whatsoever!

    It's like sometimes people will RACE to post something, ANYTHING, as fast as they can, with no context, no example of use, no comments, etc.

    One poster got angry with me because, at about the same time, he and I posted an answer (his was actually posted earlier than mine), and mine was chosen over his, because I posted the answer WITH AN EXAMPLE, IN CONTEXT with what the user was asking; whereas he simply said, "This might help: SOME-PARMETER." Well, if the user is not as technical as some of us, just posting a parameter, with no context of use, may not be helpful. At any rate, if we go the extra mile in providing more useful answers, I think it helps the reputation of Microsoft and the TechNet community, and makes for better forums and a richer knowledge base.


    Thursday, October 17, 2013 1:32 PM
  • You're right, I sure did. I'd rather not get back into that fight. EDIT: <snip>

    And I post links because I'd rather not retype someone's entire blog entry and take credit for their work. My links are good links. Go ask anyone who's ever followed one. If the people who ask these questions asked a search engine first, they'd never have needed to post.

    Don't retire TechNet! - (Maybe there's still a chance for hope, over 12,110+ strong and growing)

    Thursday, October 17, 2013 1:40 PM
  • I gave the interview yesterday and provided all information about what do I think about the re-design.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law

    My blog

    My TechNet articles

    Monday, October 28, 2013 4:27 PM
  • Two things for sure, either Microsoft doesn't read these any more or they have stopped listening to us, they don't need any more info to know what we need, they are fully aware, not that they cant; they are able, but they have decided not to. new day=new language + new OS - todays, (giant kb xxxxxx killbite  and Co. will see to it that previous programs cant be edited or work properly. whole life's work down the drain, hmmmmm!!! anyway; who can be a prophet here to tell us when 7 will die for 8.xx to be on the life support? as my vb 2010 32bit program can't run on the 64bit OS.
    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:59 PM
  • Love to participate but really cannot via phone.

    I am retired and most of my reading experience has been books. Books usually use a serif typeface and we therefore find it easier to read; spider script, pretty pastel colour in pale shades are a big NO and give eyestrain because as you get older you sight is not quite so good. I am not partially blind nor need high contrast schemes, just aged.

    This problem is wide spread in Microsoft and the lack of customisation in Windows 8 such as in XP and earlier is maddening. EVEN VISTA was customisable. I have not had time to find out if any improvement has been made to 8.1 as it has too many other functional problems for me to fix.

    Note choice between normal and bold is devil and deep blue sea!

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 10:12 PM
  • Same as you guys, I had the interview last week and gave my feedback.  As with some of you all, I spend considerable time within the TechNet stack and would be interested in seeing what feedback is collated.
    Thursday, October 31, 2013 11:56 AM
  • I am not sure If I get to say this on the phone, but I think is important to have an app for these forums. This is so bad that If I am on my phone I will never even try to use these forums. 

    Something to think about for Microsoft !

    Thursday, October 23, 2014 2:55 PM
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