Update - Microsoft Responds to the Evolution of Community

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  • Start date Views 1,422
G

Guest


What is Happening?
This message is to inform you that Microsoft will soon begin discontinuing
newsgroups and transitioning users to Microsoft forums.

Why?
As you may know, newsgroups have existed for many years now; however, the
traffic in the Microsoft newsgroups has been steadily decreasing for the
past several years while customers and participants are increasingly finding
solutions in the forums on Microsoft properties and third party sites. This
move will unify the customer experience, centralize content, make it easier
for active contributors to retain their influence, mitigate redundancies and
make the content easier to find by customers and search engines through
improved indexing. Additionally, forums offer a better user and spam
management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by encouraging a
healthy discussion in a clean community space. To this end, Microsoft will
begin to progressively shift available resources to the forums technology
and discontinue support for newsgroups.

In addition to offering a compelling online browser experience, for those
users who prefer to use an NNTP (newsgroup) reader to participate in the
newsgroups community, we have developed a solution called the NNTP Bridge
which allows a user to connect a variety of supported NNTP readers to the
forums they would like to participate in and continue having the NTTP reader
functionality. You can find instructions on how to download and set up the
NNTP Bridge here: http://connect.microsoft.com/MicrosoftForums/

Which Newsgroups Are Affected by this Shutdown?
All public newsgroups will eventually be closed between June 1, 2010 and
October 1, 2010. Microsoft will be closing newsgroups in a phased approach,
starting with the least active newsgroups and moving eventually to more
active ones throughout the course of the next six months.

When will this Happen?
Effective June 1, 2010 this newsgroup will be closed.

Where Should I go with the Closure of this Newsgroup?
Microsoft has a large selection of forums, many of which cover either the
same or closely related technologies to the ones found in the newsgroups.
The forums have seen amazing growth and are an excellent place to continue
the discussion. We recommend that you start with
http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/officeoutlook.

Should you want to visit the other Microsoft Forums, please go to
http://www.microsoft.com/communities/forums/default.mspx

Who Should I Contact with any Questions?
Send any questions about the process, recommended forums and timing to
NNTP@microsoft.com

 
V

VanguardLH

nntp@microsoft.com wrote:

> What is Happening?
> This message is to inform you that Microsoft will soon begin discontinuing
> newsgroups and transitioning users to Microsoft forums.
>
> Why?

<snipped the propaganda>
> To this end, Microsoft will begin to progressively shift available
> resources to the forums technology and discontinue support for
> newsgroups.
>
> In addition to offering a compelling online browser experience, for those
> users who prefer to use an NNTP (newsgroup) reader to participate in the
> newsgroups community, we have developed a solution called the NNTP Bridge
> which allows a user to connect a variety of supported NNTP readers to the
> forums they would like to participate in and continue having the NTTP reader
> functionality. You can find instructions on how to download and set up the
> NNTP Bridge here: http://connect.microsoft.com/MicrosoftForums/
>
> When will this Happen?
> Effective June 1, 2010 this newsgroup will be closed.


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.
 
B

Ben M. Schorr, MVP

> 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.


Exchange 2007 (or later) no longer supports NNTP.







 
V

VanguardLH

wrote:

>> 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.

>
> Exchange 2007 (or later) no longer supports NNTP.


Uh huh, and like no one runs old software. Guess Microsoft can't tolerate
supporting their *own* internal servers if the product's lifecycle has
expired for mainstream support. See:

Discontinued featuers in Exchange 2007
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998911(EXCHG.80).aspx

Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
Retain a computer that is running Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 in the
Exchange 2007 organization if you need this functionality.

Discontinued features in Exchange 2010
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998911.aspx

Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
If you need this functionality, retain an Exchange 2003 server in your
Exchange 2010 organization.

Apparently Microsoft won't follow their own advice. They can't run an NNTP
server to Exchange? That's probably a question best handled in the
microsoft.public.exchange.* newgroups (until they also get disconnected by
Microsoft). Windows 2000/2003 Server had its own NNTP service. Windows
Server 2008's mainstream supports looks to end in July 2010. NNTP got
removed from IIS 7.0 for Windows 2008. Oh joy. Bet Microsoft won't run a
3rd-party NNTP server on their hosts.

Well, since Microsoft is abandoning NNTP in their server versions of Windows
and in Exchange then the rest of Usenet will just have to survive with the
loss of one peering NNTP node.

Have you tried their NNTP-to-forums proxy ("Microsoft Forums NNTP Bridge")?
It sure looks like unreliable and clunky kludgeware. Right now I can't even
get it to connect because I cannot find the "My Settings" page their
instructions mention and which is where I need to enable the "NNTP bridge"
option to enable that access method.
 
B

Ben M. Schorr, MVP

>>> 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.

>>
>> Exchange 2007 (or later) no longer supports NNTP.

>
> Uh huh, and like no one runs old software. Guess Microsoft can't tolerate
> supporting their *own* internal servers if the product's lifecycle has
> expired for mainstream support. See:


I think they decided that the old Exchange servers were more trouble than
they were worth for this task; in particular trying to sync the NNTP forums
to the web forums. In any event they've been pushing to move towards
web-based forums for years, this is just the culmination of that effort.

> Discontinued featuers in Exchange 2007
> http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998911(EXCHG.80).aspx
> Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)


Yes, that's what I said. :)

> If you need this functionality, retain an Exchange 2003 server in your
> Exchange 2010 organization.
> Apparently Microsoft won't follow their own advice. They can't run an
> NNTP
> server to Exchange? That's probably a question best handled in the
> microsoft.public.exchange.* newgroups (until they also get disconnected by
> Microsoft). Windows 2000/2003 Server had its own NNTP service. Windows
> Server 2008's mainstream supports looks to end in July 2010. NNTP got
> removed from IIS 7.0 for Windows 2008. Oh joy. Bet Microsoft won't run a
> 3rd-party NNTP server on their hosts.


I'm not sure why Microsoft is making the strategic decision to kill off NNTP
in their products, perhaps because the new generation of users don't really
care about it much. They're all about Facebook and MySpace and want to do
everything in a browser. Believe me, when I log off the NNTP server and I
log into the web forums I raise the average age of both groups.

> Well, since Microsoft is abandoning NNTP in their server versions of
> Windows
> and in Exchange then the rest of Usenet will just have to survive with the
> loss of one peering NNTP node.


I suspect it will manage, for a while.

> Have you tried their NNTP-to-forums proxy ("Microsoft Forums NNTP
> Bridge")?
> It sure looks like unreliable and clunky kludgeware. Right now I can't
> even
> get it to connect because I cannot find the "My Settings" page their
> instructions mention and which is where I need to enable the "NNTP bridge"
> option to enable that access method.


I tried it quite a while ago (maybe a year or more ago) when it was in beta.
I managed to get it working a little bit but not so much that I wanted to
use it regularly. That was beta though, I haven't tried the current
version. At this point I have no immediate plans to use the NNTP bridge,
I'm just using the web interface for now.

I prefer NNTP and newsgroup clients to the web interface, personally. For
me they're faster and easier to manage. But that decision is way above my
pay grade so my only choices are to give up and walk away, or just adapt to
the new forums and continue to try and support users. The web forums are
not as bad as I feared them to be, which I realize is sort of faint praise,
and I'm hopeful that given time they'll continue to improve. At least I
hope so.







 
V

VanguardLH

wrote:

> I'm not sure why Microsoft is making the strategic decision to kill off NNTP
> in their products, perhaps because the new generation of users don't really
> care about it much. They're all about Facebook and MySpace and want to do
> everything in a browser. Believe me, when I log off the NNTP server and I
> log into the web forums I raise the average age of both groups.
>
> I prefer NNTP and newsgroup clients to the web interface, personally. For
> me they're faster and easier to manage. But that decision is way above my
> pay grade so my only choices are to give up and walk away, or just adapt to
> the new forums and continue to try and support users. The web forums are
> not as bad as I feared them to be, which I realize is sort of faint praise,
> and I'm hopeful that given time they'll continue to improve. At least I
> hope so.


What struck me about their web interface to their forums is how disorganized
they are. They have multiple forum "groups" (Microsoft, Answers, Technet,
Expressions, and MSDN), different layouts, and way too much is flat so
finding a group resorts to do web page searches or using their searchbox.
It's like someone took a bowl of Rice Krispies and tossed it against a wall.
When I tried visiting several different forums which had me bouncing around
to the different groups of forums, the wait time for their server to respond
had my eyelids getting heavy with boredom.

I don't know and don't expect their web-based forums to improve. Yes, they
will change but that's doesn't mean a good change. Once Microsoft has
wrested its newsgroups and those users away from Usenet then Microsoft is in
control. Just look at the moving target they've made of Hotmail which has,
on average, 2 major changes per year since they acquired it and that result
in users scrambling to figure out to use it. The loss of WebDAV was for
their benefit, not for users. We see a service pack for Vista get sold as a
new version of Windows. Microsoft thinks that registering for a *free*
Connect or forum account is going to keep out the spam and trolls despite
that the same procedure hasn't worked for Gmail.

That users are getting pushed to the web-based forums was due to Microsoft's
influence. If they had pushed NNTP and even provided Fix-It wizards (like
they now do for many of their KB articles) then there would've been an
influx of users to NNTP, so Microsoft claiming it was the user's choice to
go web-based just shows how clueless they are, plus there is nothing that
dictates that they create the hodgepodge mess of forums they have now rather
than make it hierarchical as it is with NNTP. I pity the users that are
stuck having to figure out where to go and how to find info with how the
web-based forums are setup now. I think the only way they could go is up
(to improve their forums) since they haven't much leeway to go down.

I suspect the real problem is that Development or IT is letting the
Marketing department push them around. Despite the knowledge being present,
once you get the marketers deciding what to do then logic goes out the
window. Perhaps that's due to the high turnover rate in that department: no
experience, no expertise, no long-term planning.
 
B

Ben M. Schorr, MVP

>> I'm not sure why Microsoft is making the strategic decision to kill off
>> NNTP
>> in their products, perhaps because the new generation of users don't
>> really
>> care about it much. They're all about Facebook and MySpace and want to
>> do
>> everything in a browser. Believe me, when I log off the NNTP server and
>> I
>> log into the web forums I raise the average age of both groups.
>>
>> I prefer NNTP and newsgroup clients to the web interface, personally.
>> For
>> me they're faster and easier to manage. But that decision is way above
>> my
>> pay grade so my only choices are to give up and walk away, or just adapt
>> to
>> the new forums and continue to try and support users. The web forums are
>> not as bad as I feared them to be, which I realize is sort of faint
>> praise,
>> and I'm hopeful that given time they'll continue to improve. At least I
>> hope so.

>
> What struck me about their web interface to their forums is how
> disorganized
> they are. They have multiple forum "groups" (Microsoft, Answers, Technet,
> Expressions, and MSDN), different layouts, and way too much is flat so
> finding a group resorts to do web page searches or using their searchbox.


I tend to agree. Which is why I spent a few minutes the first day and went
around and found all of the forums on topics that interest me and added them
to "My Forums". Now I just view the "My Forums Threads" view which
essentially reduces the whole mess down to one forum.

Every few months I'll probably browse the forums list and make sure they
haven't added any new forums I'd care about that I don't already have
flagged.

> That users are getting pushed to the web-based forums was due to
> Microsoft's
> influence. If they had pushed NNTP and even provided Fix-It wizards (like
> they now do for many of their KB articles) then there would've been an
> influx of users to NNTP, so Microsoft claiming it was the user's choice to
> go web-based just shows how clueless they are, plus there is nothing that
> dictates that they create the hodgepodge mess of forums they have now
> rather
> than make it hierarchical as it is with NNTP.


I have to disagree with that. I think today's users, especially the typical
end users who have never heard of "USENET", tend to find NNTP and USENET too
boring and text-oriented. They don't want to configure a reader or sift
thru lists of text-only messages. It's one reason why the traditional "BBS"
structure of forums died on the vine. The old EchoLink forums have been
relegated to ham radio status. Users want the pretty interface. They want
real smileys and colors and browser-based interfaces. There's a reason why
Facebook isn't just text-menus. Go to virtually any support forum from
any vendor today and you'll find they're all graphical web-forums now.

Even Twitter, perhaps the ultimate minimalist medium, is often consumed in
graphical readers like Twhirl and TweetDeck.

That's not to say that USENET is dead (yet) or that nobody still supports
NNTP. But today's users just aren't flocking to it unless they're forced
to. Given the choice the vast majority of regular users prefer the
browser-based interfaces. Heck, even a significant portion of the folks
reading and participating here are doing so via Google Groups or some echo'd
web forum like Egghead or Slipstick.

There is still an NNTP community, of course, but I'm pretty sure that the
numbers of participants is dwindling slowly and that many of those that are
still active don't even realize they're using USENET because they're
actually accessing the groups via some graphical interface like Google
Groups.

> I pity the users that are
> stuck having to figure out where to go and how to find info with how the
> web-based forums are setup now. I think the only way they could go is up
> (to improve their forums) since they haven't much leeway to go down.


I agree that the forums need some work. But we weren't without wayward
souls here too. I still have a macro to point OE users to the proper forum.
The public.onenote newsgroup still gets the occasional Outlook question.







 

Brian Tillman

Senior Member
"" <bens@bogusaddress.mvp> wrote in message
news:%23UdLiM67KHA.5808@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...

> everything in a browser. Believe me, when I log off the NNTP server and I
> log into the web forums I raise the average age of both groups.


Between the two of us, the average age goes up probably 15-20 years.

It's sad that USENET is going the way of the dinosaur. Many ISPs don't even
offer USENET access any more. There are a number of free servers still, but
many are read-only.

 
K

Ken Slovak - [MVP - Outlook]

Even now most of the posters here and in other NNTP groups we've been in for
so many years are mostly being fed from the Communities forums. Users have
no clue their posts are ending up being read in NNTP or even what NNTP is.

Professional Programming Outlook 2007.
.

"" <bens@bogusaddress.mvp> wrote in message
news:OBfq5677KHA.3276@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>>> I'm not sure why Microsoft is making the strategic decision to kill off
>>> NNTP
>>> in their products, perhaps because the new generation of users don't
>>> really
>>> care about it much. They're all about Facebook and MySpace and want to
>>> do
>>> everything in a browser. Believe me, when I log off the NNTP server and
>>> I
>>> log into the web forums I raise the average age of both groups.
>>>
>>> I prefer NNTP and newsgroup clients to the web interface, personally.
>>> For
>>> me they're faster and easier to manage. But that decision is way above
>>> my
>>> pay grade so my only choices are to give up and walk away, or just adapt
>>> to
>>> the new forums and continue to try and support users. The web forums
>>> are
>>> not as bad as I feared them to be, which I realize is sort of faint
>>> praise,
>>> and I'm hopeful that given time they'll continue to improve. At least I
>>> hope so.

>>
>> What struck me about their web interface to their forums is how
>> disorganized
>> they are. They have multiple forum "groups" (Microsoft, Answers,
>> Technet,
>> Expressions, and MSDN), different layouts, and way too much is flat so
>> finding a group resorts to do web page searches or using their searchbox.

>
> I tend to agree. Which is why I spent a few minutes the first day and
> went around and found all of the forums on topics that interest me and
> added them to "My Forums". Now I just view the "My Forums Threads" view
> which essentially reduces the whole mess down to one forum.
>
> Every few months I'll probably browse the forums list and make sure they
> haven't added any new forums I'd care about that I don't already have
> flagged.
>
>> That users are getting pushed to the web-based forums was due to
>> Microsoft's
>> influence. If they had pushed NNTP and even provided Fix-It wizards
>> (like
>> they now do for many of their KB articles) then there would've been an
>> influx of users to NNTP, so Microsoft claiming it was the user's choice
>> to
>> go web-based just shows how clueless they are, plus there is nothing that
>> dictates that they create the hodgepodge mess of forums they have now
>> rather
>> than make it hierarchical as it is with NNTP.

>
> I have to disagree with that. I think today's users, especially the
> typical end users who have never heard of "USENET", tend to find NNTP and
> USENET too boring and text-oriented. They don't want to configure a
> reader or sift thru lists of text-only messages. It's one reason why the
> traditional "BBS" structure of forums died on the vine. The old EchoLink
> forums have been relegated to ham radio status. Users want the pretty
> interface. They want real smileys and colors and browser-based
> interfaces. There's a reason why Facebook isn't just text-menus. Go to
> virtually any support forum from any vendor today and you'll find they're
> all graphical web-forums now.
>
> Even Twitter, perhaps the ultimate minimalist medium, is often consumed in
> graphical readers like Twhirl and TweetDeck.
>
> That's not to say that USENET is dead (yet) or that nobody still supports
> NNTP. But today's users just aren't flocking to it unless they're forced
> to. Given the choice the vast majority of regular users prefer the
> browser-based interfaces. Heck, even a significant portion of the folks
> reading and participating here are doing so via Google Groups or some
> echo'd web forum like Egghead or Slipstick.
>
> There is still an NNTP community, of course, but I'm pretty sure that the
> numbers of participants is dwindling slowly and that many of those that
> are still active don't even realize they're using USENET because they're
> actually accessing the groups via some graphical interface like Google
> Groups.
>
>> I pity the users that are
>> stuck having to figure out where to go and how to find info with how the
>> web-based forums are setup now. I think the only way they could go is up
>> (to improve their forums) since they haven't much leeway to go down.

>
> I agree that the forums need some work. But we weren't without wayward
> souls here too. I still have a macro to point OE users to the proper
> forum. The public.onenote newsgroup still gets the occasional Outlook
> question.
>
>
> >
>
>
>
> http://www.officeforlawyers.com/outlook.htm
> 2007:
> http://tinyurl.com/ol4law-amazon


 
V

VanguardLH

- wrote:

> Even now most of the posters here and in other NNTP groups we've been in for
> so many years are mostly being fed from the Communities forums. Users have
> no clue their posts are ending up being read in NNTP or even what NNTP is.


Yes, Microsoft did a great job of hiding their attempt to usurp Usenet.
 
S

Sanwin2

Having read about the bridge in this thread I have managed to get it running.
The problem is the microsoft.public newsgroups are in the list. They are
mostly MSDN and Technet

"VanguardLH" wrote:

> nntp@microsoft.com wrote:
>
> > What is Happening?
> > This message is to inform you that Microsoft will soon begin discontinuing
> > newsgroups and transitioning users to Microsoft forums.
> >
> > Why?

> <snipped the propaganda>
> > To this end, Microsoft will begin to progressively shift available
> > resources to the forums technology and discontinue support for
> > newsgroups.
> >
> > In addition to offering a compelling online browser experience, for those
> > users who prefer to use an NNTP (newsgroup) reader to participate in the
> > newsgroups community, we have developed a solution called the NNTP Bridge
> > which allows a user to connect a variety of supported NNTP readers to the
> > forums they would like to participate in and continue having the NTTP reader
> > functionality. You can find instructions on how to download and set up the
> > NNTP Bridge here: http://connect.microsoft.com/MicrosoftForums/
> >
> > When will this Happen?
> > Effective June 1, 2010 this newsgroup will be closed.

>
> 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.
> .
>

 
S

Sanwin2

That should have read

the microsoft.publics newsgroups are NOT in the list

"Sanwin2" wrote:

> Having read about the bridge in this thread I have managed to get it running.
> The problem is the microsoft.public newsgroups are in the list. They are
> mostly MSDN and Technet
>
> "VanguardLH" wrote:
>
> > nntp@microsoft.com wrote:
> >
> > > What is Happening?
> > > This message is to inform you that Microsoft will soon begin discontinuing
> > > newsgroups and transitioning users to Microsoft forums.
> > >
> > > Why?

> > <snipped the propaganda>
> > > To this end, Microsoft will begin to progressively shift available
> > > resources to the forums technology and discontinue support for
> > > newsgroups.
> > >
> > > In addition to offering a compelling online browser experience, for those
> > > users who prefer to use an NNTP (newsgroup) reader to participate in the
> > > newsgroups community, we have developed a solution called the NNTP Bridge
> > > which allows a user to connect a variety of supported NNTP readers to the
> > > forums they would like to participate in and continue having the NTTP reader
> > > functionality. You can find instructions on how to download and set up the
> > > NNTP Bridge here: http://connect.microsoft.com/MicrosoftForums/
> > >
> > > When will this Happen?
> > > Effective June 1, 2010 this newsgroup will be closed.

> >
> > 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.
> > .
> >

 
V

VanguardLH

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.
 
V

VanguardLH

wrote:

> I spent a few minutes the first day and went
> around and found all of the forums on topics that interest me and added them
> to "My Forums". Now I just view the "My Forums Threads" view which
> essentially reduces the whole mess down to one forum.


Nice idea but doesn't work with all their forums. They have yet to unify
all their forums to a common acess interface to permit, for example, adding
any of them to the My Forums list. For example:

http://forum.sysinternals.com/

is the forum for SysInternals utilities. It's off floating separate of all
the other forums. Microsoft would've better spent their time getting all
their communities unified before pretending that a few major groupings of
them represented all their forums. They need to roll ALL their separate
forums under a common interface, even for those forums for products that
Microsoft acquired.

Also, there are newsgroups (via NNTP or via their webnews-for-boobs
"Communities" interface) that will disappear for which there are no
equivalent forums. For example, while the Communities has the
microsoft.public.virtualpc newsgroup (NNTP or webnews interface), I cannot
find an equivalent forum mentioned anywhere that will replace the newsgroup
version. Maybe if they drop NNTP access that they will continue providing
the webnews-for-boobs interface (which, by the way, has no equivalent to the
"My Forums" listing) to those newsgroups that have no matching web-based
forum.

It's a mess now. It will remain a mess for a l-o-n-g time.
 
T

Tom Willett

Welcome to the new world.

"Sanwin2" <Sanwin2> wrote in message
news:58A289F8-4147-4881-81FB-5F6F1B74184A@microsoft.com...
: That should have read
:
: the microsoft.publics newsgroups are NOT in the list
:
: "Sanwin2" wrote:
:
: > Having read about the bridge in this thread I have managed to get it
running.
: > The problem is the microsoft.public newsgroups are in the list. They
are
: > mostly MSDN and Technet
: >
: > "VanguardLH" wrote:
: >
: > > nntp@microsoft.com wrote:
: > >
: > > > What is Happening?
: > > > This message is to inform you that Microsoft will soon begin
discontinuing
: > > > newsgroups and transitioning users to Microsoft forums.
: > > >
: > > > Why?
: > > <snipped the propaganda>
: > > > To this end, Microsoft will begin to progressively shift available
: > > > resources to the forums technology and discontinue support for
: > > > newsgroups.
: > > >
: > > > In addition to offering a compelling online browser experience, for
those
: > > > users who prefer to use an NNTP (newsgroup) reader to participate in
the
: > > > newsgroups community, we have developed a solution called the NNTP
Bridge
: > > > which allows a user to connect a variety of supported NNTP readers
to the
: > > > forums they would like to participate in and continue having the
NTTP reader
: > > > functionality. You can find instructions on how to download and set
up the
: > > > NNTP Bridge here: http://connect.microsoft.com/MicrosoftForums/
: > > >
: > > > When will this Happen?
: > > > Effective June 1, 2010 this newsgroup will be closed.
: > >
: > > 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.
: > > .
: > >

 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
Sanwin2;145588 said:
That should have read

the microsoft.publics newsgroups are NOT in the list

"Sanwin2" wrote:

> Having read about the bridge in this thread I have managed to get it running.
> The problem is the microsoft.public newsgroups are in the list. They are
> mostly MSDN and Technet
They aren't supposed to be in the list - they are being closed. There are 3 Outlook forums at Answers to replace the newsgroups. Send/receive issues, calendar/contacts and install/set up questions. It's good to drop down to 3 IMHO - public.outlook was never supposed to be used as a newsgroup and the others don't get a lot of traffic - General (this one) gets the most.

We're hoping to get one more added for Outlook - for programming questions.
 
S

Sanwin2



"Slipstick" wrote:

>
> Sanwin2;145588 Wrote:
> > That should have read
> >
> > the microsoft.publics newsgroups are NOT in the list
> >
> > "Sanwin2" wrote:
> >
> > > Having read about the bridge in this thread I have managed to get it

> > running.
> > > The problem is the microsoft.public newsgroups are in the list. They

> > are
> > > mostly MSDN and Technet

>
> They aren't supposed to be in the list - they are being closed. There
> are 3 Outlook forums at Answers to replace the newsgroups. Send/receive
> issues, calendar/contacts and install/set up questions. It's good to
> drop down to 3 IMHO - public.outlook was never supposed to be used as a
> newsgroup and the others don't get a lot of traffic - General (this one)
> gets the most.
>
> We're hoping to get one more added for Outlook - for programming
> questions.
>
>
> > Slipstick
>
> 'Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center' (http://www.slipstick.com)
>
> 'Outlook Tips' (http://www.outlook-tips.net/)
>

Thanks for that, I am currently reading via
http://www.microsoft.com/office/community/
which matches the newsgroups and I had presumed that this online forum would
continue and nntp access be turned off. I'll have another look amongst
Answers for replacements for the Outlook, and Word groups I currently read.
 
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