Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Vista and Office 12 - IT Pro Support is Comming!

I spent some time today on a conference call around the support that Microsoft plans to provide around the Vista/Office 12 Beta 2 releases that are due out very soon. The idea is that there will be some web based forums, plus a bunch of stuff. The web only forums are to be moderated by an elite group of MCTs. This is a great reach-out to the community! While the concept of equipping beta users with great support is fantastic, there are some flaws in the approach, IMHO. First, there is NO support for NNTP based newsgroups - the web is the way and the only way. As a member of the Big-8 Managagement Board, I think this utterly sucks. Why on earth cut OFF an important avenue of support. Heck - Community Server handles this fine! But I suppose I would say all of this. Another concern is over the role of the moderators. It's one thing for a moderator to remove ads for Sindy's Eexxyy Syn Syte, but it's much different than enabling somone to edit the post or just silently delete it. The moderator is allowed, for example, to edit a post for profanity (I think the term was 'inappropriate language'). Inappropriate "to whom" was not answered thus this probably means inappropriate for anyone in a US Sunday School deep in the Bible Belt mixed with that of the Chineese censor :-(. I guess I find it unacceptable for anyone to tamper with my language or my words, even with total transparency - is a non MS employee really able to tamper with my copyright here? Sure - fix my typos (and $Deity knows that there are enough of these), but tamper with my words and you change my meaning a privalege I may not want to give a moderator I do now know. I don't think the team putting this together fully understood these points. But we'll see. In summary, full marks for what's comming in terms of Beta support. I can't give all the details just yet, but MS is really stepping up to the plate to help beta users. There are however some really blinkered views (no NNTP - what's up with that - which I hope to widen!

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