Many, Many, Many people have been asking what happened to Microsoft’s Discussion groups that used to be found at http://www.microsoft.com/office/community/en-us/default.mspx.
Sadly, in their infinite (or is that finite) wisdom, Microsoft terminated those groups which had been around for decades and replace it with their ‘new’ and ‘improved’ forums found at http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/group/Office.
Why the Dismay?
There are a number of reasons why I am discontent with this
- One of the greatest problems is that they didn’t migrate, but rather shutdown and moved. Which means everything that was previously done, just disappeared over night. You can’t go and look up old posts….
- If you are an MS Access forum user, then you’ll be disgusted with the simple fact that not only did we loose our categories (forms, queries, reports,…), but Access has been thrown into a common group with Visio and InfoPath… While Excel,… and others retained their own groups, Access has been simply tossed in with numerous other applications? If this is the importance that Microsoft places on its own software, then no wonder users are turning to alternate forums.
- Another disappointing aspect of the new forum is simply that not all the functionalities actually work (Insert Code for instance). It seems like it was implemented before it was properly tested. Furthermore, months after flagging certain issues, nothing has been fixed!?
- And then there are all the minor annoyances, such as:
- If you are on a post and click on the reply button (when you aren’t signed in yet), sign in, you do not get returned to the post you were wanting to reply to… This worked in the old forum. Why in …. name couldn’t they make it work in the new ‘improved’ one!?
- Sometimes, when you choose to edit a post, the post goes blank!? Your previous post content disappears.
There are many more reasons, but in reality there is no point going on as MS will not change a thing it does. That said, it is because of this that the vast majority of users have simply opted to migrate to alternative groups such as UtterAccess, Yahoo, …
MS’s reasoning, from what I understood, was they wanted to revive their groups, but in fact, from my experience, the numbers have been dropping since their ‘improvement’. The simple fact is that Microsoft chose to ignore the input of countless users, MVPS; the people that use and promote their software. To me it makes no sense! They have no one to blame but themselves for the decline in usage and migration to alternative forums.