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"Why the Phaseout of the Microsoft Dynamics Public Newsgroups Is a Good Thing"


Ten days ago, Microsoft released a public communiqué announcing the closure of the more than 200 public newsgroups currently in service to the worldwide user community. The closedown is scheduled to begin in early summer 2010, according to the post.

"This decision is in response to worldwide market trends and evolving customer needs," the announcement stated. "Microsoft continues to invest in forums to reduce customer effort, consolidate community venues, and make it easier for active contributors to retain their influence. Forums provide a healthy community environment with less spam and make answers easier to find by customers and search engines. Additionally, forums offer a better user and off-topic management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by facilitating discussions in a clean space."

The decade old Microsoft Exchange-based newsgroups will be replaced for the much more modern MSDN-based forums style platforms.

Now what? Personally, I believe this transition is the best outcome for the Microsoft Dynamics GP community in general. Certainly some nostalgia will remain for the old platforms, as my participation in these public newsgroups allowed me to achieve the coveted Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status.

Transitioning to the new platform should benefit both users and partners alike. The new platform allows community participants to access more information about each other and reduces or eliminates spam--a constant complaint from users of the public newsgroups. It also offers access to a wealth of information found in the numerous blog articles syndicated by industry experts and MVPs.

The newsgroup transition will also bring some much needed consolidation to community participants. It was not a secret that users were still confused about the different options available when seeking help--personally, it makes my life as an MVP easier since now I only have to post responses to users inquiries in 2 places.

- BY Mariano Gomez, CEO, Maximum Global Business, LLC

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