Question for Brian Hall
In his post "Microsoft in ‘Cloud’ Computing: The Empire Strikes Back?", Steve Clayton states that he is meeting with Brian Hall, General Manager for Windows Live Business group, later this week and does anyone have questions that we’d like him to pose? Well Steve, yes, I do.
I’d like you to ask Brian if the Windows Live teams plan to increase their engagement with the Windows Live community in the coming months. I have complained bitterly to anyone that will listen about the lack of community engagement. Some examples:
- Virtually no-one is answering questions on the General Live Dev forum: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=536&SiteID=1. If they don’t plan to answer questions on it they shouldn’t make it available. An answer of "the forums are there for customers to get help from other customers as well as from Microsoft" doesn’t wash either because Microsoft folks are the ones that can provide the best answers, especially in these fledgling stages.
- http://feedback.live.com is by far the worst service on offer from Windows Live. We write our feedback, hit the button, and it disappears off into the ether never to be seen again. The feedback is one-way, it is never even acknowledged, and there is no route for the Windows Live teams to solicit further input. This is symptomatic of the lack of customer engagement from the Windows Live teams. I questioned Chris Jones about this during the MVP summit in March and he said it would improve, but I haven’t seen any improvement as yet. I would also question why the Windows Live teams have invested in their own feedback mechanism when one already exists with Microsoft Connect.
- http://helpcommunity.live.com is a good resource but is woefully underused. On the other hand I would question why yet ANOTHER community portal is coming out of Microsoft. The answer may be that this is a customer-facing portal whereas the MSDN forums is a developer-facing portal – and I think that would be an OK justification. Regardless of that, its pointless if no-one uses it.
- There is virtually zero interaction on the Windows Live MVP newsgroup. Farhan Thawar answers occasionally and the Windows Live MVP lead, Eric Sassaman, is on there now and again. But that’s it. I compare this to the SQL Server MVP newsgroup that I am used to where the SQL Server team are on there in their droves helping out and, crucially, asking the MVPs for their opinions as well.
I do complain about this a lot and people that know me in the Windows Live community are probably sick of me moaning about it. But that’s not going to stop me from saying it.