We’ve just completed and launched a new version of the Microsoft forums.  We’ve worked really hard to substantially improve the experience both for people looking for answers and those providing them.  We started by making it easier to find what you are looking for.  Instead of navigating categories to find those that might be relevant, we’ve started with search as the entry.  You can search directly from the root and get results immediately.  The categories show up on the right hand side allowing you to filter your results.

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We’ve also reformatted the page to provide more space for your content and added previews so you can see what the thread is about before opening it.

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And you can collapse the categories to get all your real estate for content…

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And we’ve added indicators to show private forums and abusive content.

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Since Forums now handles its own search, you can find threads which are highly related. If you land on a thread page after using a search engine (Bing/Google), the query string from the search engine is automatically transferred to Forums. With a click of a button you can continue your search without leaving Forums.  

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Lastly, we’ve added richer theming that allows us to customize the forum look to match the dev center it’s part of.  For instance, here’s the Windows forums:

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We hope you like the changes.  As always, we appreciate the feedback.

Brian