So I've been posting ideas about how we could best merge NNTP usefulness and feature rich web solutions @ Microsoft. The 3rd plan I outlined involves cutting ties with NNTP and creating a better offline client that also supports the added features of the ASP.NET 2.0 forums. I haven't really given much weight to this plan before since it involves the development of both a new client app that people would have to download and a set of web services to be exposed from the ASP.NET 2.0 forums for people to take advantage of the client. And besides, windows comes with Outlook Express right?
But the more I (My opinion has also been influenced by feedback from Daniel and others internally)think about it adding NNTP to the ASP.NET 2.0 forums is sort of a hack that ignores most of the benefits for moving beyond NNTP in the first place. People who wanted an offline, cached, experience could would download the client and the rest would probably be happy with the web support. If the client and the web services are all open source then users would probably also expand this solution over time as well. And the web services would be public so anyone could writing their own client as well.
I do worry, however, about ignoring a standard that's been around for a long time and replacing it with a set of web services that would, at first, only work with one client. Though maybe we can convince OE to support them in Longhorn. :-)