If you read my blog then you know I've been doing a bunch of work that will hopefully result in a more unified, trustworthy, threaded discussion solution for Microsoft as a whole.  Your comments have been helping a lot so far, but until we have a swanky new system up to show you I would love to get your feedback on how you would like to discuss the Beta 1 release and future pre-RTM releases. 

Here are some of the short term options that could be done in time for Beta 1. 

  1. Do nothing and continue along with the current “semi-private” newsgroups.
  2. Close down the semi-private newsgroups, assume that future tech previews and Beta releases will only become more publicly available, and just let people talk in the public newsgroups that exist today.
  3. Close down the semi-private newsgroups and create new public newsgroups dedicated to talking about unreleased products.  Think “microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.vb.next”.
  4. Close down the semi-private newsgroups and create set of Web-Forum only discussions focused on Whidbey technologies ala the Asp.Net Whidbey Groups. Hey, they have e-mail list support! You can't reply via mail yet though. :-(
  5. ???

Personally its been suggested to me that we shouldn't mix discussions of future products in with discussions for released products because it interferes with people just trying to get their work done on the current releases.  Internally it is nice to keep a separation for the sake of ensuring we hear all the feedback related to Whidbey, but I worry that if releases are more public there won't be much we can do to prevent people from just taking their discussions to the public newsgroups anyway.

I also believe that NNTP access is a requirement, but I've been told that, despite the fact we give the user name and password away to the private groups, they are not public enough. Has this been a true barrier to anyone?

Let us know your thoughts!!!!