On 5/7 I posted the first tally of results for how people would prefer their Beta 1 threaded discussions.  There have been some additional comments and votes made since then so it seemed only fair to add those in. Ironically, this thread in the newsgroups is one of the more lively ones I've seen in a while. :-) Here are the updated vote totals and new comments. 

There are actually some negative comments now around option 1 though it still seems the preferred method. I'll see what I can do to get these private groups exposed in a way accessible by google. There are other groups that google indexes that are like this so it seems plausible.

So, as it stands, the groups will exist like they are today, but the beta will be broader so there should be some more discussions in the future with the additions of more people having access to a stable drop.

Option 1 - Do nothing and leave the semi-private newsgroups - 12 Votes

  • “I like the private newsgroups....I can't stand forums public or private.“
  • “What kind of hobbles the private NGs now is that there aren't enough people who know this stuff.  For instance, not just the new IDE, but I am also interested what smart people are saying about generics, for instance. “
  • “The "community memory" provided by placing these discussion groups under indexing by Google Groups (nee DejaNews) is INVALUABLE!...I recently loaded Whidbey and played with it for a few days. I decided to revert back to VS 2003. And the ONLY reason I did was I was unable to find any SEARCHABLE discussion groups regarding VB under Whidbey. Look at  this very newsgroup as an example since March there have been only a handful of message posted here.  Where are VB.Whidbey discussions going on?  Are there any discussions?
  • “I like the current solution and abhor forums/web based interfaces.“
  • “I'd prefer the status quo. If you put up public newsgroups for alpha and beta products, all you end up with is rumormongering, quotes  out of context on other web sites and a whole host of other undesirable consequences. Sorting through the trash to read worthwhile posts would take more time than most of us have. Why paint a target on your back?“

Option 3 - No private; Create Public “.next“ groups in the public hierarchy - 2 Votes

  • “That's IMHO worse than 1.“
  • “Why?“
  • “How about thinking for a little bit longer run? microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.vb.next.next  and
    microsoft.public.dotnet.languages.vb.next.next.next ;o))... If you really wish to do so - put a correct product version in name and watch for conversation to start. If you will find conversations valuable - keep it. Otherwise - shut it down.
    But plz, do not force users of current private or semi-private groups to use public one.“

Option 2 - Existing public groups and close down the semi-private ones - 1 Vote

  • “There's enough clutter today. Please don't.“
  • “IMO, the result of doing this wasn't good when it happened in VS7 - so there's no reason to expect it would be any better now.“

Option 4 - Web Forums Only without NG access - 0 Votes

  • “ASP.NET forums... That's probably the worst choice. Please, please don't.“
  • “Please don't.“
  • jledgard - I'll add that despite this question, and option, being posted in the Winforms and Asp.Net forums there were no responses.