S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
I strongly believe in the power of the community. One of the most important things our customers need is access to information that they need and when they need. We do provide product documentation and other kinds of information – but I always say that what we provide is only a small percentage of what the collective community knows about our products. We have been looking for ways to let the community share what they know with each other in an easy and discoverable manner.
Historically, we had been relying on phone support for customers almost exclusively. Given the online world that we live in, we have been looking for ways to enable online support to help developers get information easily and from a variety of sources. We are investing in online features such as a federated search technology of community content and documentation, code sharing sites, MSDN Wiki where users can add their own content, a single navigation bar on all of our online sites to make navigation easier, and we will continue to invest in our forums.
The forums on MSDN, ASP.NET and IIS.NET are a great way to foster this type of interaction between community members and also between the community and Microsoft. Answering a forum question not only helps the person who asked the question, but also helps all the other community members who have the same question over time, as the forums provide a permanent record of questions and answers that are easily searchable.
Our goal is to grow the answer rate across our forums so that you can get information in a timely manner.