Microsoft launches two user-oriented communication sites

Both are meant to offer direct communication to end users.

Windows 10 troubleshooting #4
Mike Halsey Pluralsight

Microsoft wasn't idle during the holiday break. It announced a pair of community sites designed to foster greater communication with end users.

The first is the Windows Insider Community Blog, a change to its #WINsiders4Good initiative designed to explore how Windows enthusiasts could help the company improve Windows 10 and solve bigger problems while using its software.

Now known as #Insiders4Good, Microsoft has also launched a new blog, a home for the Windows Insider community itself. Windows Insider Program chief Dona Sarkar announced a new blog, The Insider's Blog, where people talk about their efforts to solve problems using Microsoft products. The Windows Insider blog will also continue to operate, she said.

"We’ll work to give you more insight into what the team is doing, how engineering decisions are made, what issues we’re prioritizing each week, how we can improve our processes/tools and much more 'behind the scenes' things. This will all start next week when everyone is back in the office on the standard Windows channels you know and love. Those are not going anywhere.  Nor is the program changing for anything other than deeper engagement. Same bat-time, same bat-place," wrote Sarkar.

The blog already has guest posts from some insiders and fellows around the world, many in Africa. Those who wish to contribute and share their stories on the blog can email Microsoft at NinjaCatTeam@outlook.com.

The second is a program that for now is just in India, but knowing Microsoft, it will go global soon enough. Titled Windows Scoop Fans, Microsoft calls this a program for "the biggest fans of Windows," and invites them to register and get exclusive updates on the operating system, as well as news on the latest apps and services, devices, tips and tricks, and invitations to special fan events.

The Windows Insider team sent a letter to Indian Insiders that read in part:

Interested in joining this exclusive Windows fan programme?

Send us an email (from the same email you use for Facebook*) answering this one question — ‘Why I’m the biggest fan of Windows’. Tell us about a favourite feature, a Windows app you’ve created or how Windows helps you do great things. We’re open to a wide range of responses. And feel free to add photos, videos, etc.

Please note that the deadline for submissions is 5 January, 2017. We’ll then follow up by email to selected Windows Scoop Fan participants by January 15, 2017.

All users have to do is send an email to scoopfans@microsoft.com with a message that describes their passion for Windows.

I have to admit, trying to get people all rah-rah for an OS is an unusual move, especially for one that is mainstream and dominant. I get the passion around Linux and MacOS. They are the outsiders, the ones resisting Microsoft hegemony. You don't see enthusiasm for the establishment player, which Microsoft is, you see it for the new disruptors.

Of course, it's not about the OS -- it's about what you can do with it. I've been seeing this theme in Microsoft TV commercials as well. Still, you don't associate such cheerleading with a staid old brand. Is this an attempt to change its image? After the overtly pushy Windows 10 upgrade program, Microsoft could use it.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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