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Reflection on the newsgroups and final farewell
On this eve of the end of these newsgroups, I thought I would do some reflection on the
newsgroups, myself and Messenger.
The first Messenger group was microsoft.public.windowsxp.messenger which was intended for
Windows Messenger in Windows XP (which at the time was the same as MSN Messenger). When I
arrived in the group in 2001, the only one monitoring the posts was then NetMeeting MVP Brian
Sullivan. I quickly realized I was able to answer plenty of the questions asked and moved
in. A few years later Windows Messenger and MSN Messenger were split into separate products
and a microsoft.public.msn.messenger was created for that new version of Messenger. Later on
of course, MSN Messenger was changed to Windows Live Messenger and the last and final
newsgroup microsoft.public.windows.live.messenger was born.
Unfortunately as the years have progressed, the newsgroups have had less and less exposure
and have all but been absent from Microsoft's official support web pages. As a result,
traffic has been slow compared to what it used to be, but still steady for the past year or
For those who don't know, I have been a Microsoft MVP since 1998 and a Messenger MVP since
2001. Interestingly, up until a year ago, I had a perfect newsgroup record - that is, never
missing a day of posts, including weekends, holidays and small surgeries. As Microsoft's
Netscan service has been shut down for some time and Google and other web services haven't
processed the groups from the beginning, an exact post total isn't available, but according
to my Sent Items, I have posted around 50,000 posts in my 9 year messenger newsgroup career.
As for Messenger itself, the product remains the top instant messaging client statistically,
but some recent decisions both in the latest iteration of the 2009 client and upcoming 2010
client have saddened me and my impression of the product. Frankly Messenger has such
potential to be an amazing, indispensable, collaborative communication tool for work,
education and recreation. I do hope it reaches its true potential someday.
Although I do wish that Microsoft would continue to delight us with their own ideas, they
really do need to listen to the feedback of their public and Messenger community. This is an
area that really needs improvement, as situations such as the recent removal of Webcam really
shows that Microsoft doesn't grasp how their users actually use their product. Additionally,
there are plenty of features within the product that are in dire need of updating, from
message logging/history to the emoticon picker.
As the full end of the Microsoft newsgroups draws nearer in the coming months (the smaller
groups like this one close sooner), it really is the end of an era for me. As I first
started frequenting the groups when I was 14 (now 27, almost 28), losing the groups is like
losing an old friend. They will be missed.
So, anyone reading this, I bid you goodbye and wish you all the best. If you need to contact
me directly, my e-mail address attached to these posts should continue to work, or you can
head over to www.jonathankay.com or www.messengergeek.com to find me. Please feel free to
drop me a line and say hello, I'd love to hear from you.
I was hoping to have some sort of alternative to the newsgroup by this time, but there have
only been a few weeks since the announcement of the closure of the groups. The "new home"
for Messenger support will be the Windows Live Solution Center
(http://windowslivehelp.com/forums.aspx?productid=2), so I will be moving there for the time
Finally, I'd like to thank those who supported and believed in me all these years including
Sherry Irwin, Corey Gouker, Dominic Hopton, Mark Salloway, Jonathan Maltz, Tony Hynes, Jeri
La May, Erwin Lips, John Furda, Jeff Houston, Cyril Paciullo, Stephen Boots, Winston, Robear
Dyer, any of the other former and present MVPs I've missed, Menno, Mark Vos, and many, many
Thanks for everything and see you on the flip side.
Microsoft MVP - Windows Live Messenger
MSN Messenger/Windows Messenger
MessengerGeek Blog: http://www.messengergeek.com
Messenger Resources: http://messenger.jonathankay.com
(c) 2010 Jonathan Kay
Last day to go!