There are number of things that make all this of interest to me:
Firstly, Rob Howard is a Microsoft Regional Director. Regional Directors aren’t Microsoft employees – they’re “independent developers, architects, trainers, and other professionals who provide a vital link between Microsoft and the developer community”. I know about MVPs, but I didn’t know about Regional Directors.
Secondly, at Microsoft UK we’ve built our community platform based on ASP.NET Forums. From what I can see so far, 2.0 version (now Community Server :: Forums) looks like a huge improvement (usability, RSS [yum], and plenty more I’ll need to dig into). The great news (naturally) is there is full migration support from 1.0 to 2.0…we’ll be getting on with this…
Thirdly, Community Server :: Forums is an open source project. Managed and developed primarily by Telligent Systems, anyone is able to contribute to the code base: full source code and a non-restrictive license.
All good stuff.