Last year my post on The Future of Dynamics GP Forums, hinted that the public newsgroups would be discontinued in the same way that the two private newsgroups already have been.
I had seen various internal communications about the phasing out of the old newsgroup technology, but now it is official. The following announcement was posted on the two public Microsoft Dynamics GP newsgroups (microsoft.public.greatplains and microsoft.public.dynamics.gp.developer) last week:
Starting in early summer 2010, Microsoft will begin progressively closing down the Microsoft public newsgroups to enrich conversations in the rapidly-growing forum platform. This decision is in response to worldwide market trends and evolving customer needs.
Microsoft continues to invest in forums to reduce customer effort, consolidate community venues and make it easier for active contributors to retain their influence. Forums provide a healthy community environment with less spam and make answers easier to find by customers and search engines. Additionally, forums offer a better user and off-topic management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by facilitating discussions in a clean space.
We understand that some newsgroups are still active, and important to the community. In the coming days and weeks, we will be rolling out tools and resources to minimize disruption to the community discussions.
We are working diligently on providing additional resources and information in local languages later this week. In the meantime, please refer to the official Microsoft Newsgroup website http://www.microsoft.com/communities/newsgroups/default.mspx concerning this issue. The Microsoft Newsgroup website will be made available in additional languages in the next few days.
For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) please see Microsoft Responds to the Evolution of Communities.
So the time has come to stop using the old newsgroups and shift to using the public community forum or the partner forum, see links below:
For some other comments from around the blogsphere, please see:
Mary Jo Foley: Microsoft to start phasing out its NNTP newsgroups
In my opinion, this move will only strengthen the Microsoft Dynamics GP community as it will focus and consolidate the discussions into fewer locations. This will make it easier to find your answer and avoid the cross posting that has been creating additional work for the community members and MVPs who answer the questions.
15-May-2010: Added link to Mariano's follow up post.