Hi, this is Al and I wanted to talk about feedback and support for Beta 2 of IE7 now that it is available.
There are two main avenues for feedback for Beta 2, which are newsgroups and the Internet Explorer Feedback site.
Internet Explorer Feedback
As I posted about on March 24, we have a site live to collect bug reports and product suggestions for future versions of IE. I’ll have a blog post soon about how that is going and top issues but the site is especially important for Beta 2. The issues that are logged there are triaged (mostly by me) and sent over to the main groups of IE developers, program managers, and testers to work on as bugs. This is less immediately interactive than the newsgroups since it isn’t focused on discussion but other users can comment on bugs, validate that they have seen them as well, and offer workarounds for issues if they have found one.
If you have a bug to report, this is the preferred method of letting the IE team know about it. Depending on how many bugs are entered for Beta 2, it may take a little while to work our way through issues but everything that is reported on the site is reviewed by me or someone working with me. Feedback is given to the IE feature teams who own features in IE as bugs to work on if it passes the most basic of criteria (i.e. it has reproduction steps, is actually a bug and not just a general comment, and has specific information to identify the issue).
In order to take part in the Internet Explorer Feedback site, if you are new, you need to visit the Microsoft Connect site directly and sign up for Internet Explorer Feedback in the list of available programs. This requires a Passport account but once you have joined the program, you can go directly to the program page at https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=136.
I encourage people to read the “Best Practices for Bug Reporting in Internet Explorer” document that I wrote for the site. This will help your issues get addressed more quickly and helps make sure that logged bugs have all of the information that we need. There have been some issues with bugs that are difficult to reproduce or narrow down and the best practices help address that.
Previously, we had an e-mail address as well to gather feedback as well. This was IETell@microsoft.com. This has been retired in favor of the Feedback site because bugs entered on the site go into our general bug system which allows team members to work on them as we would do for any bug. The process of turning e-mail into bug reports takes a bit more time and work so we want to encourage people to use the IE Feedback site. The e-mail address is not going to be deleted before we release IE7 but we won’t be highlighting it anymore and will be focusing on the incoming bugs from the site.
If you want to chat with other users of Beta 2, see what kinds of issues that people have run into and how they worked around them, the microsoft.public.internetexplorer.general newsgroup is probably the best place to do so. This is much more interactive then other options since any and everyone can post and reply to anything brought up on the site. You can go to it via either through a newsgroup reader or through the Microsoft Discussion Groups site for web access.
In addition to these two options for feedback, IE7 Beta 2 will also have support available. I’ve brought Bryan Chee over from our support group to tell us about it.
Hi, this is Bryan and I’m the Supportability Program Manager for the IE team. Starting with Beta 2, we’ll be having beta phone support for consumer IE7 Beta users. Basically, support will be limited to help out our customers in a non-domain environment with their IE7 beta issues. So if you have questions or issues that are more developer, enterprise, or business related such as IEAK issues, group policy changes, or coding CSS pages for IE7, then it’ll be out of scope for the help we can provide on this support line.
It’s going to be a best effort level of support which means we’ll help you as best we can. We may not be able to solve every problem that comes through. So please, don’t try to play “stump the tech” if you don’t really need help. Try to leverage the existing online resources (newsgroups, FAQ, and release notes) when you can, so we can keep the phones open to help out those people who really need it.
Phone support will start at 5am PST on Tuesday April 25th.
Support number: 1-866-876-4926
Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday 5 am – 9 pm Pacific Standard Time
Saturday-Sunday 6 am – 3 pm Pacific Standard Time
I hope that everyone enjoys the second beta of IE7.
– Al Billings and Bryan Chee
Update: The phone support is for customers in North America in English. We are not able to offer support in other regions or languages through the support number at this time. This wasn’t made clear here before so I wanted to give everyone an update on this. – Al