MSJ Scam

First, a bit of history on MSJ, as taken from the MSJ archive at

Microsoft Systems Journal was the first programming publication from Microsoft. Predating the Windows operating system, MSJ covered MS-DOS internals beginning in 1986. It progressed to cover the workings of Windows so that programmers could write applications for the then-new operating system. MSJ saw the evolution from MS-DOS to Windows 1.0, all the way up to Windows 2000 before merging with Microsoft Internet Developer to form MSDN Magazine in March 2000.

Recently, we at MSDN Magazine were contacted by several readers concerned about some mail they had received (USPS, not email). The mail was from a publishing house offering subscriptions to MSJ. One of the readers helpfully faxed us over a copy of the mail, which I'm posting here for reference (I've removed the personal details from the image).


If you receive one of these offerings, do not send these people money! MSJ is no longer being published. If you're interested in subscribing to a top-notch publication and catching up on quality Microsoft development content, you should instead subscribe to MSDN Magazine.


Comments (14)
  1. Bob says:

    Only some yae-hoo can hope to scam programmers via snail mail about a dead publication. You gotta give those guys credit for trying such a boldly stupid scam … πŸ˜€

    Thanks for bringing it to our attention Steve.

  2. Bad grammar is always a good tip-off: "maybe tax deductible" instead of "may be tax deductible".

    This is also why it’s important to get the grammar right for legitimate things.

  3. Bob, you’re very welcome.

    Daniel, absolutely! Hopefully the bad guys don’t go back to school πŸ˜‰

  4. PatriotB says:

    "Predating the Windows operating system, MSJ covered MS-DOS internals beginning in 1986."

    Well, Windows 1.0 was released in 1985, so it didn’t predate the release of Windows. Probably what this is meant to say is that it covered only DOS at first.

    Of course, nowadays it might as well be renamed .NET Magazine. Even the "C++ at Work" column (formerly C++ Q&A) spends much to little time on unmanaged code.

    Plus, I just went to and it looks like the Jan 06 issue is supposed to be Vista-centric. "Windows Vista is a big deal. It changes the way UI is done, includes speech recognition and new document formats, makes programming more flexible, and has lots more to offer." But look at the table of contents: it’s all WinFX/.NET stuff. Vista has tons of new unmanaged stuff too: shell integration, new audio stack, etc. Any chance of getting more unmanaged articles in the magazine?

  5. We definitely plan to cover Vista development in more depth (it’s still early), and from both a managed and an unmanaged perspective. There’s only so much we can cram into one issue of the magazine, and it made sense for us to group a lot of the WinFX content together into the one issue.

    Regardless, I really appreciate your feedback, I welcome it going forward, and I’ll certainly keep it in mind as I plan future issues.

    Also, if you’re interested in submitting proposals for articles, please write to us at More information is available at



  6. Michael Lee says:

    I received one of those — and immediately threw it out. (And that would be a fairly recent mailing list as well..)

  7. The New MSJ says:

    No, you don’t understand. This is the NEW incarnation of the magazine! All the above posts maybe disregarded.

  8. Tim says:

    Steve – you mean you welcome our feedback going forward? πŸ™‚

    May I suggest you remove the phrase "going forward" from your dictionary? I’ve still yet to see it used in a sense that makes any, well…sense.

  9. Now and in the future, I welcome feedback.

  10. It seems that somebody has a scam going on where they send you this notice in the mail (USPS mail)…

  11. Melissa says:

    What company sent out that offer so i can be on the look out for it?


Comments are closed.

Skip to main content