MSDN Features You Need to Know About: Answers to Just About Any Technical Question

I was originally going to name this article something like “MSDN Forums: What you need to know,” but quickly realized that most people wouldn’t read it because they think they already know everything about the online forums…


Sadly they are mistaken.


Did you know that, as an MSDN Subscriber, you get priority support on the MSDN Forums?  In fact, all MSDN subscription levels get this option.  You can find this features mentioned under “Additional Benefits” here:


Specifically this is what we say (with highlighting added by me):


MSDN subscribers now benefit from priority support in MSDN Forums. A Microsoft engineer will respond within 2 business days to your posting if the community hasn't already gotten you the answer. MSDN Forums are a very active community and a great place to both get help and help others.

To receive priority support in the MSDN Forums designated below, please make sure to sign in with the same Microsoft account you use to access your other subscription benefits; no special configuration is needed.



So that begs the question:  How do I take advantage of this?


There are a number of ways to get to the MSDN Forums but, once you are there, you will most likely favorite the ones you like the most.  The way I’m going to take you may be the longer way but it will also show you where to see other benefits you may have been missing.


Steps to the Forums

1. Go to the MSDN main site.  At the time of writing, you can find it here:

2. Find the link to access your benefits.  Unfortunately, they tend to change the location of the link but the link itself always says “Access benefits” somewhere.  Here is what it looks like currently:


3. When you select the link you will see a list of benefits you can take advantage of as a subscriber.  Take a minute and familiarize yourself with the benefits you may not know about already.  I’ll be doing another post on the Online Chat benefit later on. For now notice the entry for the MSDN forums:



4. Select the link to go to the forums and you will see something like this:



5. Pick the forum(s) of your choice and post your questions as needed.


That’s it!  The key here is that, no matter what, your question will be answered in 2 business days or less by someone--guaranteed.  Make sure to take advantage of this great feature.

Comments (5)

  1. Ian says:

    I hadn't realised that only certain forums are included in this benefit, hence my disappointment with the lack of quality answers to questions by myself and others. In general I've found Stack Overflow is a much better source of good answers, but I'll try the supported forums in future now that I know.

  2. zainnab says:


    what forum is missing that you need?  I've never encountered any limitation here and thud benefit may apply to all forums but assuming it doesn't which one is missing that you need?

  3. Ian says:

    Perhaps you are working exclusively with newer Microsoft technologies such as .NET and Azure. There doesn't seem to be anything for the Win32 SDK in the supported forums list.

  4. Wilka Hudson says:

    If you could link your StackOverflow account to your MSDN account, and have the benefit apply there as well, this would be even better.

  5. zainnab says:

    So I finally had some time to follow up on your response and I found out two things:

    1. Not every forum is supported for the 2 business day response, only the ones in the list; however

    2. The list is huge. For example I went into the C++ forum and did a search on Win32 SDK and came up with tons of stuff. So you can ask your question in the language-specific area and get your question answered.  

    Give it a shot and let me know if this doesn't work for you.


Skip to main content