Microsoft Answers beta website launched – Windows XP extended for those that wait!

December 24, 2008

(ChattahBox) — While many people stick with XP (see below) until Windows 7 comes along, Microsoft has thrown a lifeline to Windows Vista users, a new website just for them call: answers.microsoft.com. Microsoft Answers, currently in beta (the site is often down and under maintenance), is a support forum in the Q&A format.

The idea behind the website is to have an official forum for Windows tech support that is run by actual Microsoft employees willing to help out users. You can subscribe to your question and be notified via your browser, e-mail, or RSS when there is an answer posted. Unfortunately but typical of Microsoft, signing up is mandatory: there is no way to see questions and answers without being signed in.

There are three ways of using the service:

  • Use the search bar at the top of the page to find existing answers to your question.
  • Browse specific category pages under Find Answers.
  • Ask the community how they fixed a problem or how they did something.

Meanwhile in the past week Microsoft announced yet another life extension for its supposedly retired Windows XP operating system, a sign that, despite almost two years on the market, Windows Vista is a no-go for most businesses.  Only 10% of 700 business executives recently surveyed by the Information Technology Industry Council and Sunbelt Software said their companies are using Windows Vista in the enterprise.

IT managers have complained about the operating system’s resource requirements. It takes considerably more PC horsepower and memory to run Vista than XP — and its lack of compatibility with older software. In particular, new security features built into Vista’s kernel tend to break applications built for previous versions of Windows.


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