Since November 2006, I’ve answered circa 835 questions on the TechNet and MSDN Forums on various topics, including Server Core, Active Directory, Azure Active Directory and Multi-factor Authentication.
Now, a big change is coming and I would like for you to be part of it: Microsoft Q&A
What’s Microsoft Q&A?
Microsoft Q&A Preview is a global, community-driven platform for timely, high-quality technical answers. Q&A will be replacing MSDN and TechNet forums.
I will be the first to note that the technology behind the MSDN and former TechNet forums are outdated. Search has never been Microsoft’s strong point on these platforms.
Why I think Microsoft Q&A is better
Signing in to the MSDN Forums is tied to my Microsoft Account. It’s one of the last remnants of my former me, before I joined the dark side of Office 365 in terms of acounts. Microsoft Q&A Preview uses the same user authentication as Microsoft Docs and Learn content, and allows me to sign in with my Work or School account.
One Integrated experience
As Microsoft Q&A Preview is built on the same platform as Microsoft Docs and Microsoft Learn, we can now give people clearer paths between documentation, learning content, and answers. Additionally, Stack Overflow integration is underway.
Microsoft Q&A Preview is mobile-friendly. This is a big difference between it and the MSDN Forums. It also means that accessibility is new much greater, allowing for people with disabilities to better use their equipment.
People who ask questions can use tags to tag the relevant technologies on Microsoft Q&A Preview. In the case of multiple products or technologies involved, this allows them to draw the attention of people from both products. No longer do we see moderators moving questions from one forum to another just to get it answered.
Suggested questions and answers
In Microsoft Q&A Preview, when you type a question, you get suggestions of previously asked questions that may look like yours. This prevents double questions and double answers. Perhaps the new reputation system will even better reflect how many knowledge and/or help people have given…
Azure AD is among the first services
Yes, you may point out that Azure AD being among the first services to go live with Microsoft Q&A is like a fourth argument in favor of Microsoft Q&A Preview… However, there’s more.
As Microsoft Q&A went into preview on October 30th, 2019, A lot of my favorite Azure AD technologies are part of the launch phase: Azure Active Directory, Azure Active Directory Domain Services, Azure Active Directory B2C and Azure Information Protection.