MS is neither open nor free. Pushing these forums in the proposed direction definitely changes the focus in a negative way IMO.
I have some important news for the membership. I have decided to expand OpenFree.org by merging a much smaller forum (msforums.org) into it.
The site focuses on Microsoft products and is not very active. To this point, in recent months some forums were hijacked by spammers but I think these should be easily cleaned up.
As Linux adoption expands, users will find themselves increasingly supporting Windows. Surprisingly, there are few sites out there for Linux users who also need some Windows help.
I wondered about the possibility of incompatibilities between the two memberships. I specifically chose msforums.org because the members seemed to be conscientious, and ego free. If we maintain the fair but firm moderation stance of OpenFree.org, it should succeed well.
With the LJR merger, I remember saying "There are forum sites consisting of plantations of featureless users, and Las Vegas style sites that are a little bit of everything. OpenFree needs to be the place where Linux users can chill out and talk about Linux, or whatever else."
This remains true, but recent developments between Microsoft and Novell, even if the motives are questionable, have changed the landscape slightly. Linux users and administrators will need to talk about the challenges of Linux, its integration with Windows and the support of Windows users who don't want to or cannot convert.
The site is growing steadily, and with this move, it should remain so for the foreseeable future. I want OpenFree.org to be vibrant and relevant so that it reflects the dynamic world of operating systems.
I think it does not serve our best interests and infinitely worse, their best interests - there are many fine forums for Windows support, a merger with one of them or a migration of users would get them better support because let's face it 99% of us here are Linux users in our day to day life. Personally I have no had Windows installed for any length of time in over 8 years, unless I can sit in front of the broken Windows box it's very likely I cannot provide more help than the results of a google search. I would wager that is true for quite a number of us and those who work in support get enough "AOL" questions to contemplate suicide.
I'm neutral on this issue and tend to be a little more optimist.
I mean, what's the worst can happen? More users (even Windows guys) always are a good thing. No one asked you to give answers to what you do not know (and do not want) even Linux ones.
Personally, I rarely answer questions about Windows since I do not have Windows box of my own (except one for my wife which I rarely touch except when problems arise) to consult to. I'm afraid that I'm falling behind on Windows knowledge after Win2K. I'm in no mode to pay M$ for license which I have to support their users for free. So if there are any questions about Windows on this forum, I simply just skip it since I'm not familar with it. Simple as that.
Best case, we will have a chance to show those in dark side how good Open source and its users can be. They will have the experience they have never had before in Windows world. What can go wrong?
Just my personal view though .
That makes no logical sense, as Linux becomes more popular there will be more Linux users to support and given that it admitted takes a bit of time to master any new system it is likely that in the transistion period there will be the same amount of trouble solvers for an increasing amount of trouble.Originally Posted by peter
It also means less people using Windows, the people who are switching to Linux on their own largely already master Windows to a certain degree and will therefore not need as much support as those who are less skillful with their system (and thus also less likely to be in the switcher demographic).
The part of switchers who do not master Windows nor Linux already are very likely to have had a friend to help them already and as such are less of a support issue since they have competent support already. Given that that person convinced them to embark on this adventure, I would wager that it is a person they trust.. trust more than random forum goers at least and they are likely to turn there first.
So should we spend our time keeping people on the Windows platform or should we spend our time helping those who switched, this is an investment in time. I would rather help people who have moved or are thinking about moving.
It is not in my best interest to solve peoples Windows problems as that would keep them on a non-free platform that ultimately cannot be truly fixed by anyone but the vendor since they do no give anyone the means to do so.
So here is my fit all answer to Windows support: I feel your pain, I hate it when stuff doesn't work as well but I can't help you as your vendor allows nobody but themselves to know how. I would encourage a move to Linux and at least we have a chance to help you. Thank you.
For what it's worth, here are my 2 cents:
I personally have no problems helping to deal with windows problems. I deal with it at work every day, and I feel fairly confident I can tackle most issues. I enjoy the opportunity to help others, as it helps my self image and all of that psychological mumbo jumbo.
That being said, I am not sure what would differentiate us from a gazillion other forums if we were to go into a "let's support everything" mode. Just like any other business, you specialize to carve a niche in the market.
My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive.
I have no qualm about helping people with windows problems, or tolerating discussions about windows in the windows forum. But OpenFree, Forums to Make Linux Easier, should remain primarily dedicated to Linux. Peter's post alluded to a trend to move away from that.
I have been reading your comments and can understand the concerns and reservations, but I would like to give it a try.
There is ample evidence showing that Linux is growing strongly with no signs of slowing down. However, Linux and Windows will continue to operate in parallel in both the home and office for some time to come.
The main focus of the forums will be Linux.
If it doesn't work; the two groups can be separated easily.
This is the sort of posts I'm afraid we are going to get ... Oh boy ....... I'm going to watch very quietly for a while ....
This is a Microsoft forum and this problem occurred because of a Microsoft program and on Windows XP, so I really hope to receive an answer here (I failed elsewhere).
Last edited by Compunuts; 12-15-2006 at 04:09 AM.
I feel more like a vessel for your ad revenue than a member of the family these days, there is no sense of belonging anymore. OpenFree is an empty shell of what used to be LinuxJunior when it could have been more.