How to annoy Microsoft people: ask about MSDN Search and Remoting

There are two nagging questions that don’t have answers people like, so they just keep asking them over and over and over again.

1) Why does MSDN search suck?

2) Is remoting really dead and what about all the investment I made in it?

In case you thought that MSDN was unaware that their searching was kind of slow, well, they know! And they are definitely making a lot of effort to fix the problem. Though it’s incrementally. So when they release a new improvement, it may not be google, but it definitely sucks less.

From talking to some MSDN folks, I think the saddest thing for them is if someone starts at MSDN, can’t find what they are looking for, goes to Google and then gets pointed back to MSDN. That sucks. I have a google toolbar and that is 100% how I search first. But really, they *know* it’s a problem and they are working hard to fix it. Try not to twist the knife so much when talking to them about it.

Ahhh and the other oft-asked, oft debated, oft countered issue of remoting. Although MS is still trying to get the message out about the future of remoting – not everyone reads weblogs or goes to conferences. So there is a constant stream of “oh my god” happening. Besides the “is it dead (or dying or being deprecated or whatever”) question is – “what about all of the time/energy/money we spent learning/implementing” remoting. Again, along with the previous question – it’s not to be tossed, there will be ways to leverage that work, but still I think people are really mad about the change from that respect. The answer is really just about the evolution of software, learning better ways to do things and this is just part of that evolution. Regardless, it’s a tough pill to swallow. I just feel bad for people that are out in the front of audiences who get hammered with this stuff over and over again (especially when they are sick and all bundled up in a sweater…). Don’t kill the messenger – though maybe you can suggest ways for them to learn how to deliver the message more effectively.

So, if you really want to annoy someone at Microsoft, just ask them about these two things and surely, you’ll be successful in your endeavor.

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