Starting next month, Microsoft will be ending support for NNTP newsgroups in favor of web-based forums. This marks an end of an era for many. Although I’ve preferred newsgroups over the web-based forums for a long time, the forums have matured significantly over the years and now present a great user experience.
Over the past couple of years since I’ve been using forums, the ease of answering a ton of posts using a NNTP reader such as the built-in Windows Mail client (now part of LiveEssentials download) clearly doesn’t seem to be enough of a reason to hold on to NNTP. And although forums appeared to be a slower alternative when I started, they do appear to be performing considerably well since I started. Coupled with other factors such as the improved web-based user experience, the ability to sort and filter posts, use RSS and email subscriptions to get updates, and the fact that forums are indexed and exposed in search engine results, they’re increasingly preferred by users.