I spend a fair amount of time answering questions in the Microsoft PowerShell discussion group (*cough* newsgroup). The easiest way I have found to do this is over the past year is to use good ole’ Outlook Express (um…dated!). It has the simplicity and the efficiency that allows me to stay on top of what’s going on with little effort.
Well recently Garth Jones suggested I use Windows Mail instead, but that comes with Vista and I don’t use Vista on the majority of machines I work on yet. Fortunately Windows Live Mail is available, and it is both the successor to Windows Mail on Vista and Outlook Express on Windows XP so I decided to give it a try. Well I’m quite happy I did. It maintains the simplicity that I was used to in Outlook Express while adding many nice new features such as support for voting on posts, identifying the type of message when you post as a comment, question or suggestion, and some light integration with blogging by allowing you to publish a newsgroup message directly to your Windows Live Spaces blog (hopefully in the future this will extend to support integration with Windows Live Writer so that you can then publish to a blog on other blog hosting sites as well). And it’s free. All in all, it’s quite a nice improvement over Outlook Express and I recommend giving it a try, whether you need to post a message on a newsgroup or if you just want to read existing posts.
There is also one other nice little feature that Garth brought to my attention. Posts from any Microsoft MVP are identified with a MVP logo if they were posted to the newsgroup using Windows (Live) Mail and if they are viewed using Windows (Live) Mail as well. Here’s part of a screenshot showing how posts are identified as questions vs comments as well as showing off the nice little MVP logo that appears next to Microsoft MVPs.
It’s not a must have feature, but I certainly like it. 🙂