Microsoft Developer Help: Shortcuts from your desktop

imageMSDN forums has been the go to place for .NET developer queries forever. Every .NET developer has used the extensive documentation available on MSDN and posted queries the forums to receive community support.

Taking the support to the new age, Microsoft has now enabled developers with a gadget that makes access to MSDN forums easier from their desktop. Christened as “MSDN Forum Assistant”, the feature allows users to access MSDN Forums and receive updates directly to their desktops. The Forum Assistant is delivered as a desktop gadget that resides on your desktop.

You start by defining your favourite imageforums via the settings of the gadget. The features of the gadget include:

image

Ask a Question: The gadget bookmarks the links to your favourite forums so that you can reach them quickly. Clicking on the forum link takes you to the forum page, where you can post your query.

Forum Search: You can search using keywords right from the gadget and the results open up in a new Window.

Thread Updates: Thread Updates keeps you up to speed with all the latest information from your favourite forums without having to open IE. If you have selected “Show Updates from my threads” the updates are limited to your posts only.

More information on the Forum Assistant is available at:

MSDN Forum Assistant Web Site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-sg/gg650455

Video Overview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYrNemrjQc8

Download Here: http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=822a3787-89e8-4c6d-8fc4-a413437d86e9

While the gadget is a step forward from the MSDN & TechNet RSS gadget, I would have loved to see ability to post questions from the gadget to the choice of the forum without having to open a browser window. The real “Forum Assistant” I would like to have is the the one that integrates directly in Visual Studio and allows for posting in the forums from within the IDE. Hope it gets there one day!

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