Never thought I would praise Microsoft

It really surprises me to speak positively about these folks but damn, this is the right thing to do at the right time.

Microsoft appear to be converting their support site (the Microsoft Answers Forum) into a kind of open market place where amateur Microsoft experts can answer questions from users while negotiating their own prices for their time. Microsoft (again) appear to be simply hosting the site, and not trying to take a cut of the amateur experts’ take, saying they only intend to reduce the cost of their tech support.

There are other sites around like stackoverflow, and Experts-Exchange who either don’t allow the expert to make money or have some elaborate membership/fee system, but so far this is the first I have seen that operate like a free market. It will be interesting to watch.

Now if I only had not ignored windows for the last 13 years, I could work at home in my jammies helping people reboot. Dang!

You can read more about this in the at the sites linked here but it is not something you cant sign up for easily yet. It seems it is an invite only beta with new users being chosen from participants in the existing Microsoft Answers Forum

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/12/microsoft-tests-support-forum-where-experts-bid-to-help-n00bs.ars

http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=4817

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About Jayson
Father, mountain biker, Software development manager at a wire service, and also work with the IPTC (iptc.org)

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