Microsoft Turns On Channel 9

The Redmond software vendor experiments with a combination of blogs, wikis and forums to increase customer dialogue.

On Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. quietly went live with a new Web site called "Channel 9" that is designed to facilitate communication between Microsoft and its developer and customer constituencies.

The site, which was built using Microsofts ASP.Net Forums Web-based discussion technology, uses video clips, moblog technology, RSS feeds, wikis and forums to reach out to users.

Channel 9 is named in honor of the United Airlines in-flight channel that allows passengers to listen in on the cockpit.

"We think developers need their own Channel 9, a way to listen in to the cockpit at Microsoft, an opportunity to learn how we fly, a chance to get to know our pilots," according to the Channel 9 Web site. "Five of us in Redmond are crazy enough to think we just might learn something from getting to know each other. Were we wrong? Time will tell.

"Join in, and have a look inside our cockpit and help us fly the plane," the site continues.


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