Windows XP Expert Zone Community WebLog

By the Windows XP experts and enthusiasts at Microsoft.




November 2004 - Posts

Help for your Thanksgiving tech support efforts

If you're a Windows XP enthusiast, you probably will spend time helping your family and friends with computing and technology questions this holiday weekend. The Expert Zone has provided some new columns that hopefully make it easier for you.

Denny Atkin, a writer for the Windows User Assistance group, explains how to prevent and troubleshoot blue screens when upgrading to SP2, in his new column: Preventing Lockups When Upgrading to Windows XP Service Pack 2

MVP and Expert Zone Columnist Charlie Russel explains how to use FAQs to find answers to your questions about Windows XP in his new column: Frequently Asked Questions about Windows XP FAQs

And if your teenage niece complains that SP2 will slow down her Halo sessions, you can send her to read Joel Durham Jr.'s new column on Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Gaming Performance Benchmarks

Other community columns highlighted on the Windows XP Expert Zone Community this week include:

Create a Story from a Single Still Photo with Photo Story 3: Lead Program Manager Vladimir Rovinsky describes how to create a mini story based on a single picture with Photo Story 3.

File Corruption in Outlook Express: MVP Tom Koch talks about e-mail file corruption, the causes, and how to avoid it.
Internet Explorer Add-ons: MVP Sandi Hardmeier reviews some of the fun and useful features of browser add-ons for Internet Explorer.
Optimizing Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and Media Center Extender Networks: Columnist Barb Bowman explains how to enjoy digital entertainment throughout your home by setting up a wireless Media Center Extender network. "we love this stuff...we love helping..."

Eloquent post from on the Featured Communities Summit

"All of our sites have basically started for the same reasons, the fact that we love this stuff, that we love discussing this stuff with other people, and how we love helping other people so they get their maximum experience.  A few news posts, and forum threads later, we’re bigger then we’ve ever dreamed."

The Featured Communities Summit: Thanks I Needed That

Recently, I heard an editor from the Office Online team say that she really likes a "refreshing slap in the face" from readers. Me too.

The Windows XP Featured Communities Summit this week at Microsoft provided that sort of refreshment. Microsoft hosted a gathering of people who publish popular Web sites supporting Windows XP users. Managers in charge of many Windows products spent hours talking to this rowdy group. And I got a chance to talk with several of them about the Expert Zone and Microsoft's Web sites.

These people follow Windows information from Microsoft more closely than just about anyone. So the feedback from people like Chris Pirillo, Jake Ludington, Tom Koch, Steve Sinchak, Jason Dunn, Brian KvalheimSteven Parker and Marcel Klume, Terry Stratton, and many others, was truly invigorating. Smack!

Not that I think our Web sites are broken. I'm proud of our Web sites and Microsoft community efforts. But we'll soon be even better thanks to these contributions.

-Chris Norred, tech editor,

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

The Tech Support Generation

Brad Stone has a fun article on MSNBC

Every now and then, I indulge in a little revenge fantasy: as my computer freezes up or flashes its dreadful “blue screen of death,” I put execs from a few choice technology companies in a headlock and give them noogies while demanding that they answer for the shortcomings of their products.

-Chris Norred, tech editor,

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Featured Windows XP Community Site Owners Visiting Microsoft

This week, Microsoft is hosting a gathering of enthusiasts who publish Web sites supporting the Windows community.

You can see a list of Windows XP Related Communities on the Expert Zone.

At the kickoff dinner last night, I spoke with folks from,, and, among others. These are some of the most popular Windows XP sites on the Web. I asked each of them how and why they started publishing their Web sites. Nobody said "venture capital."

The common thread in all of their answers: They thought they could do some good.

It's an amazing and unique aspect of the Windows community that so many people are dedicated to helping other users. If you're a Windows enthusiast, looking for information to help you solve issues or have more fun with your PC, these related community sites are the place to go.

-Chris Norred, tech editor,

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Photo Story 3 Articles by MVP PapaJohn

John "PapaJohn" Buechler has added several articles about Photo Story 3 to his popular Movie Maker 2 Web site.

You can discuss PapaJohn's new articles in this thread in the Expert Zone Newsgroups.

-Chris Norred, tech editor,

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Windows IT Prolympics

Some of the Windows XP experts who spend time helping people on this Web site spend their work hours running computing networks for major businesses. If that's you, here's a chance to strut.

The first Windows IT Prolympics:

A contest designed to recognize the most proficient Active Directory experts in this nation! You'll start this exciting competition by downloading a study guide about Active Directory and Group Policy and then testing your knowlege in a written exam and real-world V-lab skills test. The gold medal winner will get an all expense paid trip to TechEd 2005, a value worth more than $2,500. Plus, we’ll feature photos and test scores of gold, silver, and bronze winners in the January issue of Windows IT Pro.

Chris Norred, tech editor,

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

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