There’s no doubt of a few things:
- Some people have found Microsoft documentation to be a bit lacking, and sometimes a bit late. For example, we only recently got clear guidance on networking configuration for Live Migration. I’ve had people contact me who were very confused on different subjects because they’ve only had closely related blog posts to work on, not specific ones. And that’s just with one “small” subject.
- The power of the community on the Internet is impressive. Wikipedia has become a huge source of information, even if that information has to be verified against other sources. The same goes for blogs.
- Microsoft TechNet should be one of the first port of calls for IT pros when referencing technical articles on Microsoft infrastructure. But lets face it, it isn’t. That might be because of poor searchability, poor/confusing writing or incomplete/missing articles.
So Microsoft is going to try something. It is a bit of a leap of faith. Microsoft TechNet is going to launch a wiki. I think there’s some excitement about this dabbling with the community in Redmond. The idea is that you, me, or anyone else, can contribute or edit content on this wiki. It should be documentation about products, solutions, fixes, architecture, etc. It will be up to the community at large to maintain the content for the community. I’m not saying MS might not edit it for legal reasons, etc, but in the end it will be down to ordinary people to manage.
Obviously some MVP’s and other assorted nutters will be big writers (not me … doing this blog, my day job and a few projects that are starting up will keep me busy). But there’s nothing to stop you from adding content and editing.
As it is community content you cannot rely on it solely. I would recommend trying to verify any statements made on it against other sources. However, it should quickly become a huge repository of information, making it a great jumping off point on any search.
Microsoft’s Keith Combs talks about the new TechNet Wiki on his blog. Keith says that it will launch later this year. As he says at the end, the success or failure of this service will depend on the community, not Microsoft. Will it succeed? I don’t know, but I’m sure that people in Redmond are taking it seriously. It’s a subject worth keeping an eye on.