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Microsoft Connect Discussions Feature Information

What are ‘Discussions’ on Connect?

As part of the Connect feature set, we now have Discussion Groups available in some products (based on whether the product has enabled this feature or not).  Typically, a user would access the Discussion Group using the Discussions link on the left navigation pane at the product/connection level.

Discussions are somewhat similar to forums in that a user (with permissions) can post a new discussion and other users can respond to that discussion post.  There are additional features available such as:

  • Tags – a way to mark discussions so they can be searched on later by “tag” type
  • The ability to receive email notifications when responses are posted
  • The ability to subscribe to a specific discussion group
  • An RSS feed that you can view or subscribe to with all discussion group updates
  • The ability to respond to a discussion post from an email client without having to log into Connect

As an example of one such Discussion Group, the Connect Web Site Improvement connection has set up a Microsoft Connect Community Support Discussion Group.  The main purpose of this group is to have both the community and the Connect Support Team help answer Connect-related questions.  Users who are not signed in can view these discussions.  If a user wishes to post, they need to be registered on Connect.

Here is what the Microsoft Connect Community Support main page looks like:

Discussions Main Page

As you can see, there are options to:

  • Create a new discussion
  • Page through discussion posts or view all discussions
  • View all details of a particular post by clicking the title link
  • Search discussions
  • Configure the View to show only discussions tagged with a specific tag (by clicking a particular Tag)
  • Sign-in to see notification settings and also be able to post

The Connect navigation in the upper-right corner allows the user to sign-in, plus access the Connect Home Page, Dashboard, Product Directory, and Help

When you click Create New Discussion, you will be taken to a screen very similar to this:

Create Discussion Page

By the numbers shown above:  

  1. You are on the Create New Discussion page
  2. Provide a discussion name/title
  3. Add the body/message of the discussion (note that some basic formatting tools are available for your use)
  4. Select one of more tags to help identify the topic for the discussion (making subsequent searches much easier)
  5. Optionally, receive an email when someone posts a reply to the discussion post
  6. Optionally, subscribe to all discussions for that Discussion Group

Can I insert images while posting on Discussions?

The editor for posting Discussion posts does not allow embedding images. You cannot add images to your posts at present.


I am in a secured program. Are Discussion posts created by me visible to everyone?


If you are required to be signed-in with your Windows Live ID to read posts on the Discussion Group, then the Administrator for the Program has not enabled anonymous access for this Discussion Group. Your posts will only be visible to audience permissioned by Administrator for the Program you are participating in.