Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

The TechNet Plus subscriber download area is revamped !!!

The TechNet Plus subscriber download area is revamped !!!

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Not too long ago the TechNet Plus subscriber download area was revamped.  I wasn’t terribly fond of the navigation methods used on that revamp so of course I sent some email on various occasions asking for a change.  Apparently a lot of you did the same thing.

imageTada!  Ask and we shall receive!

The revamped download area has been revamped again and it’s a much flatter navigational view of the files that are available to you, the TechNet Plus subscriber.

The following list summarizes the features and improvements in the new UI in this release:

  • The “twitchy” fly-out menu with the strange mouse behavior is gone.  RIP.
  • The product list is categorized. This was the most commonly requested organization structure. 
  • The table of contents has been flattened from three levels to two so finding products will be easier. 
  • The list of products can be narrowed easily by using the search filter. 
  • You can find products by using the filtered search or by browsing the table of contents. 
  • You can now search on part of a product name, e.g. “2007,” or on the name of an edition, e.g. “Ultimate” (as in Windows Vista Ultimate or Microsoft Office Ultimate).
  • If a file contains more than one product edition, the names of the editions are listed in plain view. 
  • File downloading, key related tasks, and product information are provided on the same page so you will no longer have to navigate from one page where you search for a product to another where you download files and claim keys. And if you encounter an error on the site, you’ll no longer be taken to a separate error page.
  • File downloading, key related tasks, and relevant information can be seen in a single row so you’ll no longer have to scroll to the bottom of the page to find product keys.
  • Download sizes are displayed prominently so you can see how big the file is before you initiate the download.
  • You can now sort product files by the date they were updated, or by their availability based on your subscription level. 
  • The site will “remember” your last settings for media type, e.g. “DVD,” and architecture, e.g. “x86.”  If no files match your settings, the site will automatically suggest less-restrictive settings.
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  • just 3 words

    Thanks, thanks, thanks....

    Oscar Soto Casali

    MVP Directory Services

  • That's good news - it's MUCH better now, thanks for your input! But... one gripe is that it's still dependent on IE. I'd rather use my own download manager with Firefox.

  • And another thing, it would be nice if there was a way to list all downloads in order of date added/updated. That way we could quickly see if there has been anything new added to the downloads section.

  • Yes, I agree.  We need a 30 day filter or something to see what has been added recently. I would also like a beta filter to show all products that have not been released.

    I'll start rolling the feedback to the TechNet Plus team.

  • 1) Yes, a whats new section is definitly missing

    2) also the selection filters should be "multiple check boxes", so that it is possible to select ENG/Ger/MUI.

  • This is so much better. Easier to use and easier to find the products. It is good to see that a lot more thought has been put into this version than the last.

    The 30 day filter actually on the downloads page would be a great idea.

    Thanks for your input Keith.

  • Yeah, and MSDN too!!!  Agreed, the site needs the return of the recent downloads area/filter.

  • It is great that the website now is improved, hopefully the improvements will be applied to other websites that seems to have been forgotten since before 2000 (like the MCP Store):

    https://shop.ecompanystore.com/MCPeStore/MCF_Login.asp

    Ealier today i read Kai Axfords blog:

    http://blogs.technet.com/kaiaxford/archive/2008/06/27/why-we-and-you-will-miss-billg.aspx

    and my first thought were how to get BillG to use the MCP Store website and write his honest opinion about it to the relevant group inside Microsoft.

    While were on the topic of criticising webpages, I want to criticise your blog-theme, when I write this response [1] and moves the mouse outside the Comments-area the cursor dissappears unless i move the cursor out to where the black colour starts. The first time I noticed I thought "what the hell happened to my mouse,", I tried ALT-Tabbing to another program I had running and the mouse were back, when I switched back again without moving the mouse it were gone again.

    Perhaps you could use a lighter gray background colour that do not "hide" the cursor.

    I use the default cursor-scheme (Windows Aero) in Vista, I could solve the problem by changing it but I dont want to do that just because of this small problem.

  • While not ideal, there is an RSS feed from the Home Page of the subscription site (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/default.aspx) that shows the most recently added.  In addition (while it is not very apparent) the "Last Updated" header on the download page can be clicked to provide a sorted view by date for a particular product.