I'm very happy today to announce the launch of our new TechNet homepage!

We approached the redesign with three goals:

  • Improve the overall quality of homepage content for IT Pros
  • Simplify and modernize page design
  • Increase subsidiary value and homepage ROI

The new homepage has four main areas:

1. Headline Rotator displays up to four priority items such as the weekly TechNet feature story and major product announcements. This control is locale-aware, allowing participating subs to display local items to site visitors from their market. For headlines, we making a decisive editorial commitment to engaging IT Pros with a no-frills content experience that always provides useful IT resources to engage with and take action.

2. Top Tasks: These are the best links for the most common IT Pro tasks on TechNet.com

3. Technology News: The latest technical news and information on topics IT Pros care about, direct from the product groups (sourced from the Server & Tools Blogs Network and selected technical blogs from Windows, Office, and Phone). Because we are sourcing from more than 100 of our best blogs, news items should no more than 1-2 days old.

4. Local Resources: Only 50% of the visitors to the EN-US homepage are actually from the US. Local Resources is locale-specific content programmed by subsidiaries, and surfaced using new Locale-Aware controls.

In addition to richer content delivered in simpler user-experience, the new approach also offers business value for Microsoft:

  • Increased reach of subsidiary content: As mentioned, only 50% of visitors to the EN-US homepage are actually from the US; new locale-aware controls enable the new page to detect visitor locale and surface content programmed by the correct sub, increasing the reach and ROI of subsidiary investments
    • Participating subs: US, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore
  • Lower subsidiary cost of site management: With the new ability to publish locale-specific content on the EN-US homepage, other EN subs can retire their low-traffic local homepages and redirect visitors to the EN-US homepage, where the correct local content will be available. This allows participating subs to shift resources to higher value marketing and evangelism activities.
    • Scheduled for retirement: Canada, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, India
    • We are in discussions with UK and Australia

Over the upcoming weeks we will be working with the EN subs mentioned above to retire their homepages, then we will start working with our largest non-EN subsidiaries to launch localized versions of the new design.

This project has been a great collaboration between many people and groups. Thank you to the local TechNet teams in US, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, and Singapore; to Walter Oswald, Neil Powell, Keith Combs, Lucinda Rowley, Yuko Matsumoto, and specially Mitch Irsfeld, Pui Chee Chan, and Damon Buxton.