How to Read MSDN Forums with an NNTP News Reader

If you indulge in Microsoft MSDN Forums (social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums) frequently then you might have had a thought about using a News reader.

The MSDN Forums Help Wiki mentions an “NNTP bridge” by Microsoft to configure one’s News reader but that project seems to have been off the shelf since the release of the new MSDN forums. It seems there is no other information about the future availability of a new bridge which would be compatible with the current forums.

There is a CodePlex community project at Community Forums NNTP Bridge that provides the functionality to provide this bridge. Download the zip file (approx 1 MB). Extract and run the setup.exe to install. Its documentation is quite explanatory but I’d like to restate and add to it –

  • The bridge essentially acts as an NNTP server so it has to be running when you plan to use your News Reader. It can be turned off (closed) at other time.
  • You have to use the IP 127.0.0.1 as the NNTP server in your News Reader configuration while setting up the forums. This is not mentioned clearly in an otherwise good documentation. Screenshots below.
  • You have to turn on (enable) the NNTP option in your forum settings page before you can use the bridge.
  • You have to use the same Windows Live login (Hotmail, MSN, Live etc.) account credentials while starting the NNTP bridge server that you use for the forums.
  • Microsoft Outlook can not be used as a News reader but its cousins viz. Outlook Express, or more recently, Windows Live Mail (WLM) can be used as such. WLM is a part of the free Microsoft Essentials package. If you have other favorite news readers then give them a try too.

Other links:

Windows Live Mail Configuration:

WLMConfigurationGrayscale

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