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2.3/25 The Developers Site for WebTV

Delivered-To:    normtaka#webtv.net
From:    "furler" (furler#furler.net)
To:    <developers@webtv.net>
Subject:    The Developers Site for WebTV
Date:    Mon, Mar 25, 2002, 6:00pm (PST+3)
X-Priority:    3
X-MSMail-Priority:    Normal

To Whom It May Concern:
Several days ago it came to my attention that the Developer's pages which used to be available for Site Developers are no longer available.  I understand after some further investigation that they have been gone for a while, and that presently there is no plan for their return.  I am writing to register a complaint with you about that.
First of all, that is the only place where there was any information directly from WebTV Corporate where that kind of information was available.  The forums there helped those of us who were making some efforts to make sure our sites were compatible with WebTV, and it was a place where I could refer other site developers for that information who knew nothing about WebTV. 
The fact that you would remove the only source of information available which would help developers incorporate the limitations of your system into their sites doesn't say much for your concern about whether your clients are ever looked upon as more than stepchildren in the internet world.
Secondly, when I called the Support Division of WebTV I was given what I consider less than optimum responses.  Perhaps you would like to know what your support service is telling people who call for information about this.  Grab a cup of coffee and then turn your attention to this while you sip!
I reached a support tech named Raymond, ID # 3359, who told me that information was no longer going to be available and if I wished to file a complaint, the Compliance Management Group could be reached at:
WebTV Networks Inc.
1065 La Avenida St.
Mountain View, CA. 94043
FAX # (425) 727-3490
OR I could file a complaint with you at the email address to where this mail is being directed.

I asked to speak to HIS supervisor, explaining that I was trying to develop pages on a PC that were webtv compatible and asked why they were trying to isolate the webtv community in this manner from anyone who might be wanting to make sure their pages are compatible.  He indicated again that information is no longer available to the public and if I would get a webtv appliance of some sort and go to the WebTV Pagebuilder, all the compatible
information is available there.  I asked why  I should want to do that.

His supervisor was named Chris.  She gave me no ID # saying she was the only supervisor at that site.  She told me I could find the  information I was looking for if I would go to
http://www.webtv.net and click on "developers."   I told her that I had tried that and it took me to the msntv site.  She said to scroll all the way to the end of the page and click on the developers link.  Apparently she then tried it, and SURPRISE.... the link was no longer available, as I had already explained to her!!!  It doesn't say much for your staff that the supervisor is giving out wrong information.

I asked where SHE is located and was told New Mexico.  When I asked WHERE in New Mexico she said "Western."  I asked what the problem is with anyone knowing where the support site is located, especially since I am not even in that state, and she told me that information is not available.  She said if I indicated I talked to someone in New Mexico that people at corporate would know who she is because she is the only supervisor named Chris there. (as opposed to before when she told me she was the only supervisor there)  I asked to speak to her supervisor.  No dice.

She suggested that I could write to :
Microsoft Corporation
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, Wa. 98052
Attn: MSNTV Policy Administration
(425) 737-3490  (note that this is ONLY 1 digit different from the phone number which is supposedly in Mtn. View, Ca.)

I asked her the same question about why msntv would choose to isolate the msn/webtv community by removing the information which was previously available to developers to make sure they could/would develop sites which are compatible with the rest of the online community and she indicated that "PCs should stick with PCs and WebTVs with WebTV" since those appliances
could not do everything a PC could do.  I find that statement to be ludicrous!  I told her I was aware of WebTV's limitations and that would be the very reason that the  developers' site should have been left available. 

She said that it was a corporate decision and that probably the site wasn't being used enough.  I told her that was the craziest thing I ever heard of, and that I knew for a fact that lots of webtv users used the site and that I have used the site both while on webtv and since I have been on a PC.  I told her that it was my opinion that removing this site from online was a very poor corporate administrative decision and she could pass that along to whomever she chose.  She said she would. 

Never once did either of them suggest that I download the WebTV Viewer for a PC so I could see how my pages would look on the webtv, but that still wouldn't delineate which codes are and are not compatible with web/msntv. 
Unfortunately it seems the WebTV Viewer no longer is functional, either.  Why is that?
Overall, I find this situation ridiculous and and I feel this is more of the same kind of treatment which made me leave webtv in the first place when no one would help me try to straighten out a billing snafu.  At that time I was basically told, "too bad" and once again that seems to be the attitude toward your clients.  It doesn't speak well for you. 
I can access the Compendium and build my pages using CSS and Java without regard to whether or not your clients can access my pages, but you might want to take another look at what you are saying to people who are still trying to incorporate your clients, rather than just moving on and forgetting where we learned lots of the things we know today.
L. C. Crosby