A suggestion for the Microsoft Knowledge Base
When I go to the Knowledge Base, it is quite uncommon for me to using a web browser from the very machine that I am concerned about. In fact, when I am searching for hotfixes or cumulative updates, I am almost exclusively on my laptop or workstation and attempting to find a fix for a server that sits in a data center several states away. The reason is simple: we don't use our servers to browse the Knowledge Base; or, for that matter, any other part of the web. This is a pretty strict policy in a lot of environments.
Why, then, has Microsoft started detecting the browser and operating system I'm on, and conditionally hiding content from me? This is a new process, as far as I can tell, but they're certainly not keeping it a secret:
So far today, I have seen this warning on every KB article I've visited. Yes, I am an extreme case, because I am using Firefox on a Mac. But even when I am using Windows in a virtual machine, I am typically using Windows 7 x64. Is KB article content going to be hidden from me when I am looking for updates or other materials involving a server in my data center (whether it be Windows Server 2008 R2 x64, or Windows Server 2003 x86)? In order to get the appropriate content for a specific server, do I really need to turn off IE ESC and any firewall restrictions in order to go directly to that server and browse the web from there? I don't know about you, but that sounds like a lot more hassle to me.
A while back they were doing this in the cumulative update download pages – hiding x86 and IA64 files if I was browsing from an x64 machine, for example. They stopped doing that, presumably due to too many users complaining that they couldn't find the appropriate files for their server(s). Now it seems like we are coming full circle, repeating the process – only this time with content.
If you want to be sure I don't get irrelevant information for a different platform, then highlight that information – subtly. Or provide a button that allows me to show all content and make it obvious which platform a piece of information goes with. Don't hide it from me altogether – this is just downright frustrating.
I hope someone is listening.