From the Editor Print is Dead

Joshua Hoffman

Print is dead. Or so many would have you think. In the era of unlimited information, available in every form, at any time, from anywhere, on myriad fantastical devices, what place does a collection of pieces of paper bound together with glue really hold? Has it's time passed? Should the magazine and the newspaper be relegated to the halls of the Smithsonian, so that one day we can wax nostalgic about what it was like to have to carry around compressed bits of tree and ink?

A bit melodramatic? Yes. But I'm sure you've guessed that this is a premise with which I completely disagree (and not only for the sake of my job security; there are plenty of things I could be doing at Microsoft). I believe firmly in the notion that the printed word provides an incredibly deep and rich experience, despite (or perhaps because of) its simplicity. When I sit down to read a long article, I would always rather do so with the print in my hand instead of on my computer screen. To me, it's simply more engaging. Is that an antiquated viewpoint? Perhaps, but according to our latest reader survey, 90 percent of you feel exactly the same way.

Now, I'm not suggesting we stick our head in the sand. I'm as geeky as they come, and I love technology. But a publication such as ours can—and should—be a holistic experience, one that takes many forms—online, offline, and in person. Sure, if I'm going to read a long, deeply technical article by Mark Russinovich, I do want it to be in print. But I also want to benefit from hearing Mark lecture and watching him demonstrate the technique he's discussing.

This notion has become a guiding principle for TechNet Magazine. While we remain proud of the publication we ship to the printer ever month, all of the content we've ever published in print is also available on .com. And in the near future, you'll be seeing more content that takes advantage of the unique platform available to us in the Internet. For example, in our last issue we kicked off our Screencast series with Don Jones and his Windows Power­Shell column. You can now watch video of Don as he walks you through the topic of that month's column. There's also a new Sustainable Computing column on our Web site that is devoted entirely to the environmental impact of IT and what we as IT professionals can do to be responsible global citizens.

As always, your feedback is critical as we continue to build TechNet Magazine into a rich media experience. Drop us a line at

—Joshua Hoffman

Thanks to the following Microsoft technical experts: Ed Banti, Avronil Bhattacharjee, Nino Bilic, Mai-lan Tomsen Bukovec, Eric Charran, Elden Christensen, Trina Gorman, Scott Landry, Michael Murgolo, Sanjeev Nair, Hugh Pyle, Amritansh Raghav, Jez Sadler, and Jim Truher.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.