The domain name Bro.ws (pronounced "browse") is our way of giving you tiny URLs. This is handy for SMS text messages, tweets, or any other place where space is limited.

To access any Lounge thread, enter into your browser address bar Bro.ws/ and the thread number followed by the letter L. This makes our tiny URLs less than half the length of the full URL. For example:

Code:
http://bro.ws/768351L (21 characters)

redirects to:

http://lounge.windowssecrets.com/ind...owtopic=768351 (59 characters)

As a convention, we always capitalize the L (for "Lounge") to make it look different from the number "1." But Bro.ws is case-insensitive. You can enter the letter L in uppercase or lowercase, and Bro.ws will redirect to the same page.

We say Bro.ws is short for "browse Windows Secrets." But you can look at it as just another way of saying "browse," as in "surf the Web."

Each Bro.ws shortcut is hyperlinked to make it easy for you to copy it into your Windows Clipboard. Using the following procedure in your browser, you don't have to select the entire shortcut in order to copy it.

In Internet Explorer: Right-click the link, and then click Copy Shortcut.

In Firefox: Right-click the link, and then click Copy Link Location.

The dot-ws domain originally stood for Western Samoa. Interestingly, that country doesn't technically exist any more. The island nation's constitution was amended in 1997 to change the designation to the Independent State of Samoa. These days, dot-ws domains are made available to the public by a registrar company named Global Domains International. It says the ws abbreviation stands for Web site.

In the weeks to come, we'll add features to Bro.ws so it redirects to forums and other parts of the Lounge, not just threads. And we'll make it redirect to Windows Secrets articles in our library. For now, Bro.ws only works to redirect to numbered threads in the Lounge.

The appropriate Bro.ws link appears in the upper-right corner of every thread page. To copy the link into the Windows Clipboard, right-click the link and then click Copy Link Location (in Firefox) or Copy Shortcut (in IE). You can then use Ctrl+V to paste the link into a tweet or any document.

If you wish, you can manually enter Bro.ws/ followed by a number and L to represent any thread that now exists. As new threads are created in the future, they'll be supported automatically, too. (You can't make up Bro.ws links for other Web pages, however. If you need a tiny URL for personal reasons, visit TinyURL.com, Bit.ly, or other free URL shortener services.)

Please don't reply — this post is merely an announcement. If you have a comment or question, please notify us using the "Contact an administrator" link at the bottom of the page. Thanks!