Subscribers of the Windows Secrets Newsletter started receiving e-mail notices about the new WS Lounge in early December 2009. In addition, the Lounge's long-standing ban on search engines (for server performance reasons) has gradually started to end. Whether you're visiting the Lounge now because of the newsletter notice, or you've reached this page from a link in Google or some other Web site, welcome to the show!

If you're not already a member of the Lounge, it takes just a minute to register. You can then start enjoying the resources of the Lounge. Please take the following steps:

  • Step 1: Free registration. Visit the page shown in the link at the end of this paragraph. Enable the check box on the bottom of the form, and then click the Continue registration button. On the page that appears, enter your name and e-mail address, and that's about all it takes. Here's the link: Registration page

  • Step 2: Verify and sign in. Within seconds, you'll receive a confirmation e-mail message. Click the link inside it to verify your address. You'll be taken to our Lounge sign-in page. Enter your username and password and click the Sign in button — you're a Lounger!

  • Step 3: Upload. Signing in takes you to the top level — what we call the Lounge Lobby. The first thing you should do is upload a photo of yourself. Image sharing strengthens the communication within the global network. On the Lounge's main menu, click Settings, select the Profile tab, and then click Change your head shot. Once that's done, click the Change your Profile photo tab. (You can use the same image in both places.)

  • Step 4: Enjoy. After setting up your profile, go back to the Lounge Lobby. Find a forum on a topic you're experienced in, and look for new threads started by other Lounge members. If you can add helpful information, please do so by clicking the Add your reply button. If not, click Start a new thread and share whatever knowledge you can. Show what you know.

  • Step 5: Promotions await. The Lounge will need more moderators to handle the new members we expect from both search engines and Windows Secrets. The members who post the best new content in the Lounge in the next five days will be considered for promotions to moderator status. That brings extra privileges, high-level conversations with other mods and admins, and special treats we've been planning for ages. If you're good, we want you in the Lounge.

Remember, the WS Lounge is a beta, and betas have bugs. The rough edges in our new software will get worked out. Please give us time to make the Lounge into the best resource that it can be for the Windows user community.

Now go and register, and I'll see you in the Lounge!

Please don't reply to this message, which is just an announcement. If you find a problem or bug that you think we don't already know about, please notify us using the "Contact an administrator" link at the bottom of the page. Thanks!