Primarily the channel exists to discuss all supported versions of Windows (the family of Operating Systems from Redmond). This breaks down into three major areas: 1) helping people who have questions, 2) discussing the finer technical points, and 3) comparing Windows to other operating systems. But of course, when you get any group of people together, they'll often chat about all sorts of things. The channel ..
... is mostly about Windows.
... is usually in English, because most tech folks seem to speak that language. Other languages are OK, though.
... programming questions should be directed towards development channels such as ##windows-coding, ##XAML, #win32 or #winapi, or a channel specific to your programming language. If you’re looking for a more appropriate channel you can use freenode's "alis" tool, with the command /msg alis help or check out this regularly updated freenode channel search tool.
...doesn't mind the inevitable ’why I do/don’t like Windows’ discussions as long as they are easygoing, non-abusive, factually substantive, and reasonable. We're more than happy to compare and contrast operating systems. But if you've joined the channel for a debate, we hope you'll take a moment to read these debate guidelines.
... heavily discourages all talk relating to software piracy. (See this page if you need more explanation.)
Discourages the use of Dual Boot for reasons explained here Multi-boot
No off-topic chat, please. While we have allowed off-topic chat in the past, we’ve grown to the point at which it’s too hard to manage, and we request it be moved elsewhere. Here is more information on why we made the change in policy. This includes the use of "/me" action messages.
For general chit-chat, we suggest ##chat otherwise find a social channel with /msg alis list <searchterm>
Bring verifiable facts to factual arguments. This guideline always applies, but is especially germane to arguments which attempt to "prove" Windows guilty of some nefarious or unethical behavior. The burden of proof rests on you, so actually bring your proof. Rumor and innuendo are not proof.
Gaming is offtopic. Other channels and other networks (like this) are better suited to gaming talk.
Activation is offtopic. It's an issue between you and Microsoft, and they have the back-end data to do it right. We don't, so can only slow down the proper resolution to your issue. If activation is not working for you, call MS.
Licensing is offtopic for the many reasons listed on our (unfortunately named) No Piracy page.
Avoid "shopping questions" like where to get the best deal on software or hardware. It's a big world. We don't know where you are in it, and we don't really keep a running track of where the best deals are. You might try Pricewatch.
Where are the channel operators?
There may not be any! Or one may be watching right now, but not wearing an @. Although channel and network operators try to keep things on an even keel, and put out the obvious fires, we are not and cannot be the guardians of good taste, moral uprightness, ethical wonderfulness, or any other standard of behaviour. We cannot protect every person from seeing things they would rather not see. We think that in most cases, people need to look out for themselves, rather than depending on others to do it for them.
So: if you see stuff you don’t like, don’t go looking for a chan-op or irc-op to fix it, unless it’s really, really bad and goes on for hours. Try using /ignore - it works great (in most IRC clients). Regardless of perceived provocation, we ask that you keep your own behavior polite, reasonable, and constructive. Thanks!