I am the kind to not complain, just shut up and unsubscribe, but since I am getting all the sales pitch for renewal... (I thought i had till may but no, doesnt seem like it anymore, date has changed to december. guess they need money to pay the christmas bills)
I haven't had any value out of that newsletter since it changed, frankly, and I have sent them an email telling them I won't renew.
Here are the differences to me (they overlap a bit, but i wont spend the time to make it clean list)
- support alerts used to cover lesser known software, tricks, with a very diy approach. Windows secret covers only mainstream topic, you don't figure things yourself you BUY SOMETHING (usually with commission link attached)
- support alert used to cover all sorts of topic. Windows secrets doesnt stray far from the coverage of something like Cnet/zdnet - well if i need to find content about the things that have promotional budgets, I can get it there.
- support alert created his own content - windows secret rehashes old news you have already gotten from (free) sites
- support alert used to have *a lot* of content, dozens of headings in a typical newsletter, some about freeware, some about software categories, some responses to users or user suggested content, . Windows secrets usually has 4-5 with 8 advert breaks and some filler. Out of these, 3 will be rehash of news already broadcast around about service packs or bugs, one will be a review of some kind of software, listing -if lucky- 2 different ones and quoting entire paragraphs word for word from the publisher's blurb, and one might be a slightly technical/practical thing. Their latest subscriber value? "free excerpts" from ebooks complete with sales pitch (=advertising) (you can get those for your site too, there are whole sites dealing with this. nice commission income, but not "exclusive value")
- support alert used to have a candid direct conversational tone - windows secrets does it in a tone that is marketing fluff speak and seo keyword dropping.
- support alert used to dare be critical of kinds of software - windows secrets will do whole analysis on how you need everything from $70 parental filters to $20 memory managers (that's the one that really drove it home this was almost all subsidised content) and $40 tweak programs.
- support alert used to have interaction with its readers, things sent in, responses - windows secrets has a broadcast-media approach.
To me the "secret" is that this is the newsletter equivalent of those free, advertorial magazines. This is not at all the same product, and just not worth supporting. I'm sure it pays the bills better, but it's not worth my time.
My best guess is that they bought "support alert" for the SEO value of the software list pages - because they sure haven't bothered to keep any of the other things of value in there.