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This is basically a follow-up to What's with the Windows-8 tag? because that didn't really seem to result in any long-term fixes to the problem.

The problem being that a lot of new users are tagging their questions with , even though the questions have nothing to do with the desktop OS. This creates a lot of overhead as the posts need to be edited to fix the tags.

I think the reason for this is two-fold:

  1. New users don't know that we don't use "windows-phone" in tag names and that they should simply use the OS version number.

  2. Many people don't fully realise Windows Phone is the actual name of the operating system. To them, "Windows Phone 8" is the same as "Windows 8 phone" (example).

As a result, they start typing in "windows", see in the list, think "close enough" and click it. Yes, the tag wiki excerpt that's shown says it's for questions about connecting a Windows Phone device to a PC, but clearly people don't pay enough attention to that. After all, we still get questions mistagged with even though the excerpt explicitly says not to use it for questions about Windows Phone.

I think the problem warrants a revisit, and some more long-term measures to be taken. I'll post my suggestion as an answer.

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I suggest two steps to be taken:

  1. Remove the and tags and replace them with something that more directly relates to connecting a WP device to a PC. Most questions on that topic aren't specific to just one version of Windows anyway. It's possible we wouldn't even need a new tag, as existing ones like or might also be sufficient. Although we might need a generic "windows" tag, to differentiate from other operating systems (we have for Macs, but I don't think there have been any Linux questions).

  2. Unban tags beginning with "windows-phone", and add "windows-phone-8" and "windows-phone-7" as synonyms for and , respectively. Probably also "windows-phone-8.1" to . This way when people start typing "windows" into the textbox, they see the appropriate tags first.

    And yes, I'm aware of the reasons these tags were originally banned, but I think those reasons no longer apply. Two years ago when the tags were banned we didn't even have WP8 yet, and most questions probably did apply to all versions of WP7. Today, with major, feature-laden releases like 8.1, I think there is a very clear need to tag questions with the appropriate OS version, and if users are having trouble with selecting the correct tags, then something needs to be done about it.

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    I am on the fence with this point #1. If you add a generic 'Windows' tag, then it might still end up being abused. We could add a desktop suffix e.g. 'windows-8-desktop' or even the slightly odd 'windows-desktop-8'. I do agree with point #2 though. – row1 May 20 '14 at 3:22
  • Good point. Thinking about it some more, I think that perhaps #1 wouldn't even be necessary if we took step #2. Tags are ordered by number of questions, and so long as the correct tags (i.e. "8.0", "8.1", "7.x" and so on) show up first when they start typing in "windows", that should take care of the problem. – Indrek May 20 '14 at 12:14
  • We've had at least one linux question: windowsphone.stackexchange.com/questions/5424/… – akid Aug 12 '14 at 8:35
  • @akid That was posted well after this Meta post, but fair enough. In any case, I'm surprised this suggestion hasn't attracted more attention. Apart from row1's comment above, do people have any other misgivings about what I've proposed here? – Indrek Aug 12 '14 at 12:20
  • @Indrek You're right. I just noticed the question was about WP7 and immediately assumed it was old ;) – akid Aug 12 '14 at 12:49

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