Starting sometime this weekend, we will be upgrading our forums to Invision Power Board 3.1 which was released in the summer, and has since seen 4 minor updates taking our version directly to 3.1.4. Neowin has never jumped on first time releases due to the complexity of our skin and inevitable bugs that crop up after major versions are rolled out. Atlas has been updated to include all of the new social connectors that have been added to the forum software.
Please note that we will be upgrading with just one color, that being our trademark (light) blue default parent skin. The forums can then undergo a live test period so we can iron out any bugs we've missed, before we do the rest of the colors.
The skin was outsourced to IPBForumskins.com and it will be our last (major) IPB update.
Future plans involve Neowin creating its own "Ignition" forum software, that will be built alongside our custom Content Management System. The initial database development and coding has already started which means that we will no longer have to continually modify the forum software to make it do what we want. Upgrading major versions are a real pain unless we want a "vanilla" experience, and we've never had that since we first started using IPB back when it first released in 2003.
2011 will bring a further customized experience for our readers, and we hope that by launching IPB 3.1.4 we can get an idea of what is really important to our readership when we eventually move to our own custom forum software.
Update: It has been decided by our overlord Marcel (Redmak) that the upgrade will start on the morning of Sunday 19 December. (EU time)