The Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Program is designed to recognize outstanding contributions from individuals to technical communities worldwide. It is the highest award that Microsoft gives to those who actively share their knowledge and experience with the programming and developing communities and with Microsoft. Microsoft created the award in an effort to facilitate an open exchange of knowledge and experience. They believe the dissemination of real world expertise helps every member of the technology community.
MVPs are a very elite group of Microsoft experts that are committed to advancing computing technology and making it more accessible to others. Upwards of 100 million individuals contribute to the Microsoft community and fewer than 4,000 have reached this prestigious status.
The important attribute bestowed on those earning the mark of MVP is that of trust. Everyday Microsoft users can trust that information from MVP recipients, whether in online forums or in person at public addresses, is accurate and of the highest caliber. Microsoft does not employ its MVPs, so they have no obligation to promote Microsoft technologies. This allows individuals to share their insights in an honest, transparent fashion, increasing the level of trust users have when interacting with MVPs.
Microsoft is proud of the number and diversity of it MVPs. From the Microsoft MVP blog: “MVPs represent a broad spectrum of Microsoft product users. They occupy many different professions including accountants, teachers, artists, engineers and technologists. MVPs reside in more than 90 countries, represent over 30 different languages, and cover nearly 90 Microsoft technologies.” By way of example, Microsoft explains, “A significant portion of new MVPs represent emerging markets in China, Russia, and Korea, as well as smaller markets like Ghana, Nepal, Macedonia, and Macao.”
MVP recipients are likely to be early adopters. They embrace new technology and they are excited to work on problems within new programs. As a result they are increasing a given program’s functionality and helping all users who come after them to have a more enjoyable and productive experience. Given the importance of the MVP title, there is an appropriately rigorous process one must submit to before the award can be granted. Community members are nominated for consideration by current MVPs and Microsoft personnel. A board of MVPs and Microsoft team members then critiques the nominee’s contributions for quality, quantity and impact on the industry. The MVP program is Microsoft’s way of saying thank you to contributors for their dedication to the furthering of advancements in the technology and computer sciences industry.
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