MVPs Help Shape the Future of Microsoft Products

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 30, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today recognized more than 750 outstanding members of its online peer-to-peer communities with the prestigious Microsoft® MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award at its annual MVP Summit. This years award winners come from over 40 countries and collectively helped more than half a million customers last year alone. MVPs demonstrate exceptional voluntary participation, thought leadership and a sincere passion for helping Microsofts customers. Lori Moore, vice president of Product Support Services at Microsoft, hosts this years event, and Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will deliver the keynote address.

“We are renewing our commitment to the MVP program this year and are increasing the involvement of our product group executives,”
Moore said.
“The MVPs represent Microsofts bridge to our customers — a way to connect with them once products are installed and in use. Our MVPs range from a 15-year-old expert on Microsoft .NET to an Internet Explorer MVP in Australia who helped more than 11,000 people last year. They astound us daily with the recommendations that stem from interactions with our customers worldwide. The MVP Summit is an opportunity for Microsoft to reinvigorate the community, listen to the MVPs valuable insight and thank them for their dedication.”

As the use of Microsoft products and technologies grows worldwide, so does the community of MVPs. Including areas emerging this year such as .NET, gaming and embedded technologies, Microsoft honored over 150 more recipients this year than last. MVPs are trusted and respected third parties participating in Microsofts online communities and are valued by peers, customers and Microsoft employees for their expertise, feedback and focus on providing the
“voice of the customer.” MVPs, in conjunction with Microsoft Product Support Services, are committed to helping customers obtain the most value from Microsofts product offerings. They play an integral role in the beta testing process, and in some cases, alpha testing with a number of key product groups. The Microsoft Windows® XP operating system is just one product that was enhanced through the involvement of MVPs as beta testers. Because they are familiar with customers needs, MVPs helped determine what would make it a stellar product.

This years summit, taking place at the Microsoft Conference Center, offers the award winners opportunities to interact with their peers, attend presentations and demos with the various product groups, and participate in panel discussions with key Microsoft executives such as Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Division, and Eric Rudder, senior vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division. Recognizing that the MVPs are in a unique position to interact with Microsoft customers and discuss experiences with the companys products, Microsoft works hard to keep a strong feedback loop between the MVPs and its technical teams to influence future products.

“The MVPs are a valuable resource that helps us learn more about our customers and how they use our products,”
Allchin said.
“They work with customers worldwide on a daily basis, helping them with practical matters as well as strategic planning. They tell us what customers like and dont like about our offerings, and what theyd like to see in future versions. I love talking to them personally, and I greatly value their feedback.”

MVP award recipients are nominated by peers in the community, other MVPs, or Microsoft employees and support professionals who participate in the newsgroups. Most MVPs average more than 15 years of technical experience in their given fields. They are men and women who are artists, authors, teachers, students, police officers, firefighters and doctors, among other professions. They range in age from 15 to the mid-60s and are published authors, operators of Web sites devoted to one or more Microsoft products, public speakers, trainers and professional developers. When an MVP provides technical assistance in an online area or community forum, peers and customers immediately know they are receiving high-quality advice from an experienced and knowledgeable person.

The MVP program is 7 years old, and membership has grown from 50 to 763 since its inception. More information on the MVP award recipients can be found at , and Microsofts technical newsgroups are available at news:// .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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