Microsoft Announces Most Valuable Professionals Shared Source Licensing Program

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 22, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the latest addition to its Shared Source Initiative source licensing program, the Most Valuable Professional Source Licensing Program (MVPSLP). The program recognizes individuals with expertise in one or more Microsoft® products and technologies for their active participation and efforts to help other Microsoft customers. Recognizing the importance of supporting MVPs and the online and offline technical communities they assist, Microsoft is delivering one of its most valuable assets, Windows®
source code, to eligible MVPs through the MVPSLP.

Through the licensing options available through the Shared Source Initiative, Microsoft has been sharing source code with customers, partners and governments worldwide for several years. These Shared Source programs support existing customers, encourage new development, support teaching and research, and create new business opportunities. As experts in the Windows platform, MVPs constitute a key community, and the MVPSLP is designed with that community’s unique needs for source-code access in mind. Raising the level of self-support the community can find inspires greater community participation and provides a stronger feedback loop to Microsoft. MVPs help shape product development and research and provide a valuable link through which Microsoft can listen to customers.

“I’m a huge fan of the MVPs. They do a great deal to help Microsoft customers. Giving them access to one of our most valuable assets, Windows source code, is a testimonial to how much we value this dedicated group of people,” said Jim Allchin, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft. “Giving them access to the source code will help MVPs do even more for technical communities around the world and will thus strengthen support for everyone using the Windows platform.”

Through the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative, MVPs are already eligible to receive Microsoft source code components for Windows CE .NET, ASP.NET, Visual Studio®
.NET, and Passport Manager. Through the new MVPSLP, Microsoft is expanding source code offerings to include Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server (TM) 2003 source code access for eligible MVPs. This increased visibility into Microsoft Windows source code will enrich the broader customer and community support for organizations using the Windows platform.

“My relationship with Microsoft and my technical knowledge have been strengthened by my participation in the MVP program and the new Shared Source program. The MVPSLP benefits the community by giving the MVPs a resource to understand exactly what is happening in the source code, and Microsoft gets valuable feedback from the MVPs — a definite win-win arrangement,” said MVP Phil Webster. “Getting to see how the code actually works is one of the best benefits of being an MVP.”

Microsoft MVPs are a diverse group of individuals from around the world who have two things in common: great expertise in one or more Microsoft products, and a willingness to share their expertise and their experiences with peers. Microsoft MVPs are driven by their passion for helping others and interest in Microsoft software.

About the Shared Source Initiative

The Microsoft Shared Source Initiative is a spectrum of programs and licenses to make Microsoft source code more broadly available to customers, partners, developers, governments, academicians and other interested individuals. Each source-licensing program under the Shared Source Initiative is tailored to the needs of a particular Microsoft constituent community and can be applied as a model for increasing code transparency throughout commercial software.

Shared Source now serves more than 650,000 developers through source code access programs. Currently Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows CE 3.0, Windows CE .NET, Microsoft Passport Manager and components of Visual Studio .NET and ASP.NET Starter Kits have source code available through the Shared Source Initiative. More information on Microsoft’s Shared Source Initiative can be found at .

About the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award Program

The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award Program was started in the early 1990s as a way to recognize those members of the general public who voluntarily devoted their time and considerable computing skills to helping users in the various newsgroups hosted by Microsoft. The Microsoft MVP Award is given to the most outstanding members of Microsoft Technical Communities for their exceptional contributions in hundreds of online and technical communities, including Microsoft public newsgroups, which are popular forums for communicating with peers about Microsoft products, technologies and services.

The MVP Program has grown to represent more than 1,800 individuals in 55 countries spanning 20 languages and more than 70 Microsoft technologies. MVPs share deep and diverse expertise in one or more Microsoft products along with a willingness to share their knowledge with others. Microsoft MVPs are not Microsoft employees. Microsoft does provide a small award of software, but MVPs do not receive any monetary payment from the Microsoft MVP Program.

More information about the MVP Program and related newsgroups can be found at . More information on Microsoft Technical Communities can be found at . Related stories can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.

Microsoft, Windows, Visual Studio and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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