1,500 Global Tech Professionals Take Center Stage at 2009 Microsoft MVP Global Summit

REDMOND, Wash. — March 1, 2009 — At Microsoft Corp.’s 2009 MVP Global Summit, March 1–4, approximately 1,500 outstanding members of the world’s technical community will descend on Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. Attending the summit are Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), a highly select group of technical experts who represent a vital component of the global technical community and illustrate Microsoft’s commitment to listen and respond to its customers.

During the four-day summit, MVPs, who are all non-Microsoft employees, will interact closely with a variety of Microsoft’s product teams, sharing critical feedback to help enhance and improve the solutions that Microsoft offers to its customers and communities. The summit also serves as an opportunity for MVPs to hone their technical skills through 680 sessions offered during the conference. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, will keynote the summit and discuss how important the “voice of the customer” is to the company.

“Microsoft knows that asking for and listening to customer feedback is essential, which is why we are extremely dedicated to the MVP Award Program,” said Toby Richards, general manager of Community and Online Support for Microsoft. “The objective and independent feedback we receive from our MVPs ensures that our products and support are constantly evolving, resulting in innovative products and solutions for the global technology industry.”

Although more than 100 million people participate in technical communities, this year there are just over 4,000 Microsoft MVPs worldwide. Outstanding technical-community members can be nominated by their peers in the community, Microsoft employees and other MVPs. Microsoft’s MVP Award Program is in its 16th year, with MVPs today representing 97 countries, spanning 37 languages and nearly 90 Microsoft technologies.

“We invite MVPs to experience our new technology early,” Richards said, “because we know that their feedback positively impacts the overall customer experience with our products and helps us better understand what our customers really want and need.”

About the Microsoft MVP Award Program

Microsoft began the MVP Awards as a way to recognize members of the general public who devoted their time and technical expertise to helping others in various online technical forums. Over time, the program has evolved; today, awards are given to members of technical communities worldwide for their outstanding contributions to communities, which include their own Web sites, user groups, blogs and wikis.

More information about the MVP Award Program and the 2009 MVPs can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mvp and at http://blogs.msdn.com/mvpawardprogram. Readers can tap into the buzz about the MVP Global Summit on the event’s Twitter site at http://twitter.com/mvpglobalsummit and visit the summit blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/mvpglobalsummit. More information on Microsoft technical communities can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/communities.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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