Celebrating a Tremendous Year for Technology and Community


Guest blogger Mike Hickman is Microsoft’s Director of Global Community Engagement, including the MVP Award.

clip_image002This has been a momentous year for the MVP community. We are poised to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the MVP Award and, as I look back on 2012, it serves to highlight the remarkable, dynamic nature of this community.


As the most recent, ambitious wave of Microsoft products reaches homes and offices around the world, the global MVP community is reaching out in new and innovative ways to help people make the most of their technologies.


Here are some examples:

· MVPs hit the road for the Windows Server 2012 Roadshow, contributing their real-world expertise in more than 20 countries.  

· This year more than 60% of the global launch events for Visual Studio 2012 featured MVP sponsorship or presentations (you can read some of their posts here).

· In more than 40 languages, MVPs’ blogs, forum answers and presentations have helped people around the world as they make the move to Windows 8.


But, as always, the role MVPs play in the advancement of new technologies begins long before products launch. At last year’s MVP Global Summit, where MVPs were meeting privately with product teams from across the company, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the Visual Studio 11 beta went public. Windows Azure corporate vice president Jason Zander personally asked MVPs to give his team their feedback. At the recent Windows 8 launch, S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division, summed up their contributions: “Thanks to the MVPs for helping us build the right products as well as being the core part of our vibrant community,” he said.


In addition to the tens of thousands of people MVPs reach each day through social media, in forums, at user groups gatherings and as presenters at technology conferences around the world, MVPs have offered their advice and best practices through a host of Community Video Tips (you can see—and contribute—tips here). They’ve also greatly expanded their efforts to work directly with Microsoft customers, so far providing an impressive 78 sessions in Microsoft Stores this holiday season.


MVPs’ commitment to continually learning about and providing their feedback on Microsoft technologies is demonstrated through their willingness to take time out of their busy schedules to join Microsoft teams at in-person events around the world. This year, 850 MVPs representing 17 countries gathered together in cities across the globe to participate in ten Microsoft Open Day Events. And, as they have for nearly 20 years, we are looking forward to many more MVPs joining us in February for the 2013 MVP Global Summit at Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond.


On behalf of everyone here at Microsoft, I would like to extend my gratitude for the MVP community’s numerous and valuable contributions to enhancing the experience of technology users around the world. Here’s to a wonderful new year—and a truly memorable 20-year celebration!