Microsoft creates new Windows Insider MVP program

Microsoft will launch a new Windows Insider MVP influencer program in the spring of 2017.

Microsoft has been revamping its Most Valuable Professional (MVP) influencer program over the past few months.

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The Windows and Devices team on Friday announced its plans for consumer-focused MVPs, with the creation of a Windows Insider MVP Program.

Microsoft officials previously said MVPs who were not in the Developer and IT Pro arenas would move to new influencer programs managed by the respective product teams. That meant Xbox, ID@Xbox, Bing Ads, Windows and Devices, Windows Experience, Windows Phone, Consumer Security, and Surface MVPs would be moved to new, and at that point, publicly-unspecified programs.

"While we are working directly with existing MVPs as they transition into the new program, for our most engaged Insiders, the opportunity to become a Windows Insider MVP will come early in 2017 and will be unveiled this fall. Stay tuned for future announcements," said Dona Sarkar, chief of the Windows Insider program, in a July 1 blog post.

The Microsoft MVP Global Summit will be held from Nov 7 to Nov 10 this year in Redmond.

The Windows Insider MVP Program will allow Microsoft to work more closely with MVPs via "more focused, direct interactions with various Windows and Devices product teams", Sarkar said.

Microsoft launched its MVP program in 1993. As of October 2015, there were 4,000 Microsoft MVPs. MVPs are awarded the designation for helping others use Microsoft technologies via contributions to online forums and other social channels, as well as through articles, books, and outreach at conferences and other events.

The latest MVP program tweaks follow changes to the program that Microsoft made in October 2015 that were design to align the MVP program with Microsoft's "cloud first, mobile-first" charter. At that time, Microsoft reduced the number of MVP categories encompassing IT Pros and developers from 36 to 10.

Update: For those wondering what happens to the Xbox consumer MVPs, they now are under the Xbox team's domain. There's also a new Xbox Ambassadors community program run by the Xbox team. (Thanks @tromboneforhire.)