Microsoft makes more tweaks to its MVP program

Microsoft is making more changes to its Most Valuable Professional influencer program. One result: No Global MVP Summit in calendar 2017.

Microsoft is making a number of new adjustments to its Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award program, officials announced on February 1.

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Starting July 1, 2017 -- the first day of Microsoft's fiscal 2018 -- the company will begin renewing all its MVPs once annually in July, instead of four times per year as it has done for the past 20-plus years. Brand new MVPs will be onboarded every month.

Microsoft also has decided to cancel its annual MVP Global Summit for this calendar year. The next MVP summit won't happen until March 4-7, 2018. Officials said this decision was made so as to reduce content duplication which happened in 2016 when the MVP Global Summit happened right after the Microsoft Ignite conference. (In 2017, Ignite is scheduled for September 25-29.)

Microsoft officials announced some new learning-related benefits as part of the MVP program. All MVPs will get free access to Xamarin University with 80 courses. MVPs will be able to get a 50 percent discount for two MCP exams per year. And MVPs will be getting priority registration for Microsoft conferences like Build and Ignite.

More details on the changes are available in this blog post and in this Microsoft Channel 9 video.

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; through articles and books; and outreach at conferences and other events.

Last year, Microsoft revamped the MVP program. creating some new MVP categories, consolidating others and moving some MVPs into new "influencer" programs.

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