Becoming a Microsoft MVP

Mike Halsey MVP
May 18, 2011
Updated • Aug 30, 2011

Since being awarded my MVP from Microsoft on January 1st this year I've had a fair few questions from people asking about the MVP program, what  it is, what the benefits are and how you can become one.  I thought I'd write this up here for you all as a guide as we all know the best tech professionals read gHacks.

So what is an MVP?  The Most Valuable Professional award exists to recognise the contributions to made by tech professionals to the user communities for Microsoft's various products.  An MVP category exists for everything from Windows to the Xbox, Small Business Server, OneNote, Dynamics, ASP.NET and even the Mac.  The blurb on the official MVP website says...

We seek to recognize the best and brightest from technology communities around the world with the Microsoft® Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award.

These exceptional community leaders come from a wide range of backgrounds. They are teachers, artists, doctors, engineers, as well as technologists, who actively share their high-quality, real-world technical expertise with the community and with Microsoft.

With the MVP Award, we thank these inspiring individuals for representing the voice of thousands in the community through the powerful and independent feedback they give us, and for helping our customers maximize the potential of their software.

The MVP award scheme operates worldwide in every country that Microsoft has a presence and is managed locally within individual countries.

So how is it that MVPs "enrich technical communities" as the website so proudly says?  This can be through something as simple as contributing to newsgroups or forums to appearing at conferences, writing  books and wikis, speaking at user groups or articles on your own (or another) website or blog and even making podcasts.

In short there are a great many ways to help other people online or in person and they can all be recognised.  You might, for instance, help a local community centre with support.  Why shouldn't this qualify you to become and MVP?  Simply put, it's exactly the sort of activity that will help.

In short you do not need to be an editor for gHacks to succeed, your general reach is much less important than anything you're actually doing to help people and enrich their experiences with Microsoft products.

So how do you become an MVP and what are the benefits?  There are several ways to become and MVP.  You can be nominated by another MVP or by a member of Microsoft staff (which is how I was nominated).  You can even nominate yourself or a friend or colleague.  It's all done on the main MVP website.

There are about 5,000 MVPs worldwide spread across around 100 product categories.  Not everybody is lucky enough to be awarded an MVP first time, but it's worth resubmitting an application the following year if you feel you've done more to qualify for the award.

For those people awarded an MVP the exact category you'll be awarded might not always be the one you expect, but will be tailored to the specific help and support you've been offering people.

There's all manner of access to people within Microsoft that is available to MVPs, Microsoft have demonstrated that they have trust in you and, as such, are much more likely to want to listen to what you have to say.

 The MVP community itself also offers many benefits, in fact I was very surprised how many. It's an exclusive and really rather well hidden club that you'll be welcomed into.

The main MVP website also contains a directory of MVPs should you want to contact an expert in a particular field for any reason, this is a useful addition as those people looking for people to give talks and seminars will know where to go.

One of the most important things to note is that Microsoft actually do embrace the independence of MVPs. They talk on their website about MVPs having "separate opinions and perspectives, and are able to represent the views of the community members with whom they engage every day." This is actually true and becoming an MVP doesn't put you in the company's back pocket.

In all there are a great many benefits to becoming an MVP not the least of which is the satisfaction of having helped people in user communities, in a role no matter how large or small.


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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