The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Program is an award and recognition program run by Microsoft. Microsoft MVPs are volunteers who have been awarded for providing technical expertise towards communities supporting Microsoft products or technologies. An MVP is awarded for contributions over the past year.

The MVP program grew out of the developer community; rumor has it the initials stood for "Most Voluble Professional", as the initial MVPs were some of the most active on the online peer support communities such as Usenet and CompuServe. It has since grown to include other types of products, and other avenues of contribution.

A posting from Tamar Granor on the Universal Thread web site gives this account of the origin of the MVP program.

Way back in the dark ages, Microsoft provided a great deal of technical support on CompuServe. The CompuServe FoxPro forum was extremely busy and Calvin Hsia, then an independent developer, now Developer Lead on the Fox team, created what we called "Calvin's List." It was a listing of the number of postings by person, including info on both messages sent and received. Being in the top 10 on Calvin's List any month was an accomplishment, though we discussed whether it was a good thing or a bad thing."

As the story goes, some of the Microsoft people jumped on Calvin's List as a way to identify high contributors, and thus was born the MVP program.[1]

Cancellation and reinstatementEdit

On October 22, 1999, a Microsoft executive sent out a message announcing the cancellation of the MVP program. This may have been in response to a recent suit against AOL by its newsgroup leaders, who felt that they deserved to be paid for the time they put in online. After an outpouring of online support, including many emails sent directly to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Microsoft announced three days later that the cancellation had been rescinded.[2] [3]


  1. Granor, Tamar. Re: Listing of 2003 VFP MVPs. Universal Thread. Retrieved on 2007-06-15. (free registration required)
  2. Peterson, Karl. MVP Program Abandoned Reinstated. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  3. Foley, Mary Jo. MS revives MVP program. ZDNet. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.

External linksEdit