Microsoft plans to move the consumer focused Product and Technology Service MVPs to a new influencer program that will be managed by the respective Product/Service teams. The Office-related MVPs, given their focus on Dev and IT Pro, will still remain part of the existing MVP Award program.
Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award is a mode of recognition which Microsoft gives for individuals who are technology experts and most importantly, who play a role in sharing their expertise with the Community. I was an MVP in Setup and Deployment for 5 years. Few years back, I had written this piece on what benefits do MVPs get and how does one aim to become an MVP. Of-course, a lot has changed since then.
I think, this is definitely a welcome move. This will bring more clarity and focus to the products. For example, Having a Windows Phone and Client MVP as a part of the Windows Insider program will make more sense and bring in value. It also means that, bug fixes will be addressed much quicker than before. Windows Insider program has been one of the awesome initiatives from Microsoft to get their beta builds tested and also let the consumers experience the software.
This will also help the product teams communicate to the right focus groups and manage the feedback from the experts. Yes, I would like to call people, Experts than Influencers. The MVP Program focus has slightly moved on the technical product enrichment and feedback and hence, has planned to emphasise mainly on Dev and IT Pro technologies. These changes to the program will go on effect starting July 1st 2016.
If you know someone who is technically awesome and does a great job in sharing information with the community, you can nominate him/her here. That can be you as well!