Microsoft is changing its MVP program to focus more on development and IT, moving its consumer product-based MVPs to other teams.
MVPs from the Xbox One, ID@Xbox, Bing Ads, Windows and Devices, Windows Experience, Surface, Windows Phone and Consumer Security will migrate to influencer programs managed by their respective product teams.
The shuffle is set to take place on July 1.
The changes to the MVP program, which features people who assist other users with Microsoft products through online forums and social media appears to be another step toward centering Redmond’s efforts around Windows 10 and cloud-based technologies.
As Microsoft told Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, “The MVP program started off as a consumer influencer program but has, over time, become more Developer and IT Professional focused. The company is “now formalizing this change by having the Xbox, ID@Xbox, Bing Ads and Windows & Devices Award Categories supported directly by the product teams.”
Foley also reports that Microsoft has laid off several members of its MVP community liasions.
One supporter of the move says that this is simply an example of Microsoft moving resources to more profitable sector.
“If you monitor the Microsoft Yammer feeds, you’ll read about many MVPs who feel they are being abandoned, but frankly the changes make a lot of sense,” says Rod Trent at WindowsITPro. “Except for a few accessory areas, Microsoft has always had difficulty in the consumer space. The company’s greatest successes have come when it delivered for business, and if you look at the where the majority of revenue for Microsoft exists today, it’s not in the consumer space – not even close. It’s difficult for any company to throw support behind an area that doesn’t generate revenue.”
The move follows a restructuring of the MVP program last fall, winnowing the number of categories of Developer and IT Pro MVPs from 36 to 10, including Microsoft Azure, Cloud and Datacenter Management, Business Solutions and more.