Microsoft has withdrawn the MVP status of an Australian developer. He publicly complained about a message he received from Microsoft’s PR department asking him to put Azure in a good light.
On Twitter, Geoffrey Huntley complained about a press kit he received from Microsoft with content to distribute to his followers. Specifically, Huntley was asked to spread positive news about how well Microsoft SQL Server runs on Azure. In doing so, Microsoft is trying to counterbalance the announcements made during the AWS re:Invent conference.
Most valuable professional
The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award is a prize given by Microsoft to experts who “passionately share their knowledge with the community”. Developers who are active in forums and social media and help other developers are put in the limelight with the award. This is why Huntley finds it so objectionable that Microsoft’s PR department now seems to be using the MVPs more as influencers who have to share Microsoft’s marketing talk with their followers.
MVP status withdrawn
As a result of Huntley’s negative comments about Microsoft’s PR, Microsoft has decided to withdraw Huntley’s MVP status. Not that Huntley has any problem with this, given his reaction on Twitter.
Huntley thinks that the MVP programme is no longer really necessary now that .NET has been made open source. He does regret the loss of the 13,000 dollars (over ten thousand euros) in Azure credits he received yearly as MVP. He warns his readers to be aware of these rewards when people share particularly positive messages about Azure on the Internet.