The Not-Microsoft AVP (Almost Valuable Professional) Award Program

Warning: This blog post, the “AVP Award Program”, the graphics associated with the program, and linked from this post, and anything derived from anything on this post, or linked to from this post, are parody and are protected as free speech in the United States by the decision of Supreme Court case #86-1278. All correspondence, legal threats, posts regarding the program or media representing the program will also be considered parody and may be posted to this blog as part of the “program” and for the amusement of myself and others.


This all started as a mildly interesting thread on Twitter. There are evidently a large number of highly qualified people who should be in the Microsoft MPV Award Program but year after year, for reasons unknown, are never selected to receive the award. Paul Thurrott, Sara J. Chipps and Steven Bink are few excellent examples, and yes, I realize Bink got the award for one year for giving the domain “” to Microsoft. This is a horrible reason to get the MVP award, he should have gotten the award for his contributions to the community, not for giving up a domain that Microsoft isn’t even using now.


Trying to figure out why these people aren’t MVP’s led me to realize that the award program itself is completely out of sync with the real world. First, there are these seemingly absurd categories for recipients:

  • Macintosh - Shouldn’t this fall under Office?
  • Discontinued products like Money and FoxPro
  • Four different categories for Dynamics
  • Windows “Help”
  • Groove - Come on, no one actually uses Groove, Groove is the reason why there’s a “custom install” option in Office.

There’s also a complete lack of any category for:

  • Open Source – Will this change as The CodePlex Foundation gains traction?
  • Photography – How is “HD Photo” ever going to take off if no one is out there evangelizing it?
  • Social Media – Everything is social these days, someone needs to be out there connecting this stuff to Windows.
  • OpenID – Oh wait, Microsoft’s OpenID implementation still isn’t available.
  • Forklifts – It’s all about forklifts lately.
  • General Microsoft Platform Evangelism
  • Windows Home Server \ Media Center home integration – This is a distinct category for the Cedia folks.

Some categories, such as “Client App Dev”, should be split into more categories: .NET, WPF, WCF, etc. Clumping this vast array of expertise into one single category is clearly leaving out a lot of qualified individuals. Splitting the category would allow more award “slots”.


Realizing the shortcomings of the program has led me to develop a completely new program to award to individuals who Microsoft has decided aren’t valuable enough to receive the Microsoft MVP Award:

The Not-Microsoft Almost Valuable Professional Award Program *


“Because some of us just aren’t quite valuable enough.”

The beauty of this award is that anyone can give it to themselves! No more frustrating “contributing to the community” nonsense just to get not-awarded at the end of the nomination period! Download the “AVP Award Logo” and use it on your site, in your email signature or as your forum avatar. Heck, we even have a Twibbon campaign. Support your Not-Microsoft AVP today!

Download the files used to create the logo. The files fall under the “do whatever you want with these as long as the end result is very funny” license.

* Not to be confused with the up and coming “Not-Microsoft Most Valuable Unprofessional” which is a completely different award for unprofessionals.