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Rumor: Microsoft phasing out Windows Phone MVP program?

As Microsoft gets closer to launching its big "Mango" update to its Windows Phone 7 operating system, the company is apparently making some changes to a volunteer group that has helped Microsoft in the past with Windows Phone support. ZDNet's All About Microsoft's blog site is reporting that it has received word from several sources that Microsoft has sent emails to a number of people in its Windows Phone Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) program. The email basically states that their volunteer services will not be renewed.

According to a quote from one of the unnamed sources, "They (Microsoft) are creating a new more consumer-focused group at some point in the future. Speculation is end of year or early 2012." Another unnamed source stated that all of the Windows Phone MVP members, about 85 people in total, have been told that all of them will be phased out with some leaving in the first week of July and others leaving sometime around October. The source adds, "This will continue until next year when all the Windows Phone MVPs will be gone."

The story also claims that Microsoft will consider the former MVPs for the new consumer program. However the source added, "What’s particularly baffling is that all the MVPs are already helping Windows Phone consumers…so Microsoft’s stated rationale is particularly galling." Yet another source states that this MVP shut down will not affect the separate Windows Phone Development MVP program. So far Microsoft has yet to give any official comments on the Windows Phone MVP program being phased out.

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