Starting this Wednesday and Thursday we will have our Global MVP Summit! What is this you ask? Glad you did. Let me tell you about it.

First the acronym: MVP stands for Most Valuable Professional. Our MacBU MVPs are a small group of people that both represent our customers and champion our products. They help us in lots of ways. The full details about the Microsoft MVP award can be found here.

For MacBU our MVPs help us to moderate our feedback forums, answer questions, work the booth at MacWorld, give us valuable feedback and of course they get to be part of our super secret betas. ;-) To become a MVP for MacBU you "are nominated by your peers, Microsoft employees, and other MVPs" Basically, you just have to kick butt in knowing how to use the product and helping folks out. We’ll see it, others will see it and you will be asked you if you want to help out as an official MVP.

The Newsgroups

You didn't know we had newsgroups? We do and it's where we get lots of feedback and answer tons of questions. Since our MVPs are superb, they answer almost all the questions single handedly. Most of the MacBU team lurks there too and you'll often see MacBU team members respond to questions directly. Seriously, if you have questions you should check them out:

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/community/community.aspx?pid=newsgroups

Additionally some of our MVPs actually have resource sites of their own with information about using our products. The Entourage and Word sites are particularly active. Here are some of them:

MVP Resource Sites

In addition to helping out the community of Mac users, we bring the MVPs to Redmond this year to play a double elimination tennis tournament on our newly acquired MacBU Wii. Uh, what I mean is, they are coming so we can talk about how things are going and what we can do better. :-) So what are these MVPs going to be doing for 2 days? Here's some of the stuff on the list:

  • We'll discuss the core features of the upcoming version of Office for Mac.
  • Talk about major features and theory behind the actual implementation of those features for Word, PowerPoint, Entourage, and Excel.
  • The MVPs will present the Top 5 Office issues they've seen in the community and we'll discuss what we can do about them.
  • We'll discuss future versions of Messenger for Mac and Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac.
  • We'll talk about geeky stuff like our programmability story for Office.
  • Marketing will chat about the new Office 2008 branding, packaging and overall launch plans.
  • We'll give an update on the Office 2008 Beta.
  • The Mactopia Site Manager will chat about plans for a redesign of the product website.
  • We'll discuss the planning approach for the next version of Mac Office after Office 2008.

I'm sure you get the idea. What's really cool, especially for the folks in Redmond like me, is that when these MVPs get to come they are literally just down the hall in a big conference room. We can just walk down and chat with them. It’s also nice because since these folks are obviously under a NDA, we can chat with them frankly and get great feedback as well as explain things in greater detail than what we could do or say chatting on the MacWorld floor. :-)

All in all, it's going to be a great time and just one of those things that will help make Office 2008 insanely great!