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back to article Google lobs coder's Microsoft badge into rubbish bin

Google isn't opposed to hiring a Microsoft Most Valued Professional. But that doesn't mean he can keep his Redmond-happy title. In 2003, British developer Jon Skeet was awarded Microsoft MVP status, Redmond's way of recognizing "outstanding members" of its "technical communities." And Microsoft renewed Skeet's MVP status every …

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Alg
Happy

Mm Hmm

You're welcome .....

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FAIL

Seriously...? MVP "status"?!?!?! rofl....

Sorry for pointing out the obvious, but "MVP status" is like getting a gold star at special school... crossed with an admission that you're a saddo with no life or friends who spends all his time posting on MS newsgroups. It's really not something to be proud of.

>"awarded Microsoft MVP status"

lmao, second prize, two MVPs no doubt? bwahahahahhhahahaaaaa

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MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists == false

A number of MVP's have helped me in the past, and they are not evangalists. They are just experts. The MVP's I've encountered would object strongly to this suggestion that they are tied to the product in anyway more than their knowledge of it.

I have often seen MVPs criticise their own MVP'd product if they feel there's something wrong with it. There are people who are put into the role as evangelists, but it isn't fair to tar all with the same brush.

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Boffin

You do have to remember...

That Google is modeled on Minitrue.

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Coat

Ahh, I can see it now...

Friday night, and all the Oompa Loompas are gathered in the Chocolate Room. One steps up to the chocolate microphone and says:

"Hello, my name is Jon, and I'm -" he chokes for a moment "- I'm an MVP."

And the Oompa Loompas all clap and cheer, give him a big hug, throw his badge into the bin and teach him that 3rd level support does not stop at "You can't do that".

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IT Angle

Hmm legal ?

It is possible that Google have him working on something that could be seen a conflict of interest should Microsoft be giving him any information that relates to their version of whatever Google has him working on. Phew.

It cause messy legal disputes when it comes time to argue patent applications.

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Jobs Horns

GVP?

It would be okay if Google gives him a "GVP" title as a replacement.

/EvilSteve because it's the closest thing ElReg has to a EvilBrinAndPage pic

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Silver badge

Yawn

Had I ever thought that MVP status meant anything at all, I might be slightly interested. But probably not.

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Terminator

Skeet skeet

I've known this fella for his "number 1" stackoverflow.com title. Somewhat of a 'points wh**e' if you ask me. I've always wondered where does he find so much time to publish, perhaps he does so during work hours at google. That would explain why google want him to stop being an MVP. Time to focus and do some work biatch!

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Bronze badge

He'll probably be MVP again soon

Most Valuable Parent, see here http://www.moms4mom.com/users/111/jon-skeet

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Who cares?

He's got 100,000 reputation points on StackOverflow - that's more valuable than any old "MVP" title.

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FAIL

MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists.is totally wrong

The statement "MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists." is utterly wrong. As one MS VP put it a number of years back. "MVPs are our harshest critics."

I am blunt in the newsgroups with my comments about Microsoft products failing. And even blunter when talking to them in person. We tell MS exactly what we think is wrong in the product and where it could be improved.

But our primary activity is helping folks with their problems and questions. In a variety of methods from newsgroups, online forums, blogs, websites, books, user group leaders or even on Twitter. (Although on Twitter I tell folks to ask their question on the MS online forums because a good question and answer are longer than 140 characters.)

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Silver badge

Simple vanity?

So. It doesn't pay and confers no privileges. It sounds to me like it's only value is to give bragging rights to the holder - and possibly to negotiate a few $K more at job interviews. Hopefully most people aren't shallow enough for this to make any difference to their lives, so it's loss (or withdrawl) should not make any difference.

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MILK MONITOR SYNDROME

This is what I call the MILK MONITOR SYNDROME... being able to identify it has stood me in good stead through the years....

In the mists of time when I was at school we were forced to drink milk every day... in the summer the milk was warm and sickly... but in the winter at least it was cold milk.... but I digress...

The milkman delivered the milk in crates to the school gate each morning but the teacher's did not want to carry the crates to the classrooms. So they invented the Milk Monitor. This was some poor dunce who would arrive at school half an hour before the other pupils so he had time to delivery the milk crates to each classroom... then later in the day he would collect the crates and stack them by the school gate for the milkman to collect the next morning...

Obviously, the lazy teachers were very happy that this stupid sap would do all their hard work for free... so the teachers gave the idiot scholar a badge to wear... a badge to wear with honour... the Milk Monitor badge... and the dumbass wore the badge with pride.

The Milk Monitor Syndrome has now reached new heights of stupidity in software development... people (mice) actually pay good money to keep on the upgrade treadmill (to nowhere) every year so they can get a badge to wear with pride... and some even go to even more extreme lengths to get a badge with gold lettering....

So I am always amazed when I see otherwise intelligent people wearing their Milk Monitor badges with pride because it just shows how gullible and stupid they really are.

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Silver badge

Maybe the NDA is the reason

If I were an employer, I'm not sure I would be happy if one of my employees had signed an NDA with a rival. It could lead to all kinds of legal predicaments that I could do without.

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Gates Horns

Why?

I would imagine you've touched on why in the article already: I doubt Google would appreciate their employees being under competitors' NDAs. A legal minefield is that, especially when technologies and products overlap. No NDA means no inside secrets from MS, thus no chance of MS saying Google's "clean room" environments are compromised by the presence of someone in possession of MS IP. Google are still nosy, information stealing, PII profiling bastards, but I can see their logic on this one. You know as well as I do how the Beast of Redmond finds any little technicality to crush opposition. Move along, nothing to foam about here.

Can we have a good/evil Sergey icon set, please? He's the one who decides what's evil according to Eric. It's also about time to retire BillyG and put the chair flinging monkey boy in there, or would that continue to confuse those who cannot, for the life of them, differentiate between Steve B and Steve J? Tip: Steve J stays in one place a little longer, tends not to prance around so much, generally has dry armpits, doesn't have to leave Cupertino to stomp on your iPhone and keeps office furniture as a minor expense as opposed to major capex. Steve J also tends not to resemble an ex used car salesman, the kind that makes you buy new even though you know half the value drops off of it when you first turn the key.

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Alert

MVP compromises NDA?

I'm not quite on the level as to how depriving this man of his M$-tech scouts badge could have any legal ramifications, save perhaps for "these bastards won't let me wear my sticker" (which would be a rightfully completely legitimate complaint on this side of the pond - however I get the impression over there all employment is a case of "how high?")...

Let's remember that while this man was a valued employee at M$, the MVP institution is a distinction handed to whoever applies that the jury believes has done a great job of supporting M$-tech community. They are very separate things.

And while obviously it's embarrassing for Google to have an employee who still seeks merit awards from their rival and his former employers... 'Telling him not to' seems a bit... Unprofessional? Ungentlemanly? ...Over-stepping your jurisdiction?

And yes, evil Gates/evil Jobs looking horribly out of date down there. We need Schmidt and Ballmer. Schmidt is the one the chairs were thrown for, after all.

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Big Brother

The thing is

The thing is, I can't believe that he asked if he keep his old club tie. He must have got tired of life, or wanted a reaction.

It's like Frodo Baggins asking Shelob, "I'd like to pass through your lair safely, I've got this ring, see.."

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@Barney

"And while obviously it's embarrassing for Google to have an employee who still seeks merit awards from their rival and his former employers... 'Telling him not to' seems a bit... Unprofessional? Ungentlemanly? ...Over-stepping your jurisdiction?"

No, no, NO. Read TFA, please. MS has said that certain MVPs get information under NDA that non-MVPs don't, which would imply protected IP. It's that information that Google can't afford their peons to have, since it could compromise their code purity (clean room development) with regards to MS patents and copyright. In short, you don't want your employees wandering about coding stuff for you with competitors' IP in their noggin. It could lead to all sorts of nasty accusations that MS haven't been shy of making in the past. Worse, it could be construed as intentional if it came to court. Google are just practicing due diligence here, as much as I hate to admit it. I know it sounds daft, but that's the environment you're in if you're a coder or employer in jurisdictions that have software patents.

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Gold badge

What MVPs get

Amongst other things, they get a free subscription to MSDN and access to large chunks of the Windows source code. I can well imagine that the latter might have frightened Google's lawyers.

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Paris Hilton

A "me, too" on MVP status

I have to chime in as well on the MVP != evangelist comments. I have worked with two MVPs in the past which resulted in bug fixes for two different MIcrosoft products. When you get an MVP, you most often get hold of someone who knows their stuff and has been recognized by Microsoft for it.

Paris, she knows recognition.

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Bronze badge
Stop

MVP Bashers

Why all the MVP hate? These guys & gals know a product and service inside out and are happy to share their knowledge with the community. So MS gives them a badge and a few extra benefits.

Besides, I'm sure Google will come out with a new MVP alike (given that they like to copy everything MS does). How about Google Important Person (GImP)?

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Anonymous Coward

MVP?

am i the only one to see the connection to the film most valuble/virtical primate

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WTF?

MVP as an "evangelist"

"MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists".

As an MVP myself (consumer security) I have to take issue with this.

I am *not* an evangelist for Microsoft - in fact, more often than not you can see me criticising many of the silly and vaguely horrible security mistakes they make in a lot of their products. To insinuate I'm some kind of cheerleader for MS is a bit of a joke. Interestingly, the mere mention of the award is enough to make some people foam with rage over imaginary Microsoft smear campaigns:

http://bit.ly/19isvE

Happens a lot. I rarely mention my own award, because I find too many people either misunderstand what the award is or resort to crazy ad hominem attacks with no basis whatsoever. Sad but true.

Oh, and by the way - not only do I *not* post in Microsoft newsgroups (I couldn't think of anything more boring, but fair play to anybody who does) - I was given my award for work done on a security exploit that affected Linux Apache servers. Quite how that equates to an award related to Microsoft products I'm still not certain, but a rabid Microsoft cheerleader I most certainly am not.

Cheers.

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MVPs are evangelists??

"MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists."

Wrong. MVPs are not evangelists. MVPs are experts in various Microsoft Technologies who have demonstrated this expertise in helping members of the Microsoft user communities. We do noe evangelize Microsoft products. In fact, lately I've been highly critical of Microsoft and the many problems with MS Office 2007. Despite my criticism I've been re-awarded.

- Jon

-------

Jon Peltier, Microsoft Excel MVP 2001-2009

Peltier Technical Services, Inc.

http://peltiertech.com/

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MVP

> Seriously...? MVP "status"?!?!?! rofl.... #

> MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists == false #

> MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists.is totally wrong #

I've dealt with all sorts of MVP responses when dealing with Microsoft brand issues. While I haven't experienced any evangelism I sure as hell haven't experienced anything approaching "expertise" either. The majority of MVP "solutions" come in three flavours.

The first flavour is to provide the answer to some problem that is totally unrelated to the issue at hand. I've seen this many, many times and it baffles me, why does this particular group do this with such regularity? Is there some Microsoft MVP mail client/news reader that only displays the first sentence of the post being responded to?

Response flavour the second is to provide some horribly convoluted, messy, time-consuming and relatively ineffective set of instructions. "You're getting error 80012474372? Just download the Microsoft Quagmire Resource Kit, modify these 30 registry lines, run the mswtf32.exe and, for each of the 32,000 corrupt records, click on the '.net reference id' field and change the value to {827D319E-6EAC-XXXX-A4EA-00C04F79F83A}, where 'XXXX' is the sub-id of the record. You can get the sub-id of each record by running msffs32.exe and clicking on settings->references->sub references, selecting the reference id from the list, clicking properties->sub settings. You'll have to close msffs32.exe and reload it for every record because each change will change the values for all the other records." This is often (but not often enough) followed up by a post from a non-MVP that says something along the lines of "just delete system32/msnobodyeverusesthisitjustcrashesstuff.dll and reinstall .net"

The third response type is simply "you can't do that".

On rare occasions I have received somewhat useful information from MVPs. More often though their postings are nothing more than noise.

>MILK MONITOR SYNDROME #

Yes, very much so.

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If Ice T tought me anything

It was that MVP is Most Valuable Playa[1]

[1] MVPs from O.G. Original Gangster.

Peace out.

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Coat

Slightly off topic...

...but I agree with ac's GVP comment - time for some good and bad google icons

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@ElNumbre

"Why all the MVP hate?"

Because it's much easier to put someone else down than improve yourself. Just as in the schoolyard the clever kids get ridiculed by the idiots, so the cycle continues....

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Welcome

Quick correction on the NDAs.

An MVP-nominee can accept the MVP award and many of its benefits without signing an NDA.

That does mean that they don't get to attend the Global MVP Summit in Redmond, and they don't get invited to product group interactions (which are generally held in LiveMeeting or online chat), but they can still get the award, the MSDN licence, and the right to call themselves a Microsoft MVP for that year. Sorry, no source code licence without the NDA.

I find it hard to think of anything other than petty reasons why Google would insist that Jon not accept the award. I can see how they might want him to not sign the NDA, and I can even see how they might want him to not do so much volunteerism in the future, but requiring him to refuse the award for the previous year's already-completed volunteer work seems inexplicable. I'd love to hear Google's explanation, but none is forthcoming.

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MVP quality is indeed a bit random...

"I've dealt with all sorts of MVP responses when dealing with Microsoft brand issues. While I haven't experienced any evangelism I sure as hell haven't experienced anything approaching "expertise" either."

As long as everyone understands that not every MVP deals with "brand issues" on a "let me help you out with this incredibly convoluted series of posts" type of affair - I simply obtained mine because someone, somewhere in Redmond thought the security work I'd done warranted a "thank you" from them and don't actively do anything to keep the award or mess around in help groups - then I have no problem with that. It's the broad, sweeping "must be an MS fanboy / evangelist / whatever" line of thinking that seems to descend into insults in discussions such as these that I take issue with.

also, certain geographical regions now encourage people to self nominate for an award which is a *terrible* idea and a few years ago would never have happened. With policies such as that in place it's no wonder many peoples experience of MVPs isn't a particularly brilliant one, because I can guarantee that self nomination idea has probably bloated the ranks with people of questionable talents. There will always be a (very) sharp imbalance with regards MVP skills, and some will be very good and some will be terrible.

more often than not, this depends on the geographical location, which department decided to nominate, whether the person self nominated and whether the overall pool of people who do work in their specific area were actually any good to start with.

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Thumb Down

So much for...

"Don't do evil"

Yeah, right.

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Thumb Down

He did it all wrong

He made the mistake of asking his employer if he should renew. Employers have no say over this, being an MVP is personal and outside the realm of your work. I've been renewed 6 years running and my employers are completely unaware of my MVP status.

And if you've had bad experiences with MVPs answering your question, don't be so quick to criticize - there's a very high possibility that you're approaching something in a bad way ;-)

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Thumb Up

Evangelist? Don't think so...

Evangelist is not what I'd call myself or 98% of the MVPs that I've met, and with 10 years as an MVP, I've met quite a few. Our relationship to Microsoft is one of critical advisors. We are brutally honest about what we perceive as product flaws. We typically find more bugs than any other single group, not only if we do beta testing, but as the product is released. I have little doubt that Microsoft would like us to be evangelists, but it ain't gonna happen. Our loyalties are to our clients and employers.

To those that suggest that we get a life, I can only say that I have one. It is quite fulfilling to help others. Certainly more fulfilling than sniping away at those that actually do something useful.

--

Arvin Meyer, MVP

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Alert

MVP ==

Come on now - MVP doesn't *really* stand for "Most Valued Programmer":

http://www.object-arts.com/content/blog/mvpRevisted.html

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FAIL

OK, MS sent the bootlickers out in droves

Now let's get back to the reason for the stereotype.

It would never be fair to say all MVPs are evangelists, but it is fair to say a quite disproportionately high % of evangelists obtain these fluffy nonsense titles.

It would also be fair to say only an evangelist seeks it or bothers to ever mention they have it!

So no matter how much someone calling themselves an MVP helped you, always remember they could've helped you without pimping MS.

How shallow some MVPs are that they think we don't see right through it. Want to help someone then go right ahead, but attaching a MS designation to your title is unquestionably making you their porch monkey. Stand by your good name alone, not by trying to associate yourself with a prosperous company you don't even work for to imply something fake. What is real is your skill, not the MVP nonsense.

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Most Vile People

"Sorry for pointing out the obvious, but "MVP status" is like getting a gold star at special school... crossed with an admission that you're a saddo with no life or friends who spends all his time posting on MS newsgroups. It's really not something to be proud of."

Oh yeah, that's pretty much the nutshell there.

As can be seen from the sad tragic losers defending their excreble membership of the Microsoft Mickey Mouse club, they are less than nothing. Unpaid groupie/half baked tech support more akin to wal mart greeters than anything else. If they had any real acumen they would not be using an MS product in the first place.

These creepy wannabe's are a bit sickening, it's like watching a bunch of accountants put on their general's uniforms and running around playing paintball then slapping themselves on the back and being awarded ersatz medals.

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I always thought...

That they were on a similar level to the CDMs(*) that a well-known chocolate company dreamt up as part of a set of advertisments quite a few years ago.

(*) Order of the Cadbury's Dairy Milk!

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MVP

"Response flavour the second is to provide some horribly convoluted, messy, time-consuming and relatively ineffective set of instructions. "You're getting error 80012474372? Just download the Microsoft Quagmire Resource Kit, modify these 30 registry lines, run the mswtf32.exe and, for each of the 32,000 corrupt records, click on the '.net reference id' field and change the value to {827D319E-6EAC-XXXX-A4EA-00C04F79F83A}, where 'XXXX' is the sub-id of the record. You can get the sub-id of each record by running msffs32.exe and clicking on settings->references->sub references, selecting the reference id from the list, clicking properties->sub settings. You'll have to close msffs32.exe and reload it for every record because each change will change the values for all the other records." This is often (but not often enough) followed up by a post from a non-MVP that says something along the lines of "just delete system32/msnobodyeverusesthisitjustcrashesstuff.dll and reinstall .net""

ROFLMAO! hilarious.

However, I've not had this experience. I've had some useful expert-level assistance on forums, and a complete dunce trying to assist me via email, so both ends of the spectrum. Just saying.

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Thumb Up

Interestingly enough

When someone wants to help the MS using world (eg. by answering questions online) for no reward then obviously they must be doing it for some personality flaw based ulterior motive and so they must be really bad people who should be shunned and ridiculed, if not arrested.

When someone wants to help the FOSS using world (eg. by coding stuff) then they are truly great people who deserve our utmost respect, undying gratitude and first dibs on our daughters' virginity.

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Silver badge
Troll

@Who Cares?

"He's got 100,000 reputation points on StackOverflow - that's more valuable than any old "MVP" title."

How many points do you need for the speedboat?

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Coat

I'm a BSD/GNULinux fanboy, but I ...

have to agree with Craig 2 on this.

Although, if you are willing to help for free, please, consider doing so for OSs and apps that free. OpenBSD and DesktopBSD are two that are very worthwhile but are in need of more support.

Sorry, just realized I was evangelizing.

I'll my coat.

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Happy

@ Lee, I think you made fun of me...

before I even managed to post on this article.

Well done.

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Reminds me of RTF

MVPs are an indicator of genuine, technical excellence (unlike MSCE) and a CV enhancer. MVP carries a good reputation. Though the MVP scheme is good marketing for Microsoft, it is also good marketing for the award holder. It is not a badge that indicates a sucker.

Thus, Jon Skeet is a fool for not renewing his award. He's not going to stay at Google forever and the award will help get his next job or contract. He should have told Google that third-party awards are none of their business and if they're worried about MS IP property, MS abdicated secrecy by giving it to a known Google employee in the first place. Failing that, he can refuse anything that's MS secret.

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Stop

MVPs

Come on, guys, give it a rest. If folks want to give up their own time to help a certain community, more power to them. Have any of you seen the shit Sun put OOo contributors through? Copyright assignments, binding agreements, promises to surrender a testicle to McNealy and so on. The only thing that they get out of the deal is an OOo that sucks slightly less than it did in the last iteration, yet somehow these guys are teh smartz.

To put it bluntly, if you think MVPs are just fanbois, fine. You're entitled to your opinion. There is, however, no need for all this amateur psychoanalysis and vilification, which probably says more about you than them, and the results of this little exercise are starting to look a lot like slander. Ulterior motives my eye. It's not as if any of these people applied for the post; MS offer it out of the blue. Never attribute to malice...

Let's try this bit of amateur psychoanalysis in similar language as an example, just in case some of the slower critics haven't quite got it yet:

How many of you miserable bastards with an inferiority complex (OMG, this bloke has letters! It must be for something trivial or beneath me or I'd have them, too. Yeah, that sounds good) taking the piss have the Win 7 RC? How many of the same subset would like a year's free MSDN? To quote Mike Reid on having your own dick shoved firmly up your arse, "fucking hurts, doesn't it?" Then think how the genuine people with MVPs who only try to help and didn't ask for the award feel. Be nicer. That is all.

Disclaimer: I have the Win 7 RC. I would love a free year of MSDN - c'mon, MS, how about it? :o). I do not use MS operating systems as my primary interface to hardware - that's blown it :o(. I don't use Linux either, but I have about 20 different distros to hand and know how to use them all, just like the 7 RC. I have letters, some I worked for and some that just fell out of an envelope. M, V and P are not three of the consecutive ones. With experience comes the realisation that they're all bullshit anyway, but that's a reflection on the awards, not the person.

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Grenade

Something no one else has mentioned...

Microsoft doesn't allow their employees to be MVPs, either! Fwiw...

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

How is this any different.

When you buy an Xbox, you get Cretin status, when you sell it and buy a proper console, you lose that status.

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