Every year, July 1 is the Microsoft MVP Renewal date and quite a few people received good news that day. I was one of those renewed for another year, and I am honored that Microsoft chose me again. I also congratulate all the others that received the award for the first time as well as those that were renewed.
Not everyone was renewed, and some very popular names were dropped from the list. I don't mean to leave anyone out, but I did see a couple good friends were not renewed: Kevin Kline and Andy Kelly. Both are extremely talented SQL Server professionals and generous with their time and knowledge with the SQL community. They are truly MVPs to me, as they are to many others.
The MVP program is run by Microsoft, under their rules, and with their discretion about who is awarded and who isn't. I don't feel they did anything wrong here as I don't know what criteria they use or what information they had access to. I also know they have a limited budget and have to make decisions about who to award each year.
The award is an indication that you are providing a lot of valuable contributions to the technical community about some Microsoft product. The amount that is a "lot" is some level decided by Microsoft. There are many people that provide very close to "a lot" of contributions to the community, but they don't make the cut off. That's just the way the program works.
Think of the 100m dash in the Olympics. Only three people get to stand on the podium after the final heat. They are the people awarded a medal. Don't think for a minute that the other five in that heat aren't fast. They are some of the fastest humans on the planet. They just didn't make the cutoff for the medal. They are still Olympians and worthy of fans' praise for their efforts.
The same thing goes for Kevin, Andy, and numerous others that didn't get renewed. It also applies to even more numerous others that help me, you, and many people in their technical community every day.
There are more individuals out there that act like MVPs than Microsoft can award each year. Remember that fact the next time you read a response to a question you posted. Remember that when you attend the next SQL Saturday or other conference and listen to a speaker that is donating their time to teach you something. Remember that when you read an article by someone at SQLServerCentral or elsewhere. There are lots of MVPs for the data platform out there. Only a few of them get to use the designation from Microsoft, but all are worth thanking.