Bill Vaughn reports that there were hard feelings and veiled threats from some Microsoft people in response to his signing of the MVP petition. I think Michael Kaplan captures my feelings about that situation pretty well. Forget the question of whether Bill’s an MVP or not – the bottom line is that no one should ever be criticized or penalized for speaking their mind, as long as it’s done in a respectful and honest manner (as it was in the petition). Although I think that the aims of the petition are unrealistic, I can understand why someone might sign it and don’t fault or harbor any ill will towards anyone who has done so. As far as I can tell, the petition is an entirely legitimate expression of customer sentiment, which is something we want to hear more of, not less off. Even if it’s saying things that might be difficult to hear or I don’t agree with.
So let me apologize on behalf of the unnamed Microsoft people, Bill, and in the unlikely event (I hope) that you do run into any problems with your MVP status because of the petition (and this goes for anyone else), let me know and I’ll see what I can do.