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Jolt Awards

The 13th Annual Software Development Jolt & Productivity Awards


MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network)

James Van Eaton, Program Manager for MSDN; John Oberon, Program Manager for MSDN Group; Seth Adams, Business Manager for MSDN Subscriptions

MSDN is the essential resource for developers using Microsoft tools, products and technologies.

Microsoft’s online resource support service dates back to early 1994, when websites were still rudimentary and Google-like searches were only a dream. The server name www.microsoft.com was already in use by a developer to test a networking stack, but was turned over to the product support group, ending up in Microsoft’s corporate data center. From its humble origins as just one of the microsoft.com fleet of websites, MSDN evolved into a Web development model with an unprecedented business plan, renowned designers and rigorous pre-launch specifications and testing. It soon soared from quarterly to monthly, weekly and finally daily updates to satisfy its hungry Internet audience.

MSDN has become an online candy store for developers, offering a full bounty of information from reference and technical articles to programs and code. Its universal subscription service, featuring fixed-price bundling of products and upgrades, sets an industry standard for sanity. As one of the judges noted, “Years ago, I reviewed MSDN, IBM and Sun’s developer programs. At that time, MSDN was the best. Since then, IBM has improved a lot, Sun has stayed about the same—but MSDN just keeps getting better.”

1995 Jolt Award winner; 2001, 1998 and 1994 Productivity Award winner.

—Rosalyn Lum

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