I received an email this week alerting me that Microsoft will be closing its TechRewards program for developers in January 2017. But all of the rewards the program offered are being removed immediately, Microsoft says.
“As a valuable member of Microsoft TechRewards, we are notifying you of an important change to the program,” the email reads. “Microsoft TechRewards will close on January 6, 2017. The program aimed to help Developers and IT Professionals learn, experiment, and build projects with Microsoft technologies. We believe other Microsoft Programs more closely associated with products and services can best support users in their technical journey.”
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The email also notes that “all current Challenges will be removed from the site” and that “Points (PTS), Experience Points (XP), and Badges will no longer be awarded.” Those who were program members have have points should redeem them by January 6, Microsoft says.
I’m obviously not a professional developer, but the TechRewards site notes that I joined in November 2014, which I assume is when the program started. I have heard from others, however, who are quite disappointed by this change.
“I actually took advantage of this during my Windows Phone app development years and it was an incentive,” one reader, Joe, explained via email. “I won loads of gift cards, an Xbox, [and so on], but have since stopped development for Windows Phone for obvious reasons. That said, in thinking about Universal Windows Platform, I see this not helping its cause at all.”
Agreed. That said, Microsoft has pointed members to its other developer-oriented programs, which include:
Channel 9 brings forward the people behind Microsoft Products and connects them with those who use them.
Microsoft Virtual Academy provides free online IT, Developer, and Data Science training by world-class experts to help you build your skills and advance your career.
Visual Studio Dev Essentials has everything you need to build and deploy your app on any platform.
IT Pro Cloud Essentials is a free annual subscription which includes cloud services, education, and support benefits.
(Descriptions above are Microsoft’s.)
All of these programs are of course excellent in their own way. But none offer direct incentives like TechRewards did. Looking at the site now, I see $10 and $15 Xbox gift cards, various hardware devices (including a GoProHero 4), a one-year Amazon Prime membership and more among the rewards. Ah well.