Microsoft IT Advisory Council

So I get a lot of email from Microsoft, which is mostly by my own doing since I like to get the download notifications, my company is a gold partner, etc. Recently I received an email inviting me to fill out an application to join the Microsoft IT Advisory Council.   A while later I learned that I was accepted and have been spending some time browsing the site and the forums provided for discussions.  At first, I thought is was just another means to pump free demographic data out of me, but it does appear to be legit. Apparently there are small meetings to discuss topics relevant to IT professionals.  Here is the blurb from the website describing the concept.


What is the IT Advisory Council?

The IT Advisory Council is a select group of IT Professionals and Developers, which purpose is to share your views, ideas and opinions, helping Microsoft shape future initiatives. As a member, you will play an integral part in providing us with feedback on Microsoft customer offerings, licensing, support, marketing materials and community initiatives.

Members will communicate with us via an online portal and a program of face-to-face and online events. Each event is currently limited to 12 members to ensure rich discussion and you will be eligible to participate based on a point-system on our portal. Membership also involves completing a monthly online ‘task’, which can be completing a mini-survey or sharing your experiences on our portal forums and blogs to help Microsoft understand what it’s like to be in your shoes.

Presently, there are more than 200 members in New York, Chicago, Toronto and the UK, and we are currently opening up further membership both in current locations and worldwide. Do you want to become a Council Member? Register here.


Anyone have any knowledge or experience with this? I am going to check it out and see what kind of resources it may provide and hopefully make some more mutually beneficial connections in the software community.

20 Responses

  1. I too received an invite this week and have just registered – says they will respond in 3 business days so guess I will see. I work as a Server Admin at a large internet company, so I too get a lot of email from Microsoft, not sure exactly how they would have “selected” me for this – but I have been hammering away on my MCSE exams recently, so maybe through that?

  2. Are you sure that it was really from Microsoft, and not some sort of scam?

    I got it also and decided that it didn;t look like it was really from Microsoft.

    A search for “IT Advisory Council” o Microsoft.com finds nothing….

  3. I am mostly convinced this is legitimate. A little bit of research has determined that:

    1) Although details are private, microsoft-itcouncil domain has same registrar as microsoft.com does. Not a slam-dunk, but a clue

    2) Website has a Microsoft copyright notice. Potential legal issues for culprit if they are not MS.

    3) ThinkIntrepid, the company who appears to be behind part of the site is based in Seattle & London and boasts Microsoft as a client.

    4) Graham Watson looks like a real person with TechNet blog and a real interest in finding out what the IT community wants and needs:
    http://blogs.technet.com/grahamtwatson/archive/2007/10/22/microsoft-it-advisory-council.aspx

    5) It used to be called “The IT Professionals Advisory Council” so it is not surprising that the new name doesn’t get picked up as frequently on searches. However, I couldn’t find much on “The IT Professionals Advisory Council” either. Maybe there is a secret handshake, too🙂

    6) Most importantly, I think it is legit because nobody in their right mind would go to such great lengths for the non-sensitive data that the people on the forum. There is no advertising on the site, so as far as I can tell the only company that this site could benefit is Microsoft or a competitor.

  4. Hi – Graham Watson from Microsoft here. I’ve worked quite a bit with the IT Advisory Council, and I can tell you it definitely does exist and is a really valuable mechanism we use to find out what we can improve for our customers. We tend to use third party companies to run these councils for us – this helps to ensure that the feedback we get is as accurate and “unfiltered” as possible. ThinkIntrepid is one of those companies.

    Please do join and tell us what we can do to make our products and services better for you! (And also please feel free to contact me via my blog – aways happy to hear from you!)

  5. The IT council is real. I joined a couple months back and I think it’s a great forum for MS to learn about our pains. I hope to spend more time now that I have a new job which should give me a little bit more freedom, and I encourage anyone else to take advantage of this opportunity.

  6. Hi. This is a friendly note to let you know I googled this site to see if the Microsoft IT council was legitimate. Looks like it is. Thanks.

  7. …here it is 2011 and I also Googled Microsoft IT Council to ensure it is legit before joining. I’m sure there have been a lot of hits to this blog post since we’re a pretty paranoid group when it comes to joining anything online. Thanks for the sole reassurance there is, aside from the MITC site itself.

  8. So yeah I got this too and I have specifically requested not to be contacted by Microsoft or any 3rd party. I don’t care if it’s for research purposes or Technet, I simply do not want to be contacted. From getting this spam, I take it Microsoft essentially ignores ALL my preferences, and their own privacy policies.

    -1 for Microsoft, and I will reconsider whenever I give my e-mail or decide on a future vendor.

  9. magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  10. i would really love to be a part of the Microsoft IT advisory council. i have heard very little about it, but ver interested. this is one of the very few places i have gotten substantial information. i really wish i can get an invite. Thanks for the post and follow-up comments y’all.

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