Microsoft retire on-premises server certifications


Microsoft have been on a cloud push for 12 years now, since the launch of BPOS in 2008. They’ve been slowly “turning the ship” in various ways over the last decade, with the ultimate aim that as much of Microsoft is pointing at the cloud as possible. This is also a case of “trickle down (cloud) economics” – Microsoft are making their new direction reflect as much as possible within their partner base…and that change will then happen within Microsoft’s customers too.

Microsoft have made various changes to partner incentives, changed a few Software Assurance benefits related to training resources, and changed the Home Use Program – all aimed to drive cloud awareness in different ways. Their latest move is to retire all their on-premises server certification paths and exams related to the MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE qualifications that have been a staple of the Microsoft server world for years. The retirement date is June 30, 2020.

As you can see in this image from Microsoft, the recommended paths are now all cloud focused:

Microsoft alternative certifications
Taken from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/community-blog-post.aspx?BlogId=8&Id=375282

You can see a full list of what’s being retired, along with some FAQs, here – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/community-blog-post.aspx?BlogId=8&Id=375282

While not surprising given the focus on cloud, not just from Microsoft but across the industry, I do wonder if this is a little short sighted? There are still a LOT of on-premises servers in use and, with hybrid cloud being the de-facto way forward for most organisations, they will remain for a long time to come. Rightly or wrongly, this feels like Microsoft saying that they don’t care about on-premises anymore. I’ve seen MS people saying they’re still hiring lots of on-premises server engineers etc. and that may be the case, but this announcement will definitely be taken as a sign of their overall focus.

I’m often asked if Microsoft will continue to make on-premises versions of their software and, following this announcement, I can’t help but wonder if I need to rethink my answer…

Windows Azure: Free Developers Course


Windows Azure is a key part of Microsoft’s “Cloud” strategy moving into the future but of course, it needs people to use it and develop for it for it to be truly successful. They are piloting a new way of training developers & architects Azure, via self paced, web based training…best of all it’s FREE!

The method is one that I’m quite familiar with which aims to offer the best features of classroom training without the hassles and expense of travel, hotels, being out of the office for days etc. It utilises:

  • Interactive Live Meeting sessions with a tutor
  • On-line videos
  • Hands on Labs
  • E-Learning
  • Weekly Assessments

to cover off the topics, and you don’t need to go anywhere! The course lasts for 6 weeks from:

May 10th – June 18th

and covers:

Week 1 – Windows Azure Platform
Week 2 – Windows Azure Storage
Week 3 – Windows Azure Deep Dive and Codename "Dallas"
Week 4 – SQL Azure
Week 5 – Windows Azure Platform AppFabric Access Control
Week 6 – Windows Azure Platform AppFabric Service Bus

and did I mention it’s FREE?!

This is aimed at developers, architects, programmers and system designers and recommends at least 6 months experience programming in .NET and Visual Studio.

It will take around 4 to 5 hours a week to research and complete the tasks and there are timelines etc for submitting the work. However, successful completion gets you a “Microsoft Certificate of Completion” 🙂

This is a new approach from Microsoft and one that I hope will be expanded out to other product areas.

Register:

You can find more information and sign up here:

https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032449971&Culture=en-GB

If you’re technically minded and interested in Azure, sign up…and get any colleagues/friends that would be interested to sign up too!

I’ve registered and am looking forward to it so hopefully I’ll see you there 🙂

Windows 7 Cram Live Meeting


If you saw the Windows 7 Exam Cram session that was running on March 11th but missed the actual event (like me), the recording is now available online here:

https://www112.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/view?id=DC031110&pw=webcast

So if you’re working towards some Windows 7 exams (at least 70-680 & 70-685) or would like to but not sure where to start, head over there and get started…I will be ASAP!

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