I remember the days of “paper CNEs” and “paper MCSEs” in the late 1990s. This was an era when those often-vaunted credentials were purportedly so easy to earn that they became somewhat debased. That explains why I was so sorely tempted to see a recent e-mail from Microsoft as a backlash long in coming (with tongue planted firmly in cheek) as a long-overdue response to that former phenomenon. More seriously, the notion here is to make certificates available in digital form so that they don’t absolutely have to printed and mailed to be received.
Microsoft talks about reducing carbon output and making a “notable” environmental impact because of this change. I supposed that’s true, and indeed green initiatives of all kinds are quite the rage these days. But it’s also pretty convenient and much faster than waiting for somebody to print, package, and mail certificates after taking an exam. Transcripts have always been available electronically so this may include some elements of turning a necessity into a virtue but I’m completely OK with that. The downside is that if you do need to order a paper certificate from MS, you’ll have to pay for such service after July 15th.
But the real benefits are self-service, immediate access to digital MCP certificates, and the ability to access any and all certificates earned. Access is available through the MCP site which is accessible via www.microsoft.com/mcp/ (but redirects elsewhere and requires valid registration and a valid MS Passport).
Remember: less paper is good!