In visiting the Born to Learn blog this morning, Krista Wall’s October 11 post “Upcoming Exam Retirements” reminded me that as new versions of software enter the stage — along with certifications to support them — older versions of that same software (and their attendant certs) invariably also fall by the wayside. In looking at the full list of exams Microsoft has now scheduled for retirement, I’m struck by how clean their broom is sweeping the decks in the next 9 months or so. Let me explain, by providing some illustrations:
- Windows Server: on July 31, 2013, most of the Windows Server 2003 exams will shuffle off the stage (70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-297, 70-298, 70-299, and 70-699) along with a surprising number of Windows Server 2008 exams (70-643, 70-647, 70-648, 70-649, 70-679, 70-690, and 70-691).
- SQL Server: Likewise on 7/31/2013, look for these SQL Server 2008 exams to go bye-bye (70-433, 70-450, 70-451, 70-452).
- Virtualization: Same date (7/31/2013), the previous Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V related exams go up in smoke (70-659, 70-669, 70-693).
- XP: the old 70-270 exam will also finally begone on July 31, 2013 as well.
- Older (2007) Lync Server, Office Communications Server, Project Server, and SharePoint Server based exams are most retiring on January 31, 2013 (if they haven’t been retired already; see the retirement list for details).
This represents a pretty thorough cleaning out of older certifications, and tells me that MS is very serious about moving its customer base up to the latest Windows Server iteration, along with the major platforms — SQL Server, Lync Server, SharePoint, and so forth. Given the normally slow adoption of new server versions this strikes me as a fairly aggressive policy, but is perhaps Microsoft’s best bet for moving customers along in the next two to three years. We’ll see if this works, at any rate!