The “Born to Learn” blog from Microsoft Learning is proving to be an effective and useful source of advance information from MS. Call it a “source of planned leaks” and you wouldn’t be at all out of line. Fortunately, MS Learning has been forthcoming and straightforward enough for this to be a source of genuine and useful info rather than another outlet for official PR information. The blog in question is entitled “Sneak Peek at Windows 7 exam development” and it offers the following tidbits of information:
- Three exams are currently under development (see next bulleted list below for as much information as I can provide on same at this time)
- MS is building one of these exams for a hitherto unserved job role: Desktop Administrator. Here’s how MS describes this job role:
- The lone Windows 7 TS exam scheduled in this batch will provide one more additional option to meet desktop exam requirements for the MCITP Enterprise Administrator cert, rather than replacing the Vista TS exam of the same ilk outright.
…Desktop Administrators (DAs) are IT Professionals who are responsible for provisioning desktop PCs and deploying service packs and updates to these PCs. They are also responsible for setting the strategic direction for the desktop operating system and applications. DAs work with other lines of businesses in their company and are responsible for addressing high-end desktop infrastructure needs. DAs are Tier 3 level support and mostly handle escalations related to system and large site issues.
That said, here are the three exam identifiers mentioned in this blog:
- 70-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring: all that MS Learning says at this point is that this exam is “under development.” I take this to mean that 70-680 will be cast in the same mold as exam 70-620 except with Windows 7 as its focus, rather than Windows Vista. I don’t expect to see any more change in coverage or skills measured than the changes from Vista to Windows 7 require.
- 70-685 MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician: ditto 70-680, except this time the analogous Vista exam is 70-622 “Supporting and Troubleshooting Applications on a Vista Client for Enterprise Support Technicians.”
- 70-686, MCITP: Windows 7, Desktop Administrator: development on this exam is scheduled to start this week. MS is also looking for experienced desktop administrators to get some help and feedback in developing this exam. If you read this blog, you may want to check the other blog to get Krista Wall’s e-mail address and drop her a line indicating interest. It will be interesting to see how much of the cool technology that enterprise Windows Desktop admins have available to them (WAIK, Deployment Toolkits, Business Desktop Deployment, MDOP, and so forth) appears in this exam. I’ve perceived a “burning need” to make order out of the many options (not to say chaos) that make up today’s offerings, and am hopeful that this exam and related training materials could provide some much-needed guidance and clarity.
I’ve called the MS Learning PR person and have requested a follow-up conversation on these topics, and about when related online and classroom training materials should become available. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks if this discussion interests you: I’ll be sure to revisit it as soon as I get a chance to talk further on these exams, and this general subject matter, with the people in charge of this effort.
Now that we know some of what’s coming Windows 7′s way, the next obvious question is “When?” Of course, answering that would mean disclosing the real planned release date for the OS, and Microsoft has remained resolutely mum on that subject of late. Don’t expect me to drop any news (or bombs) in that direction in my follow-up and you are much less likely to come away disappointed. Those kinds of scoops I leave to my infinitely better connected peers and colleagues at TechARP.