Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Are you affected by the 31 Microsoft exams retiring in 2015?

Image courtesy of Graeme Weatherston at
Don't get caught out by the numerous Microsoft exam retirements planned for 2015. There are a colossal 31 exams planned for retirement over the next 12 months.

This inflated list is the knock on from 2014 when 7 exams were given a 12 month stay of execution despite Microsoft planning the retirement of 14 exams on July 31st 2014. These 7 exams will now join 26 additional Microsoft exams which will be phased out in 2015.

Largely affected are the legacy MCTS and MCITP certifications which have been gradually replaced by new MCSA, MCSE and MCSD certifications associated to latest technologies.

So lets take a look at the planned list of withdrawn exams. (The information that follows is subject to change.)

Microsoft Dynamics

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 announced on the 1st December 2014, it is unsurprising that a series of exams are planned for retirement. The legacy technologies to be affected include 2009, 2010 and 2011 versions of Dynamics.

Microsoft Dynamics exams retiring on December 31, 2014
  • MB3-859: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Financials
  • MB3-860: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Project Series
  • MB3-861: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Installation and Configuration
  • MB3-862: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Inventory and Order Processing
  • MB4-873: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Financials
  • MB4-874: Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 Installation and Configuration
  • MB5-537: Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System 2.0 Store Operations
  • MB5-538: Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System 2.0 Headquarters
  • MB5-845: Microsoft Dynamics POS 200


With the replacement MCSA: Windows 8.1 on offer and a new Windows 10 Operating System set for release in 2015, the following Windows 7 exam retirements are to be expected.

Windows 7 exams retiring on January 31, 2015

Windows 7 exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-681: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying
  • 98-349: Windows Operating System Fundamentals

Windows Server

The MCTS Windows Server 2008 R2 certification has long since been replaced by the latest MCSA: Windows Server 2012 and follow on MCSE: Server Infrastructure certs. It was only a matter of time before the virtualiztion exams for Windows Server 2008 took their place in the hall of fame.

Windows Server 2008 R2 exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization

SQL Server

It's about time these SQL Server 2008 exams were kicked to the curb. Exams 70-450 and 70-451 were two of the lucky certifications to be spared in 2014, looks like their days are now numbered. Alternative certifications include the MCSA: SQL Server which leads into MCSE: Data Platform and MCSE: Business Intelligence which are aligned to SQL Server 2012 and 2014.

SQL Server exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-450: PRO: Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • 70-459: Transition Your MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform
  • 70-460: Transition Your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence

Office 365

As Microsoft's cloud powered Office 365 continues to proliferate businesses across the globe, we see the first spate of exam retirements for Office 365. You can already work towards the replacement exams which are included as part of the MCSA: Office 365 credential.

Office 365 exams retiring on December 31, 2014

Office 365 exams retiring on January 31, 2015
  • 74-325: Administering Office 365 for Small Business

Project and Project Server

Back in 2013 we saw the launch of Microsoft Project and Project Server 2013. So as Project Managers adopt the new software or transition from the 2010 version, we wave goodbye to the associated MCTS exams.

Project and Project Server exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-177: TS: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring
  • 70-178: TS: Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2010

Visual Studio

With the introduction of HTML5, Microsoft appear to be diversifying their offering away from .NET as they react to the evolution of the Developer world. Microsoft's entry level developer focused MTA certifications will also see a new lease of life in 2015 as the certs gain increased credibility.

Visual Studio exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-518: PRO: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 70-519: PRO: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
  • 98-363: Web Development Fundamentals
  • 98-372: Microsoft .NET Fundamentals
  • 98-374: MTA: Gaming Development Fundamentals

Volume Licensing

Volume Licensing exams retiring on January 31, 2015
  • 70-671: TS: Designing and Providing Volume Licensing Solutions to Small and Medium Organizations
  • 70-672: TS: Designing and Providing Volume Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations

Other technologies

Forefront and BizTalk Server 2010 exams retiring on July 31, 2015
  • 70-158: TS: Forefront Identity and Access Management, Configuring
  • 70-595: TS: Developing Business Process and Integration Solutions by Using Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010

Author Bio

As part of Firebrand's global marketing team, Edward actively works to serve the IT community with news, reviews and technical how to guides. Working in the Industry for almost 3 years, Edward has a wide variety of experience with Microsoft Technologies including SharePoint, Windows Server and Exchange Server. Edward is an active member of the IT community contributing to a variety of tech publications including Microsoft TechNet, Channel Pro and PC Advisor.