Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Microsoft plans more exam retirements in 2015 and 2016

By Tobin Chapman

In late 2014, Microsoft announced plans to retire 31 exams over the following 6-12 months.  With the last of those exams now set to retire in the next two weeks, details have emerged of a further 28 exams facing retirement.

Why are these Microsoft exams scheduled to be withdrawn?

A large driving force behind the planned exam retirements will be the wave of next generation enterprise technologies set for launch. The next 3 months will see new versions of all major Microsoft platforms - SQL Server, Windows Server, Windows Desktop, SharePoint and Exchange Server.

Enterprises will migrate to the latest technology with demand for MOCs transitioning also. To find the exams scheduled for withdrawal in the next 12 months, listed by technology, see below:

(nb. The information that follows is subject to change.)

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 and NAV 2015 were launched early in Q1, with new courses hitting the market in March. Whilst the following exams have been retired, there are currently no plans to create exams aligned to Dynamics 2015 products.

Despite this fact, demand  for the skills to manage the range of Dynamics CRM and NAV platforms is high.

Microsoft Dynamics exams retiring on July 31, 2015:

  • MB3-700: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Installation & Configuration
  • MB3-701: Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Financials
  • MB5-700: Microsoft Dynamics C5 2012 Application Consultant
  •  MB6-869: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Development Introduction
  • MB6-870: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Trade and Logistics
  • MB6-871: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Financials
  • MB7-700: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Installation & Configuration
  • MB7-701: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Core Setup and Finance
  • MB7-702: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 C/Side Development

Exchange and Exchange Server

With Exchange Server 2013 having been out for a couple of years the majority of users have migrated away from the legacy 2010 version. This migration will continue with Exchange Server 206 expected in the next few months.

As demand for the exams declines retirement is planned for early 2016, possibly coinciding with the release of new MOCs aligned to Exchange Server 2016.  

Exams retiring on January 31, 2016

  • 70-662: TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring
  • 70-663: PRO: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange

Lync and Lync Server

The retiring of Lync Server related exams is a similar story. Lync Server 2010 is now 5 years old and with the re-branded Skype for Business Server out now, the retirement of Lync Server 2013 focussed exams is unsuprising . 

Exams retiring on July 31, 2015

  • 74-322: Microsoft Lync Server 2010—Advanced Design and Deployment
Retiring on November 30, 2015

  • 70-336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  •  70-337: Enterprise Voice Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • 74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment
  • 74-338: Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer


The last of the MCTS and MCITP exams are now retiring. Following the re-invention of the MCSA and MCSE certifications in 2012, it was only a matter of time before the old acronyms removed from circulation. 

Plus, SharePoint Server 2016 is now mere weeks away meaning SharePoint Server 2010 will now be two versions out of date.

Exams retiring on January 31, 2016

  • 70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
  • 70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator

SQL Server

Originally planned for retirement on December 31, 2014, the following exams have avoided retirement on three separate occasions. It is clear demand continues amongst SQL Server professionals to transition MCITP certifications to the modern MCSE equivalent.

Time will tell if this deadline gets extended yet again.

Exams retiring on January 31, 2016
  • 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


In mid-2012 Microsoft announced the latest Windows 8, which given it is now 5 years since its predecessor (Windows 7) was released, it’s little surprise that the exams are being retired.

We also witness the retirement of the first MTA entry level certifications. With the retirement of 90-349, we wave good bye to the MTA: Windows Operating System Fundamentals certification.

  • 70-681: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying
  • 98-349: Windows Operating System Fundamentals

Windows Server

A continued story of reduced demand for technologies. Windows Server 2016 is now only weeks away, pushing Windows Server 2008 two versions out of date. This retirement has been coming for a while as Microsoft announced retirement of several other Windows Server 2008 exams in their last batch.

This is also a continued example of the MCTS and MCITP  retirements.

Exams retiring on July 31, 2015

  • 70-643: TS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring
  • 70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology 
  • Specialist
  • 70-693: PRO: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator
  • Exams retiring on January 31, 2016
  • 70-415: Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure
  • 70-416: Implementing Desktop Application Environments

Other technologies

Exams retiring on July 31, 2015

  • 74-674: TS: Delivering Value Planning Services