Friday, 22 January 2016

Planned Microsoft exam retirements for 2016

The next generation of Microsoft technologies are fast approaching General Availability. Windows Server 2016, System Center 2016 and SharePoint 2016 are all expected to arrive throughout 2016.

As is the way with new technologies, existing versions are soon rendered legacy. Demand for the skills to manage these legacy technologies disappear as they are replaced, with the associated exams and certifications retired to the archives.

With that in mind, we take a look at the planned Microsoft exam retirements in 2016.

Windows exams

With launch of Windows 10, we'll now witness the planned retirement of exams aligned to the MCSA: Windows 8 certification track. Exams 70-687 and 70-688 have been granted an extension to July 2016, forming an integral part of the new MCSA: Windows 10.

After this date we'll see a new Windows 10 exam, creating a 'pure' route to MCSA: Windows 10.

The retirement of exams 70-689 and 70-692 end the upgrade path from old Microsoft certifications and technologies to MCSA Windows 8. These include but are not restricted to MCDST: Windows XP, MCSE: Windows Server 2003, MCSA: Windows 7 and MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7. Expect this upgrade path to now align to MCSA Windows 10 with new exams later this year.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-687: Configuring Windows 8.1
70-688: Supporting Windows 8.1
70-689: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows 8
70-692: Upgrading Your Windows XP Skills to MCSA Windows 8

Certifications retiring:
MCSA: Windows 8

Windows Server exams

This year sees the MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure certification retire, with exams 70-415 and 70-416 becoming obsolete. As the focus for professionals in this area moves towards device and app management, MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps is the recommended alternative.

We'll likely see Windows Server 2012 exams joining the planned retirement list towards the back end of the year, as MCSA: Windows Server 2016 makes an appearance sometime in June-August, 2016.

Retiring on January 31, 2016
70-415: Implementing a Desktop Infrastructure
70-416: Implementing Desktop Application Environments

Retiring on July 31, 2016
98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

Certifications retired:
MCSE: Desktop Infrastructure
MTA: Windows Server Administration

SharePoint exams

Now six years old, we see the planned retirement of the SharePoint 2010 MCTS and MCITP exams. The following exams have had a six month extension of life from a planned January 31, 2016 end date.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-573: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Application Development
70-576: PRO: Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications
70-667: TS: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring
70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Administrator

Certifications affected/retiring:
MCTS / MCITP SharePoint 2010 Configuring / Administrator
MCTS / MCPD SharePoint 2010 Developer

SQL Server exams

The following retirements will mark the end of SQL server certification upgrade paths for the 2008 platform. IT pros looking to upgrade from SQL Server 2008 MCITP and MCTS certifications to the new MCSA and MCSE credentials will need to find an alternate pathway. 

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

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-432: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance
70-448: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
70-457: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1
70-458: Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2

Certifications retiring:
MCITP Database Administrator - SQL Server 2008
MCITP Business Intelligence Developer - SQL Server 2008
Upgrade to MCSA SQL Server

Microsoft Dynamics exams

With the launch of Dynamics CRM 2016 in December 2015, this is the third software upgrade since Dynamics CRM 2011. It's unsurprising therefore that we see the retirement of the final exams associated to the platform.

Exams retiring on January 31, 2016
MB2-866: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Customization and Configuration
MB2-867: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Installation and Deployment
MB2-868: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Applications
MB2-876: Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

Certifications retiring:
Dynamics CRM 2011
Dynamics CRM 2011 Online
Dynamics CRM Developer 2011

Exchange and Exchange Server exams

Released in October 2015, the new Exchange Server 2016 puts the 2010 platform two cycles out of date. With this we see some of the last MCITP and MCTS certifications disappearing, soon to join the annals of certification history. 

Retiring on January 31, 2016
70-662: TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring
70-663: PRO: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange

Certifications retiring:
MCITP Enterprise Messaging Administrator
MCTS Exchange Server 2010

Lync exams

Another technology launch in October 2015, we saw the rise of Sykpe for Business Server and the demise of Lync Server. The retirement of exams 70-366 and 70-337 will see the MCSE: Communication certification upgraded, as new exams covering Skype for Business are incorporated.

The following four exams have enjoyed a stay of execution having been planned for retirement in November, 2015.

Retiring on March 30, 2016
74-335: Lync Network Readiness Assessment
74-338: Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer
70-336: Core Solutions of Microsoft Lync Server 2013
70-337: Enterprise Voice & Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013

Certifications affected:
MCSE: Communication (Lync Server)

Visual Studio and .NET exams

With the transition to .NET 4.5 in October 2012, 4 years on, it seems only right that the exams aligned to .NET 4 begin to retire. This marks the mass transition away from the now somewhat obselete framework.

Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-490: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using HTML5
70-491: Recertification for MCSD: Windows Store Apps Using C#
70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-515: TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

98-379: Software Testing Fundamentals

Certifications affected/retiring:
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Service Communication Applications
- MCTS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Data Access
MTA Software Testing Fundamentals

Other exams
Retiring on July 31, 2016
70-673: TS: Designing, Assessing, and Optimizing Software Asset Management (SAM)

Author Profile

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 5 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.