Microsoft Offers Upgrade Path to MCSE on .NET

The company expects to furnish details on an upgrade path for MCSA/MCSE on Windows 2000 in early 2003.

According to the Microsoft Training and Certification Web site, those who hold the MCSA and MCSE on Windows 2000 will be able to upgrade to the MCSA/MCSE on Windows .NET Server 2003 track by passing one or two exams.

Exam numbers, availability, and beta testing periods for these exams are unknown at the time. The company expects to release more details early next year.

For more, go to

[This is a developing story; more details to come.—Editor]

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Jan 19, 2003 Hi HK

It can be seem that Microsft 's business stragety.. If Supporting staff like MCSE..cost much then how it can be dominate the market !U think... yr boss would pay U much $$$ on this ? I wonder
So if those product license and Support costly ..then the market will shift easily
to another OS. So now they would have own idea How to "DOMINATE " the market and control lower cost of Supporting Mainatence.

Fri, Jan 17, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

MCSE is not rocket technology. I am sure all these guys have atleast a desktop at home and can easily network with a few friends. Most guys who studied honestly for previous exams must be able to read and understand a book. That's all it needs, Just buy a good study guide which gives free software (OS), never mind it is only a 120 day free trial version. That's all you need to pass the exam. Well, about exam fee I think Bill should give free vouchers.

Fri, Jan 3, 2003 RHCE,MCSE,CCNA Anonymous

Some great points have been made here:

1. Don't spend a fortune in these schools. Pick up a book, read it, read it again, and practice the concepts on computers in your lab. Used low-end PCs would work fine.

2. Some companies will want .NET immediately; others won't. If you're looking for work, you'll likely want to be certified in both tracts. If you're employed - well, look at your situation and decide what you want. Personally, I found that some places care about certification and others don't care at all. To give myself the best opportunity I remain certified on the most current tract. It's not about whether I agree with it or not, it's about giving myself the greatest chance for employment.

3. Recert doesn't have to be expensive. When it came time to recert on W2K, MS sent me two vouchers which covered the two exams I needed. Buying two books came to about $100. The real "cost" was the time I had to invest learning.

4. Hands on exams prove more than written exams. I believe this. I wish the MCSE would become one major exam, much like the RHCE is one major exam (broken into three major parts). It was nice to take an exam over the course of a day that tested a variety of skills: a) Repair this broken computer, b) take a written exam, c) install an OS on this computer and configure it to do such.

Good luck to all of you!


Tue, Dec 31, 2002 MCSE, MCSA US

I do not mind staying abreast with the technology innovation, but It is ridulous the way MS is treating us. First it was NT 4.0 being disolved. Now Win2k is on the way. The .net technology is really not too far from Win2k's. Common Bill give us a break. We do not have enough money and time like you, buddy. I just got my MCSE & MCSA certifications. I do not want to worry about another one.

Sat, Dec 21, 2002 anonymous anonymous

I think this all Gate's greedy for more money. Remember in 2001, he said MCSE in Win2k and .net will be in parallell and you can choose which ever you want. Now a year later, he is saying that we need to upgrade to .NET because he wants to make double money. and for those of us how have been training in win2k MCSE, we have move on to .net before we even get a job with w2k.

Gates needs to give time for W2k MCSE to work before it introduces .NET certification.

Fri, Dec 20, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I would say do not upgrade is my best
choice and don't want to spend my life time to keep on certification.

Fri, Dec 20, 2002 Joey Florida

All I have to say is that the only one's benfitting from this M$ Strategy of recertificaton are the IT schools. But, what are they going to do when less and less people enroll due to diminishing IT opportunities in the market place. Well boys and girls the time is coming when they will have to just shut down like the rest of the other small business taking the plunge. So IT schools, enjoy your confortable status and hope your saving for the future, because nobody stays on a sinking ship.

Thu, Dec 19, 2002 MCSE. MCSA, MCP, A+ Anonymous


Thu, Dec 19, 2002 J Indiana

Requiring exams to remain certified is a joke and anyone who has worked in any other profession knows this. Taking exams does not make you a professional, no matter how convoluted, ambiguous and difficult MS makes the exams, and regardless of how many others fail. That's just MS's strategy and it shows how little they know about the field. Continuing ed and improving your skills are what's important. I have been certified in other fields and other certs and licenses often have better options. For example, I was certified by the American College of Sports Medicine. Once you get certification you have the option of maintaining certification by continuing ed OR retaking exams every three years. Their strategy was something like this. You get certified and need X number of credits in 3 years to remain certified. You can get those credits by retaking the exams over those three years, like retaking all the MS exams. Otherwise you can get credit for continuing ed in many ways. The credits were broken down into areas. For example, you could only get "y" number of credits from going to conferences, "z" number of credits from training, "t" number of credits from taking tests online (open book after reading articles), etc.. Now that makes infinitely more sense to me than MS's strategy. Your MCSE transcript could have your certification, and all your continuing ed in one place. That way, it is much more relevant. For example, if I got my MCSE, but then became more focused on security and integration with Unix, I could remain certified by going to MS conferences, taking MS classes, getting certs in security and/or Linux, or doing a variety of other relevant continuing ed. MS's strategy is about making money, no doubt about it. And saying the employee makes more money from cert's is crazy. That's true for consultants and that's about it. I work in academia and I know few people who ever get a raise or any additional perks because of certification. Most managers could care less, and when they do care, they just want you to have it, but don't want to pay for it. It's one of those things that if you have it people downplay it's significance, and if you don't they wonder why you don't. Yes, I see value in it, and yes I think it's a good thing, but it's often a no win situation for the employee, and MS is not making it any better.

By the way, I have been certified in the past by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American College of Sports Medicine in my previous career, and am now an MCSE, and have passed approximately 12 MS exams, including the 2K accelerated and the latest XP workstation. I'm also certified by LPI on Linux. I have two Master's degrees and a ton of experience with. I state that only to hopefully show that I'm certainly not a slacker and I obviously value education, but I have obviously had enough testing to last me a lifetime, and would vastly prefer continuing ed as an option for staying certified.

Mon, Dec 16, 2002 Techie Anonymous

Do it yourself pals.
Why paid for some talking heads if you could find out everything on the web. Buy some books, study them and pass the exams.
If MCSE are so easy to get. The certs have not value at all (AS IT IS NOW),
some MCSE don't know squat.
Continuing recert is good !

Mon, Dec 16, 2002 zaheer india

please send the examination fee for mcse

Fri, Dec 13, 2002 SiSePuede San Diego

I am not US native and I passed all W2K exams (English version) on first try. I am amased at the fail rate I read about. The tests are not that difficult! I whish Microsoft increased the passing score even if I failed some tests on first try. It would just make me study harder.
The W2K exams are a little harder than NT and I hope the number of MCSEs will decrease as a result. If Microsoft makes the .NET exams harder that W2K, then finally will the MCSE title hold good value.

Thu, Dec 12, 2002 Matt Australia

Personally I think that this is a way of life for any of us in this business. If we dont keep up, then we dont have a job. It is that simply!!! Or have we all become to high and mighty to update?

The company I work have the budjet and will be going to XP and .NET very soon. As such, I dont have a choice but to upgrade. I look forward to it and so should you. Who wants to do the same old boring thing all the time. A change is as good as a holiday!

Thu, Dec 12, 2002 AK IT Pro. Anonymous

I agree with the last two posts on page 1.

Thu, Dec 12, 2002 AK IT Pro. Anonymous

I agree with the last two posts. The industry uses Certs to prune the bushes. There is a very good reason Exam 70-216 has an 80% fail rate the first time around. I personally don't care what Microsoft does with it's company, products, or certifications. I will provide IT support for whoever holds market share and drive along scooping up the money. Have a Happy Holiday, ladies and Gentlemen

Thu, Dec 12, 2002 BillyTex Texas

Let us think of even more ways to confuse employers. Most of them have never heard of MCSA. Most forms do not have a MCSA check box. Employers do not know the difference from MCSE 2000 and MCSE NT. Microsoft needs to educate the business world on the existing CERTS before dumping more requirements on us. Say this together guys and gals, "we are the chumps our parents warned us about."

Tue, Dec 10, 2002 one ppl Anonymous

I am not don't agree existing MCSEs need to upgrade. But in the real world is : I won't choose M$ products as my first choice. Compare with other OS, such as Unix and Netware, M$ servers are not so stable and reliable. I still using NT4 as one of my M$ server because I found NT4 is more compatabile with other vendors' server applications.
Also Win2K just has released for 2 yrs. Compare with NT4: 5 yrs, NT3.x: more than 5 yrs. DO we really need to use Win2K or even .NET in the real world?? Except the extra cost for server hardware, we no need to use all the functions in the Server OS. We cannot use, or even will not use(because we can have another choices or subsides) all the functions that Win2K built-in. Certifications just only shows that 'we are up to date', but not 100% shows that the certified ppl have the real skills. Always do the upgrade or take exams is meaningless, especially M$

Tue, Dec 10, 2002 Josh Anonymous

I want the MCSE to be difficult and I want the Upgrade exams to be difficult as well. There were way to many 4.0 MCSE's who were idiots. I want the MCSE to be tough so it carries some weight.

What is all this complaining about cost? I am totally independant, so all the cost for this stuff comes right out of my pocket. So What? You whiners can't afford $125 for an exam?

Whats the point in having a technical if its so easy a chimp can get it? There is a reason CCIEs make 100K+.

Mon, Dec 9, 2002 kim singapore

I finish the w2k exam for about 3k at my own expense. i don't get any pay raise nor better job prospect. why is there a need to go for .net since most companies will not upgrade to the OS during this recession. this is not to mention that the cost for each exam has increased.

Mon, Dec 9, 2002 Stringfellow Midwest US

I agree with Ravager I took the accelerated exam in 12/00 before there was a glut of trancenders and test prep. It was extremely easy. Amazing what working with the product and reading the materials will do. I hope Microsoft decideds to make its cert valuable, retires NT 4.0, then 2k in a year, and make all furture exams for certifications the same format as the accelerated exam. I think the industry would do good to lose 60% of the 'MCSE's.

Sun, Dec 8, 2002 Ravager Australia

Personally I found the acccelerated exam extremely easy as should anyone who knows their stuff. This is all about weeding the chaff out and if another 60% of current MCSEs fail, it just goes to show how many people should not have one.

Sat, Dec 7, 2002 MCSE+I, MCSE (NT4/2000), BC/WA

So many whiners out there! I would prefer tough exams and high bars, that way there wouldn't be so many to compete with, and my compensation would stay high. Yes, it's a pain to constantly recertify and to keep up with new technologies; but, consider how much we make compared to other fields requiring much more education. That's the tradeoff. As for the cost of courses, I think that only idiots pay for a talking head to tell them what's in the book. To be a technology worker one has to be completely and independently literate, which means that books are your best friend and reading is just a way of life. The upgrade path from Win2k to Win.NET won't be steep, because the technologies are similar. I hope that many won't upgrade so I'll be "special" as someone who stays upgraded on the latest, and a company trying to keep up to date will know that in me they have someone who will know what to do with .Appliances, .moon and .mars. As for Microsoft making lots of money off this: Get real--people who get certified make more money off the process than Microsoft or even a trainer does. The tech career has to be driven: Obstacles and curves are everywhere, but the weak will be winnowed out. That is as it should be. A designation isn't a union membership, but a license in the pocket of an entrepreneur. Get out, run away if you can't play with the big boys.

Fri, Dec 6, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Bad news again from Bill. Bill is talking about "normal exam" instead of 240. We all know it costs $125 for each "normal exam". Besides, Bill tells us "the training and certification group contribution to server segment revenue has dropped 18 percent". What does it mean? You guess.

Thu, Dec 5, 2002 Soumendra Ray Anonymous

Everything is fine with me provided MS provides me with a free voucher.
You know M$ has enough $$$ and can spare a few for us guys.

Wed, Dec 4, 2002 Chad US

This is sad, do you all remember the failure rate on the 70-240?

Wed, Dec 4, 2002 concerned MCSE Anonymous

Before .NET was being developed, Microsoft announced there would be NO exams required to fullfill MSCE requirments. I guess they needed more money in the training bucket.

Wed, Dec 4, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

My concern is that Microsoft is looping the certification process without the benefit to students. For example, if I paid $4000, to get certified on Win2K and didn't have the opportunity to get the firt job as an IT prof. then why should I go to .NET? How long will I hold .NET before upgrading to some .Appliances, .moon or .mars? Most businesses are not moving at the speed of light. I like the innovations Microsoft is making but at the same time I believe Microsoft is crushing small-medium businesses who want to use the products but cannot keep up with pace because they might not have the necessary funds or the technical know how. If Microsoft can reduce the training and exam fees, then it will make more sense to me. I know Microsoft is not involve directly with these testing companies but why not offer the courses and then administer the exam rather then going through a third party. A Microsoft University will be a good starting point. Now the only people that are receiving the benefits are the training companies and if this trend continue there will be less and less certified Microsoft prof. Windows NT 4.0 was a test case. I have decided no traning company getting any more money from me. My advise, Win2k and .NET should remain separate for now until people feel comfortable with the products and those who want to go .NET can proceed and those who want more experience on Win2k can have some opportunities. I love the innovations but I feel that MCSE on Win2k will pretty soon be treated as NT 4.0, and then the next will be .NET.

Tue, Dec 3, 2002 Anonymous ky

how is it they said 2000 and .net were one track that could be mix and matched and now they are sepearte?

Mon, Dec 2, 2002 noname Anonymous

I can guess that this exam
1) consists of at least 4 sub-exams
2) if you fail just one sub-exam, you will fail the whole exam
3) you have 1 shot to take only. or, if you fail this exam, you have to take at least 4 exams instead.
this exam may be called "windows .net accelerated exam for mcse 2000"

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