First MCDST Exam Released

Exam 70-271 made its debut Monday; 70-272 follows next month.

Exam 70-271, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System, went live on Monday, January 12. The exam, along with Exam 70-272, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Windows XP Operating System, comprise the exams required for obtaining the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, a new title that the company announced back in October 2003. (See "Desktop Tech Cert Sees Light of Day" in the News archive or click here for more details.) Microsoft in the past had indicated that the exam would also count as an elective under the MCSA or MCSE on Windows 2003 tracks; however, the exam doesn't appear in the list of requirements as of this writing.

Exam 70-271 is aimed at those who offer on-site, phone, or remote support to users of Microsoft's Windows XP Home and Professional Editions. According to the exam objective guide, candidates should also have working knowledge of workgroup computing or Active Directory domains.

Microsoft offers several official training resources for this exam:

  • 2261: Supporting Users Running the Microsoft Windows XP Operating System (3 days, instructor led)
  • 2262: Supporting Users Running Applications on a Microsoft Windows XP Operating System (2 days, instructor led)

The exam objective guide also lists a self-study guide from Microsoft Press, Training Kit: Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows XP, but the page furnishes no details regarding release date.

To view the exam objective guide, click here. To view the MCDST requirements, click here.

Exam 70-272 will be released in February, according to the exam guide on the Microsoft Web site (click here to view it).

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:

Thu, Jan 18, 2007 ghazanfar ali dubai

i want

Thu, Apr 1, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

You computer guys really kill me. This
certification stuff is really nothing to get
arogant about. As an out of work electrical engineer I am about to embark on this journey just to put food on the table. I have looked at the subject matter and it really is not challenging. See ya soon in the job market.

Thu, Feb 19, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

has anyone attended the trainingcamp for mcdst yet? was it good? did you get certified? did you learn anyhting?

Sat, Feb 7, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

A bunch of stupid illiterates. No wonder you dumbasses can't find jobs; you probably could fill out an application. An FYI: Get some real education and use the certs to supplement. Certifications are just that: they are not educational merits.

Mon, Feb 2, 2004 gemini nowhere

K'Olson has a valid point......I have not taken any of the MIcrosoft Tests and do not even have a degree, but I believe that I am better tech than most of them out there in my area. Cem forget it, you need to go back to school to learn how to spell and write....sorry, but true sometimes you are going to have to write reports buddy...and everyone else does have valid points, but do we really need them (Certs)? It is diferent with everyone...I was blessed to have a computer at the age of 6 and was practically born with a keyboard in my hand. Why knock certs if it means everyone is trying to better than themselves. The only problem is that every school out there is just trying to make a buck or 2 and they only care if you pass the test or not.....not if you can do great on the job...only because your no representing their school like degrees.......your representing the certs....need I say more.

Thu, Jan 29, 2004 K`Olson Anonymous

Seems to me that you have to start somewhere. Highly doubtful that any person taking the time and absorbing the cost is just adding a cert for the fun of it. People who criticize "paper" certified people are missing the whole point in that its an educational process at any level. You learn and apply that education. Why bash someone for bettering themselves. Also why say that you are so-n-so with an MCSE or MCSA or CCNa or whatever if your point is to diminish the certification as obviously you yourself have that same piece of paper that you are saying is worthless.

Thu, Jan 29, 2004 Anonymous Israel

Heh, I just got my score report from the beta in the mail, shame on me - only 800 :). anyway, stop riding our backs, certs are good. if you think otherwise - visit some other site. I took the beta exams and (I believe) passed them both, without studying, just plain knowledge. and yeah, i am proud of myself, i finished both in two hours.

Wed, Jan 28, 2004 Mayank India

i m live in india , gujrat ,
what is microsoft examination center
and how i apply and fees..?

Sat, Jan 24, 2004 JLD Anonymous

I just took 070-271. Very good, fair test. If M$ keeps the exam in check, it should be a decent cert.

Sat, Jan 24, 2004 CBlasek Anonymous

Well. I took it and I am damn proud of myself that I passed it 860 baby. Its my first test ms cert. And nothing could get me down on that day. Im 19 and have no money to go to college right now. So this is one way to start some sort of a education i believe

Thu, Jan 22, 2004 cem Anonymous

I toke the beta exam and passed it, it was prity easy, if you want to be certifed just go pay the money and pass
but you have to know lot of things about XP, for sure ;)

Wed, Jan 21, 2004 The Girl France

certifications got me into the job... are they good...bad? who cares ! Once you're in the job, then all needs to be done. I worked 70 hours a week like a crazy man. Six month after they promoted me to IT Manager for whole of France... bottom line : work hard and you'll always win.

Wed, Jan 21, 2004 ChrisMCP PA

Although I haven't kept up on this latest cert. offering from Microsoft I do feel it will be of benefit. I plan to look into it because this type of work is a large part of what I do daily. Maybe one of those cynical MCSE snobs from Chicago or Cleveland don't feel it's worhtwhile, but it probably isn't relevant to what they do. Besides, having more than one cert. makes you more marketable, with a wider skill set. A company would rather hire one person with multiple skills than hire multiple people with one skill each. I have a Bachelor's degree as well as a cert. Yes, a Bachelor's degree takes more time and work to get, but how much of the course work is really relevant? Is taking 6 credits of P.E relevant to computer work? Is studying Philosophy relevant? I believe certs. are valuable and relevant, keeping your knowledge current in the ever-changing tech climate. I understand the cynicism about "paper" certs. who go to boot camps or do brain dumps. As someone who sat through a 6 month training program I too have a problem with the shortcut offered by a "paper" cert. That will only come back to bite those who have them when they cannot perform their jobs. As someone wrote previously
it is your performance that counts and shows your cert. is valid.

Tue, Jan 20, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

You arrogant putzes who shoot down the certs are amazing! I'm retired Army. I was an Intelligence Specialist and Iraqi linguist. What future did I have after retirement outside of windowless buildings behind triple-strand razor-wire and guards? None. So, I bagged that and went the tech school route on the GI Bill, studying long into the wee hours of the morning to graduate with honors, and then more hard work preparing for and passing my certs (A+, MCSE), all while working a full-time day job.

Hey, that got me a job in the field. Once on the job, I got the promotions and pay raises on the basis of my performance. Only making 45K a year, but it's good for this market (a couple hours outside Atlanta).

Certs are sort of like a lot of things in life, they're largely worth what you put into them, but it's still the guy on the other side of the desk at the interview whose opinon of certs counts the most, not some anonymous putzes on a message board like this. You who hang out on these sites and run them into the ground are doing absolutely nobody any service. Hell, we could outsource the trolling on these forums overseas and probably get a better grade of cynicism, too. But then there would be at least one putz each in Chicago and Cleveland with nothing to do all day.

Tue, Jan 20, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

a bachelor's degree is worth 1000 times any certification. it takes years to get a BA or BS. to get a cert, you must study a braindump for one night and pay 125. big difference. any schmuck can get a cert. now, college degree doesn't mean you're smart or good. it is, however, worth more than a cert. not even close.

Mon, Jan 19, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

Regardless of any condascending remarks anyone wants to make, remember this. If MS is reacting to a need by a large number of corporation hiring managers when they come up with this. So when someone gets this certification they (in essense) are submitting themselves to what managers want thereby increasing their chances of being hired. Notice how Chicago and Cleveland just HAD TO include their credentials to their posts? They just validated what the "kiddies" want to achieve!

Sat, Jan 17, 2004 HoustonMCSE Anonymous

I agree with anonymous. As a hiring IT manager, I would look at this more than an MCP, because it tells me several things. 1) You know new technology. You didn't just pass TCP-IP, or another elective 6 years ago to gain MCP. 2) You wanted it, and finished what you started. College is a piece of paper that proves nothing, other than you could afford it, which I could not. I am now a dual MCSE, and working on a triple. An IT certification is current. A Bachelors degree could be 15 years old, and worthless.

Sat, Jan 17, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

I did the beta and passed. my thought are: 271 = 272 = 270. it's all the same. and to all of you who don't like this cert - don't do it! I think that it could be quite useful for those working in tech support.

Sat, Jan 17, 2004 jo PA

Hey I go a few questions about the IT career field. I'm currently in a trade school striving to be a Network Administrator. I have about 5 months left, I'm already A+ Certified and will be Net + , MCP and probably MCSA. Since most of you guys all already in the field I would just like any advice I can get to get started in the field and to advace my career. How's the job market and what route could I take to land a job.

Fri, Jan 16, 2004 Chris AZ

You don't need a cert to get a job in Help Desk Support. Just be thin, attractive and quiet during the interview and you will be inline for management by the end of the week.

Fri, Jan 16, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

Whats wrong with trying to learn about the industry you want to work in by studying and taking exams? Thats how I started and now I have years of experience to go with my bits of paper, which I continue to collect.
I always gain alot from studying for certs and I dont expect this one will be any different for those ineterested in working in IT or those who want some formal recognition that they know their stuff.
If MCDST does what it says on the tin I'm all for it.

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 Belldain Anonymous

Look, to be honest there are too many variables in todays economy and IT world to worry about paper certs vs. the world. I say we should concentrate on making the things harder than they supposedly already are. People with experience will always come out on top...but they too had to start somewhere...It doesnt mean everyone has to start out the way they did!

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

i had taken the beta...imho, to a certain extend, it does test the recipients knowledge abt WinXP troubleshooting. However, it is quite similar to 70-270 exam.

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

You know, I keep seeing all these comments about cert kiddies and paper certs and on and on. Let's figure out where the problem is! We have the case of people being fortunate enough to attend college and get the big bucks and really don't know that much but they grow into the job. Then you have that same person denying people that are not fortunate enough to have attended college, so what is his excuse of not hiring you? You don't have any experience and you are not certified. Well expereince is something that the less fortunate has no control over (without a job to prove it) but they can study hard and get certified which is proof they have at least read it, studied it, and past it. An entry level job is all these (we) are looking for with the hopes and dreams of advancing over time. Aplus wasn't good enough to get started, niether was Network plus, nor MCP, nor the MCSA, Nor The MCSA plus Security, finally an MCSE plus Security got my foot in the door testing software ( for 2 - 4 months) for 11.00 an hour but by God I'm going to make the best of it and I say the hell with all the big shots that have the rich mommy and daddy that sends them to the best colleges and universities just to turn there noses up to the ones that are doing the best they can the hard F way.

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 TechnoDoc Florida

Try it, you might learn something...and

If you don't have anything good to say...Shut Your Pie Hole!

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 Eric NY

I wonder how relevant this cert is actually going to be. When you think about it, most of the entry-level help desk work is being outsourced or pays so little that few newcomers want to take this route into the IT world anymore. It's as if the cert is created for a market that doesn't exist. Just like the A-plus cert gives you a $9hr job at Best Buy fixing PCs, this will give you a $9hr job at Dell's last US call center answering consumer's questions.

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

yes, and now you are. congrats! :)

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

If I enter a lame, cynical comment here criticizing certs and MS will I be cool like ChicagoMCSE and ClevelandMCSA?

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 OverCertified Earth

I think it is the MCDST cert itself (both exams) that counts as one elective for the MCSA & MCSE, not as individual exams.

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

These are good tests and do test if you know the basics

Thu, Jan 15, 2004 ClevelandMCSA Anonymous

Hurray. Now all those exam kiddies can snarf up another cert and not know anything!

Wed, Jan 14, 2004 ChicagoMCSE Anonymous


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