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New Beta for Old Windows Exam?

Microsoft to release beta version of 70-291 exam with questions relating to upcoming Windows XP SP2, say sources.

Based on data that appears on the Pearson VUE testing site, Microsoft is expected to release a beta version of the 70-291, Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure, which will be available from July 19 to July 27. During the beta period, the exam will be numbered 71-291. According to sources, speculation is that this beta may be a brand new beta with questions relating to features in the upcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2.

According to one source who has helped Microsoft develop questions and has asked for anonymity, Microsoft's approach is nothing new and it's one the company has taken when software gets updated with new technology. "In the past, refreshed items have been seeded -- unscored -- in with old items, much like the SAT or any other exam," says the source. However, the vast number of changes coming with XP SP2 may warrant a new beta with a complex number of questions to test in the field. "A new beta is the most time- and cost-effective way to put a lot of new content out there...."

The source believes Microsoft may follow suit with other exams that may be refreshed with newer content pertaining to the changes in XP SP2. Windows XP SP 2 will be generally available some time in August (see "Windows XP SP2 Coming in August" on the ENTmag.com site for details).

Microsoft typically does not comment on exams in beta and did not offer details at the time of this writing.

As is often the case, Microsoft typically makes beta exams available by invitation only; the pool of invitations are often drawn from a list of qualified subscribers to the company's "MCP Newsflash" newsletter. To find out more, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/status/beta.asp.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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