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Microsoft Announces MCP Program Changes

Microsoft has announced significant changes to the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer title, as well as an expansion of who will be considered an MCP. Also, a new MCP+Site Building title was announced for individuals who build and maintain Web sites. The announcement was made at Fusion '98 in New Orleans on June 1. Fusion is a Microsoft business symposium for Solution Providers; it precedes TechEd.

MCP+Site Building Title
The new MCP+Site Building credential will require passage of two of the following three exams: Visual InterDev, FrontPage, and Site Server Commerce 3.0. None of these exams is currently available, but all are expected to be launched in the fall. The new title is designed specifically for individuals who are planning, building, managing, and maintaining Web sites.

MCP Title Expanded
The title changes, which will be implemented on October 1, broaden the definition of a Microsoft Certified Professional to anyone who has completed a single exam toward certification by that date. (The only exception is the Networking Essentials exam.) Currently, an MCP is someone who has completed at least one operating system or core developer exam. With the expansion, completion of a Visual Basic, SQL Server, or Exchange exam, for example, qualifies a candidate for the MCP title and benefits. The change will expand the current total of MCPs worldwide from about 225,000 to about 236,000, according to Microsoft.

MCSD Revamp
The MCSD revamp expands the developer title to include Internet skills, a long-awaited change, and adds additional exams to the elective pool to encompass skills in multitiered and distributed applications, among other things. The revamp replaces the current core requirement of two Windows Architecture exams with three core exams and one elective. One of the new cores, Analyzing Requirements and Defining Solution Architectures, will be introduced in October, along with two new Visual Basic exams and two new Visual C++ exams. In addition, exams are being added on Visual Studio and Microsoft Transaction Server. Visual J++ exams are expected later. Courses on the new exams are planned for the fall, before the introduction of the exams themselves.

Current MCSDs who have passed the two Windows Architecture (WinArch) exams will have until July 1, 2000 to update their titles. MCSDs who have passed the older Windows Operating Systems and Services (WOSSA) exams will have until March 1, 1999 to update their titles. Microsoft plans to retire the WinArch exams on June 30, 1999.

Visit www.microsoft.com/mcp for more information. Additional details on the program changes will become available closer to the launch date.

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