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Desktop Apps Exam Now Live

Exam for testing help desk support skills now available; MCDST also now officially live.

UPDATE: On Wednesday, February 4, Microsoft will make Exam 70-272, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Windows XP Operating System, generally available. With the general availability of 70-272, the MCDST credential is officially live. According to postings on Microsoft newsgroups, beta testers began receiving beta exam 71-272 score reports on February 3.

Exam 70-272 is one of two exams that candidates are required to pass in order to obtain the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician on Windows XP certification, the company's newest title. The other is Exam 70-271, Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System, which made its debut on January 12. Both exams are aimed at corporate help desk and desktop support personnel.

The release of 70-272 means that Microsoft will begin issuing the MCDST title. According a press release issued today, Dan Truax, Director of Business and Product Strategy with Microsoft Learning, says that the credential was developed to "address a growing need industry-wide for qualified help-desk professionals." Truax cites a U.S. Department of Labor report that "indicates that a demand gap exists in organizations between the number of support technicians who are needed for Microsoft Windows desktops and the number of skilled individuals available to do the job."

Obtaining an MCDST also allows candidates pursuing the MCSA on Windows 2000 to count the MCDST as an elective toward the MCSA, according to the FAQ on the Microsoft site (click here to read; however, as of press time, Microsoft hasn't updated the MCSA on Windows 2000 guide (click here). The FAQ doesn't state whether the elective option also applies to the MCSA on Windows 2003.

To view the 70-272 exam objectives, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-272.asp. For 70-271, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-271.asp. To view the MCDST requirements, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/mcdst/. For more about the MCDST, see "Desktop Tech Cert Sees Light of Day," in the News archive, or click here.)

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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