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MCDST Exams, Courses Discounted

Microsoft promoting MCDST title with exam discount available at worldwide CTECs, testing centers; courses also discounted in U.S.

For a limited time, Microsoft is offering a 20-percent discount on the MCDST exams worldwide, available at participating Prometric and Pearson Vue testing centers worldwide. The company is also promoting a discount on MCDST-related training, available only within the U.S. at participating training providers.

The MCDST exams—70-271: Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Windows XP Operating System and 70-272: Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Windows XP Operating System—each retail for $125 in the U.S.. During the promotion, however, Microsoft is discounting the exams to $100. (Regional, non-U.S. pricing will reflect a similar 20-percent discount.) Candidates must complete exams by August 31, 2004.

John Lewis, an IT special projects coordinator with ESCO Corp. in Portland, Oregon, says he's "pursuing the MCDST because it is a better fit for my day-to-day work as a support technician." Having already passed 70-271 before the promotion went into effect, he's taking advantage of the discount for the second exam.

But Lewis thinks the difficulty of these exams should dictate pricing and would suggest that Microsoft lower the retail price below its suggested retail. "The 271 exam was fairly easy, compared to the 'full-blown' 70-270 Windows XP exam," he says, adding "$125 is just really too expensive for an exam of this type." Despite his opinion, he's happy to take advantage of the promotion. "I'm paying for the exams myself, so cost is a consideration."

Charles Blaszczyk, a network technician with CBData Networking Solutions in Pennsylvania, achieved charter membership without the discount, too late to take the company up on the offer. He believes Microsoft is moving in the right direction to help its burgeoning MCSDT community: "It shows that [Microsoft] wants people who are new to the IT field and are starting their careers, that they are looking out for them."

For candidates who need training, Microsoft is also extending the 20-percent discount to its Microsoft Official Curriculum courses; the promotion applies only to courses taken at participating U.S. training providers:

  • Course 2261: Supporting Users Running the Microsoft Windows XP Operating System (three-day, instructor-led course)
  • Course 2262: Supporting Users Running Applications on a Microsoft Windows XP Operating System (two days, instructor-led)

Courses must be completed by June 28, 2004. Microsoft states on its Web site that the training course/exam package typically retails for $1,800 at most U.S. CTECs.

Microsoft was unable to comment on this promotion as of this writing. For more details on the promotion, click here; for the exam-only promotion and code, click here. For official MCDST track requirements, 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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