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MS Win2k training switch telegraphs early death for NT

MS-certified pros see qualifications vaped by December 2000

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Windows 2000 may have been a long time coming, but Microsoft intends to push it hard when it does arrive, and just to make sure, is 'disappearing' Microsoft-certified support for NT 4.0 by the end of next year. Current and would-be Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) have been stunned by an announcement here that the company intends to "retire" NT 4.0 examinations on 31 December 2000, and that these are to be replaced by Windows 2000 equivalents. These exams are necessary for the achievement and retention of MCP and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) status. Obviously, if it's to keep support qualifications current, Microsoft has to move the exams along regularly, but it's more usual for the company to keep exams for the previous generation of software current for two years or more. NT 3.51 exams, for example, won't be retired until June of next year, while MCPs depending on Windows 3.1 for their qualifications didn't get the plugs pulled on them until 1 September 1998. As far as NT 4.0 is concerned, the exams themselves will be retired at the end of next year, with candidates having until the end of 2001 to switch to an equivalent Windows 2000 version. That means NT 4.0 expertise will still be around for a while, but that Microsoft will stop adding to it in fairly short order. This could turn out to be an issue for companies intent on obeying the analysts who've been warning customers off migrating early to Windows 2000. And we can't help a wry smile at the two items currently at the bottom of Microsoft's retirement list. Microsoft Windows Architecture parts one and two get theirs next Thursday. Instead of these, candidates are "required to satisfy the core requirements of the revised MCSD track by October 1, 2000." As far as we can see, there's no obvious equivalent of a course in the Microsoft Windows Architecture in the new track. Does this mean they're still working on it, or they gave up? ®

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