Feeds

Storm over MS bid to bounce MSCEs into Win2k

Switch to Win2k now and it's a bargain, honest

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft's current treatment of its MCSEs (certified systems engineers) shows just how fundamental are the problems faced by the company with Windows 2000. Microsoft is trying to pressure MCSEs who have taken the NT4 exam to take a combined Windows 2000 exam, code-numbered 70-240, before they might otherwise choose to do so. Keith Weiskamp, CEO of exam-crammers Coriolis, wrote an open letter to Bill Gates and Microsoft in which he says: "MCSEs serve as an adjunct sales force and technical support arm for Microsoft" and castigates Microsoft for the cavalier disregard it has shown towards its loyal followers. More than 2,000 people on coriolis.com have added their comments to his petition, and in the whole saga, their comments eloquently express their frustration. The reasons for Microsoft's behaviour are pretty transparent: very few enterprises - and most independent industry analysts like Gartner support this - are prepared to risk their business by adopting Windows 2000 to soon. Memories of what happened to some prominent businesses that were early adopters of Windows NT are still sharp enough: NatWest, which had disastrous experiences with NT in its insurance business integration as well as its retail banking, has been gobbled up by the Royal Bank of Scotland - a prominent IBM account. Somerfield, the UK supermarket chain, was another NT advocate, has fallen on very hard times and has been let down by its IT. The situation is therefore one in which Microsoft needs revenue from Windows 2000, but many of its potential customers are deferring any decision on purchasing it for two or three years. Microsoft clearly had the idea that if it could get its MCSEs with NT4 to upgrade themselves, they would want to put pressure on their employers to upgrade. The trick that Microsoft has used is to make examination 70-240 free, but only to allow people to try it once. The reason is transparently clear: 70-240 combines four examinations, and if a candidate fails just once, it will be necessary to take all four examinations, and to pay for taking each of them. This naturally has the effect of making candidates for 70-240 prepare more thoroughly, and if they pass, they are likely to get a job where Windows 2000 is being used. Furthermore, in order to dry up the supply of NT4 MCSEs, Microsoft is withdrawing the exams, without having given adequate notice to those doing them. As Weiskamp pointed out, Microsoft's exams should "not simply provide a leverage point to push people into upgrading software and systems as soon as possible, or before their employers are ready to adopt the latest version of Windows software". Donna Senko, Microsoft's director of certifications and skills assessment, was forced to respond, only to announce that Microsoft would not budge an inch. It is unfortunate that companies have such power over career paths. Concern has been expressed about Microsoft examinations being used in schools and at universities, and the consequent blurring between education and training. Perhaps the ultimate failing rests, at least in the UK, with the British Computer Society for not achieving better penetration with its own professional examinations, as well as with successive governments for having such digitally-incompetent politicians in charge of education. Microsoft thought that in its MCSE system it had the perfect way of making MCSEs into indentured servants: making them pay handsomely to keep up-to-date. But there's a refreshing amount of independence in the comments they have made on coriolis.com, and it seems possible that quite a few will leave the rat race and be looking to Novell, Unix and of course Linux, in the future. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.