Windows 7 MCSA Retiring November 31st, 2015 (Exams Sticking Around Though)

SlowhandSlowhand Questionably BenevolentBay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,161Mod Mod
As discussed in another thread on this forum, Microsoft has announced that the MCSA: Windows 7 certification is retiring on November 31st, 2015. Unlike Windows 8, however, the individual specialist exams will still be offered and you will still be able to earn the Microsoft Specialist certification for each. A stand-alone Windows 10 specialist exam has been announced, but there hasn't been any word on whether there will be an MCSA: Windows 10 at any point in the future.
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Still Alive and Kicking:
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Retiring on November 31st:

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No announcement has been made regarding changes to the Windows Server 2008 or 2012 certifications at this time. All information regarding retiring exams and certs can be found at the following links:

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Comments

  • datacombossdatacomboss Posts: 303Registered Members ■■■□□□□□□□
    One of the reasons why I stopped doing Microsoft Windows certs.

    Seems like a never ending money grab.

    Meanwhile, it takes a while to get things stable with a new release (NT 3.xx/95/2000/ME/Vista/8 were all junk).
    "If I were to say, 'God, why me?' about the bad things, then I should have said, 'God, why me?' about the good things that happened in my life."

    Arthur Ashe

  • RaxephionRaxephion Posts: 13Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    First post on here :)
    Just great......I started studying for my MCSA Windows 7 in July (after making sure things its nowhere within the 12 month retiring window) and now this!? So basically I have to write my final exam on or before Nov30 to still get my MCSA? Reason I picked Windows 7 over Windows 8 is that a lot of companies have only recently changed over to Windows 8 and will most probably give Windows 8 a miss as per Vista.
    I tried contacting Microsoft but am none the wiser, perhaps someone here could assist. What happens now should I only pass my exams after Nov 30? I read it said something that it will become a "Microsoft Specialist" cert or something. So no MCSA?
  • kevluck373kevluck373 Posts: 46Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah I ran into the MCSA mess today.

    I got my Server+ today, and my next step was to do the MCSA w/ Windows 7, not now. Even Windows 8 is expiring. There's no way I can study Windows 7 now till November and pass.

    This is very frustrating because I'm not sure where I'll go now as far as certification route. Guess I'll have to wait until Windows 10.
  • B80B80 Posts: 12Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    kevluck373 wrote: »
    Yeah I ran into the MCSA mess today.

    I got my Server+ today, and my next step was to do the MCSA w/ Windows 7, not now. Even Windows 8 is expiring. There's no way I can study Windows 7 now till November and pass.

    This is very frustrating because I'm not sure where I'll go now as far as certification route. Guess I'll have to wait until Windows 10.

    What role are you in now and what do you aspire to do? If the knowledge from studying Windows 7 will help with your current role, study it anyway but don't worry about the cert.

    Then look at moving on ccent or mcsa 2012 depending on which path interests you - maybe both. Once you have these certs the client credentials will become pretty much obsolete as most employers will assume you have a good handle on client os's if you have server qualifications/experience.
  • kevluck373kevluck373 Posts: 46Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I see you have the ITIL. I've tried to check the ITIL out but is a lot more difficult to find information about compared to CompTIA.

    I believe there are no technical questions on the ITIL exam, which makes it somewhat less attractive to me, but be better to have ITIL than not.

    Are there any study materials for it? How much is the voucher? What company handles the ITIL certification? I ask because I haven't found out anything as far as buying a voucher for ITIL.

    Thanks for any info.
  • majestic_pecanmajestic_pecan Posts: 38Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I never saw the point in getting a MSCA Windows 7 or 8... You don't need it to get break into IT and it isn't going to help you get past helpdesk... Unless a business required it and paid for it I don't see why you would've got them.

    Several companies require an MCSA for desktop positions. Personally I'm glad I've studied for it and I take the 70-680 in about 3 weeks (already passed the 70-685).
    I do agree with your other point, though. Microsoft isn't any more "money-grabbing" than CompTIA, Cisco or other major cert vendors. They don't require you to attend a sponsored course and many of their certs don't expire. I just wish their cert offering would reflect reality a bit more. Why retire the cert for your number one OS (which they've done twice now)?
    2016 GOALS:
    Linux+
    Wireshark
    New job...
  • B80B80 Posts: 12Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    kevluck373 wrote: »
    I see you have the ITIL. I've tried to check the ITIL out but is a lot more difficult to find information about compared to CompTIA.

    I believe there are no technical questions on the ITIL exam, which makes it somewhat less attractive to me, but be better to have ITIL than not.

    Are there any study materials for it? How much is the voucher? What company handles the ITIL certification? I ask because I haven't found out anything as far as buying a voucher for ITIL.

    Thanks for any info.

    You can get hold of CBT Nuggets videos and a Sybex book for Itil. After the initial couple of chapters I found it hard work (boring-wise) but carried on as it only takes a few weeks to knock it out and seems to be on a lot of job adverts in the UK.

    Enjoyed picking up a tech book and getting more hands on again after all the theory, processes etc in itil.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Registered Members
    Strange that they are pulling both MCSA Windows 7 and MCSA Windows 8. Does anyone know their strategy here? I am guessing that it has something to do with "Windows 10 last release ever" logic of agile development of future Windows, which sort of implies a continual recertification program for Windows client OS.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Posts: 2,224Registered Members
    kevluck373 wrote: »
    I see you have the ITIL. I've tried to check the ITIL out but is a lot more difficult to find information about compared to CompTIA.

    I believe there are no technical questions on the ITIL exam, which makes it somewhat less attractive to me, but be better to have ITIL than not.

    Are there any study materials for it? How much is the voucher? What company handles the ITIL certification? I ask because I haven't found out anything as far as buying a voucher for ITIL.

    Thanks for any info.

    This forum has its own section for ITIL, some of the book authors even post in that section and provide good feedback. There are plenty of ITIL mayerials out there, even on youtube. The ITIL is not technical at all, it's all focused on improving processes, tasks, operating efficiency and reducing costs at every level. It's good to know or have a foundational level knowledge but yeah its a bit boring. The exam is $225 a pop and can't get any vouchers, the good thing is you can take it from your own pc online at your home. You need a camera and the software installed which monitors what you do and i beleive there is proctor watching you via web cam on the actions you are doing.
  • kevluck373kevluck373 Posts: 46Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hopefully I'm not the only 1 who's somewhat confused about all the microsoft exams, but what's a MCITP? Does the MCITP still exist? Is MCSA above MCITP? You have to pass 2 exams to get the MCSA, right?

    Does the MCP still exist? I got my MCP in Windows 98 icon_sad.gif, which probably expired a long time ago.

    Thanks for any help.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Registered Members
    kevluck373 wrote: »
    Hopefully I'm not the only 1 who's somewhat confused about all the microsoft exams, but what's a MCITP? Does the MCITP still exist? Is MCSA above MCITP? You have to pass 2 exams to get the MCSA, right?

    Does the MCP still exist? I got my MCP in Windows 98 icon_sad.gif, which probably expired a long time ago.

    Thanks for any help.

    Yeah, the MCITP still exists. If you do the necessary exams, you will end up with the cert. I think that there are two MCITP streams for Windows 7, one for 680 +685 which is same as MCSA Windows 7, and one with 680 + 686 which is MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator or similar. If you get the MCITP: EDA, then you will also get the MCSA Windows 7.

    The MCSA is just MS reverting their naming system (almost) because MCSA/MCSE had so much familiarity in the market. Back when MCSA/MCSE were retired (with Server 200icon_cool.gif, I was still seeing lots of jobs asking for MCSA or MCSE Server 2008, because the hiring people weren't aware that these didn't exist at the time.

    With the MCSA/MCSE revival, MS simplified their cert naming schemes quite a bit.

    MCP is still a thing. Basically if you pass any of the professional exams, you will get MCP. So, if you just do the 70-680 exam, you will be MCP and MCTS Windows 7 Configuration.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Registered Members
    MCP is achieved when you pass any MCSA level test. MCITP was above MCSA but was replaced by MCSE.

    OctalDump is 2 for 2 against me tonight! I didn't refresh before posting.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
  • yasina2990yasina2990 Posts: 9Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Having already passed my A+ and Network+, do you recommend I go straight to CCENT/CCNA or should I waste any of my time on this MCSA Windows 7? Was thinking about going CCENT/CCNA and then doing my Server 2012 MCSA, good choice of path?
  • maelstrom3530maelstrom3530 Posts: 40Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    yasina2990 wrote: »
    Having already passed my A+ and Network+, do you recommend I go straight to CCENT/CCNA or should I waste any of my time on this MCSA Windows 7? Was thinking about going CCENT/CCNA and then doing my Server 2012 MCSA, good choice of path?

    It really depends on your situation. If your place of work uses Windows 7 and you support them, sure its still useful. Just consider where you are now and what you want to do. I think its pretty good to be well-rounded, and client certs help with that. But no one really has the answer since everyone's situation is different. Are you just starting out?

    tmi starts here:

    I think the Windows 7 MCSA track is pretty good since you use a lot of the foundation knowledge from A+ and Net+. The way I see it, A+ and Net+ are more theoretical, whereas vendor certs are more practical. They're basically teaching you how to use their product. Like in Win7 configuration (70-680), you dive in and actually configure the firewall rules, desktop imaging, folder permissions, backups, etc. Or in the CCENT/CCNA, you configure VLANs, SSH, trunks, ACLs, DHCP service, routing, etc.

    As for the CCENT, think Network+ on steroids. The Cisco material is pretty good, and you'll really expand on the Network+ foundation knowledge. Its basically Network+ on a more practical/real world level. Yeah you're only configuring Cisco devices, but you'll learn so much more by doing practical stuff like figuring out IP address ranges, VLANs, segmentation, routing, how far broadcasts go, etc. Stuff like that applies to any vendor. If nothing else, the practical understanding will help you a lot in general in all areas of IT. Its quite practical and can apply to so many other things beyond simply configuring Cisco devices. I guess for me, when I studied Net+, I understood the material. But it really didn't sink in until I started using that knowledge in a practical manner. It really changed the way I thought, about how I troubleshoot and dissect a problem.
    2015 Goals: [X] ICND2 [X]70-680 [X]70-685 [X]70-640
    2016 Goals: [X]70-410 [X]70-411
    2017 Goals: [X]70-412
    2018 Goals: [_]70-697 [_]70-698
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Registered Members
    Certify what you are experienced in. If you are currently working with windows I'd suggest starting off with MCSA 2012. If you are working with networks go CCNA. If you haven't entered the field yet around here MCSA 7 or at least MCP 7 would make you more marketable than CCNA but that could vary based on location.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
  • yasina2990yasina2990 Posts: 9Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yes I am just starting out now, been applying to some help desk positions and getting calls back but have yet to get hired. I may leave the CCENT and do the MCSA 7 or 2012 just to help get my foot in the door somewhere.
  • maelstrom3530maelstrom3530 Posts: 40Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah if you're starting out, I'd probably go with MCSA: Win7. I think if you get MCSA: Win7, you also get MCITP: Win7, plus a couple of MCTS's and the MCP. A handful of certifications for doing 2 tests. The CCENT track is nice and you'll learn a lot about networking from doing the coursework, but the cert itself probably won't help you get a job.

    Good luck to you in all of your studies! icon_cheers.gif
    2015 Goals: [X] ICND2 [X]70-680 [X]70-685 [X]70-640
    2016 Goals: [X]70-410 [X]70-411
    2017 Goals: [X]70-412
    2018 Goals: [_]70-697 [_]70-698
  • culpanoculpano Posts: 163Registered Members
    Having gained MCPs in the past and ITIL v2 and 3 Foundation and also ITIL SLM Practitioner let me tell you the MS exams are on a totally different level to the ITIL stuff. You pass the ITIL foundation in a week or so of study. That compared to my struggles with MCSA Windows 8 - well there is no comparison really. MCSA study is 100 times harder !
  • maelstrom3530maelstrom3530 Posts: 40Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree. I've supported Windows 7 in an enterprise environment for several years now and I found the 70-680 to be a bear. The amount of material to study is enormous. Luckily there's pretty good (free) videos for the 70-680 that can be found online. I'm currently studying for the 70-685 now and I've found that there's a lot of overlap. So, once you've got a good handle on the 70-680, you can consider yourself pretty far along in the 70-685. I'd say once you have a good handle on the 70-680, you could probably study a week or two and you'd be ready for the 70-685. My best advice for these two exams are to take notes, mark topics you don't fully understand and read more into those topics with wikipedia or Microsoft. And also lab. Never skip the labs. You'll find as I did that the official MS lab books have errors in them. Its not anything that's going to ruin your lab though, and those MS lab books for the MCSA Win7 are CHEAP.

    Really cool techie music helps too:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmxYePDPV6M

    icon_cool.gif
    2015 Goals: [X] ICND2 [X]70-680 [X]70-685 [X]70-640
    2016 Goals: [X]70-410 [X]70-411
    2017 Goals: [X]70-412
    2018 Goals: [_]70-697 [_]70-698
  • tmurphy3100tmurphy3100 Posts: 146Registered Members ■■■□□□□□□□
    Since MCSA 7 is being retired. Will it become a lifetime cert?
    2018 Goals: CCNA R&S, CySA+, and VCP6.5
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Registered Members
    Since MCSA 7 is being retired. Will it become a lifetime cert?

    I don't think there was ever a recertification requirement for MCSA 7, so is by default a lifetime cert. Since it is tied to an older technology, it will naturally become less relevant as Windows 7 is replaced.

    As far as I am aware, it is only MCSE and MCSD certifications which will require recertification. Again, they are tied to specific technologies, so it isn't a huge deal. Most will update their certifications for the new technologies anyway. Currently we are seeing a 4 year tick/tock cycle for server. But still unclear what will happen post 2016 and post Windows 10.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • Jaeger1Jaeger1 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    So if I was to start a MCSA today, which one should I go for? Is it better to start the Windows 8 687 and 688 exams?
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Registered Members
    Jaeger1 wrote: »
    So if I was to start a MCSA today, which one should I go for? Is it better to start the Windows 8 687 and 688 exams?

    The MCSA Windows 7 might be gone but the MCITPs - either Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (680+685) or Enterprise Desktop Administrator (680+686) are still available.

    One option is this:

    680 + 685 = MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (MCITP EDST)
    MCITP EDST + 689 = MCSA Windows 8 (but the 689 exam will be withdrawn on 31 January 2016)
    MCSA Windows 8 + 697 = MCSA Windows 10

    Or if you don't do the Windows 7 exams (680 + 685), you can do 687 + 688 (these will be withdrawn 31 July 2016) for MCSA Windows 8, and then add 697 for MCSA Windows 10.

    If you are starting from scratch, then aim for Windows 8. If you have A+ and experience, or are working somewhere using Windows 7, or have MCSA Windows 2008, then take 680 and 685 (or 686). If you already have 680 (or 685 or 686), then do the remaining exam, and aim for Windows 8 - there's a chance you'll make the cut off for 689. Christmas might not be much fun, though. But worst case, you'll just have to do an extra exam. You still end up with lots of certifications, so it's worth it.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • Jaeger1Jaeger1 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    @OctalDump

    Thanks for that.

    I'll probably go the 687 + 688 route then add 697 to get MCSA Windows 10 due to time limits.

    What if I did 680 + 685 then 697? Would I still be considered MCITP with Windows 10 Specialization?
  • Jaeger1Jaeger1 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just saw that to get MCSE: EDA, it is 4 exams(687, 688, 695, and 696) but it says

    "Windows 10 was released in July 2015, and later this year Exam 697: Configuring Windows Devices will be incorporated into the MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps certification, replacing Exam 687 and Exam 688."

    I'm wondering if it is too difficult, but it looks like if I do the 697 Windows 10 Specialist exam then 695 and 696, I'd get the MCSE:EDA. Downside is I wouldn't have an MCSA, but would only have to do 3 exams.
  • michael.slabomichael.slabo Posts: 6Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    What is a lab book you would recommend?
  • dan101dan101 Posts: 33Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I find it a bit confusing here? IS Windows 7 70-680 exam still available or not? because after reading a few threads here it sounds like it still around, but for the MCSA Windows 7 is retired, on the Windows Exam website I don't see anything regarding Configuring Windows 7 exam (standalone) is retired? I know for a fact that Windows 8.1 Configuration (70-687) 70-688 are retiring this December 31st 2016, I know that the dates has changed from this summer June or July 2016 and they extended to Dec 2016. I am not sure if its worth my time and money to pursue it, my plan is study it and take the exam on Dec 23 2016? or as a proctored online option? any suggestions thx dan101
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 665Registered Members ■■■■□□□□□□
    dan101 wrote: »
    I find it a bit confusing here? IS Windows 7 70-680 exam still available or not? because after reading a few threads here it sounds like it still around, but for the MCSA Windows 7 is retired, on the Windows Exam website I don't see anything regarding Configuring Windows 7 exam (standalone) is retired? I know for a fact that Windows 8.1 Configuration (70-687) 70-688 are retiring this December 31st 2016, I know that the dates has changed from this summer June or July 2016 and they extended to Dec 2016. I am not sure if its worth my time and money to pursue it, my plan is study it and take the exam on Dec 23 2016? or as a proctored online option? any suggestions thx dan101

    70-680, 70-685 and 70-686 exams are still available. Doing each exam awards you an MCTS per exam. Doing the 70-680 + 70-685 OR 70-686 awards you an MCITP (https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/learning/mcitp-certification.aspx). The MCITP series for Windows 7 is not retired. the MCSA for Windows 7 is, so by doing those exams you will get MCTS/MCITP now instead of MCSA.
    Certs Achieved: CompTIA A+ | Net+ | Sec+, MTA NF (98-366), MTA OSF (98-349), MCTS: Win 7, MCP Win 10 (70-698)
    Currently Studying: MCSA: Windows Server 2016 ( 70-740 | 70-741 | 70-742 )

    "There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't." - Anon
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Registered Members
    @dan101

    Everything that Skyliinez92 just wrote, but only the 680 gets you an MCTS currently, however each of 680, 685 and 686 give you a "Microsoft Specialist" certification.

    680+686 awards MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 - this has an upgrade path to MCSA Server 2012 by passing the 70-417 exam.

    680+685 awards MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician - this is the same as the MCSA Windows 7

    All three Windows 7 exams are still being offered, and none has an announced retirement date (yet). However, the Windows 8 exams are retiring at the end of this year.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • tmtextmtex Posts: 326Registered Members
    I didn't read all the posts but why would they retire win 7 . Its heavily used both personal and corporate.
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