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"Free" Electives for Upgrading MCSEs!

In another profound conciliatory gesture to NT 4.0 MCSEs, Microsoft announced they would accept nine formerly retired elective exams from the MCSE on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 for the MCSE on Microsoft Windows 2000. Here is the list of those elective exams:

  • 70-013 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft SNA Server 3.0

  • 70-018 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.2

  • 70-026 System Administration for Microsoft SQL Server 6.5

  • 70-027 Implementing a Database Design on Microsoft SQL Server 6.5

  • 70-059 Internetworking with Microsoft TCP/IP on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

  • 70-076 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 5

  • 70-087 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0

  • 70-078 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Proxy Server 1.0

  • 70-079 Implementing and Supporting Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 by Using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit

In keeping with this change, Microsoft now calls exams no longer available "discontinued," rather than "retired," to indicate that such exams can keep their validity after they've been removed from circulation.

This is a significant gesture to the MCSE community, since this list includes the two most popular NT 4.0 electives — namely, 70-059 and 70-087 — among numerous other popular electives. In addition to making it easier for NT 4.0 MCSEs to upgrade, it will also save many of them $100 or $200 by reducing the number of exams they must pay for by one or two.

Reactions to this announcement have been mixed. Those MCSEs and MCTs who've already upgraded their credentials are disappointed, having thought that their early maneuvers would let them keep a coveted credential, while weeding out those who held the older, less-valued credential. Those who hadn't upgraded yet greeted the announcement with relief, because it (a) keeps their old credentials alive and valid and (b) makes it easier than before to upgrade to the new credentials.

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