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Windows 8.1 Exams Retiring, Windows 10 Exams Coming Soon

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Windows 10 certification exams are so much like the Windows 8.1 exams that Microsoft plans to retire the older exams rather than run them in parallel.

One new Windows 10 exam is already available in beta form and will presumably go final by the time the Windows 8.1 exams retire at the end of November, 2015. Also, new Universal Windows Platform exams (70-354 and 70-355) will go to beta status in early October 2015.

Thanks to a recent Born to Learn blog post entitled Windows 10 Exams are coming! we now know that Windows 10 exams are going to be available in final format very soon, and that Microsoft is planning to retire its collection of Windows 8.1 exams almost equally soon in response to these new and upcoming releases. Exam 70-697 Configuring Windows 10 Devices is currently in beta and available for signup at Pearson VUE, and will go into final production status soon, probably before the end of October. Additionally, a pair of newer exams -- namely the 70-354 Universal Windows Platform - App Architecture and UX/UI and 70-355 Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns -- show publication dates of September 30, 2015, and are scheduled to go into beta in early October.

MORE: Microsoft Certs & Career Paths

The current slate of Windows 8 exams (which cover Windows 8.1, actually) are now scheduled to retire on November 30, 2015. That means exams 70-687 Configuring Windows 8.1 and 70-688 Supporting Windows 8.1 will be withdrawn from circulation soon, so if you've been studying for either one or both of these, you'll want to get signed up before the expiration date comes and goes.

Incidentally, if we're reading the Born to Learn blog post correctly, it looks as if Microsoft also intends to replace the MCSA: Windows 8 two-exam credential -- along with the prerequisite for the MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps -- with a one-exam Specialist cert based on exam 70-697 to meet the background requirement for that MCSE credential going forward. That means it will be a little easier (and cheaper) to earn that MCSE once the new regime takes over, and it also appears to signal that there won't be a 70-698 exam on Supporting Windows 10 to replace the soon-to-be-retired 70-688 exam that it might otherwise have to replace. We'll just have to see about that going forward.

We're glad to see Windows 10 certifications start to take shape, though. What with an RTM public release of Windows 10 already available, and Threshold 2 due out in early November, it's high time for Microsoft to get its certifications on the new operating system together and out there!

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