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MCSA: Windows 10 Debuts December 14, 2015

By  Dec 9, 2015

Topics: Browse by Cert, Microsoft, MCSA

In a recent post to Microsoft's Born to Learn blog, Senior Product Manager for Certification Larry Kaye announced the pending release of an MCSA for Windows 10, along with its specific requirements. The details are sure to surprise some readers, and to delight those among them who've earned the MCSA: Windows 8.

The post appeared on December 7, entitled "Certification Update -- MCSA: Windows 10 Released." The use of the past tense in the title is something of a misnomer, however, because the post itself says that the information about the new credential won't appear on the MCSA Landing page until December 14, when all of the details will be made available.

Why is there a Win8 cert in the MCSA: Win10 discussion? Glad you asked!

What is available is clear enough and quite interesting. Three exams will be required for the MCSA: Windows 10, as follows:

  • Exam 687: Configuring Windows 8.1
  • Exam 688: Supporting Windows 8.1
  • Exam 697: Configuring Windows Devices
  • Astute readers will immediately recognize that 70-687 and 70-688 are already required for the MCSA: Windows 8. In effect, this means that for those individuals who've already earned that credential, they need take only exam 70-697 -- the only exam in this line-up, in fact, with any Windows 10 specific content -- to earn the MCSA: Windows 10. Other commenters on the Kaye blog post have raised the question that I, too, would like to see andwered -- namely: "Will there be an upgrade exam for those who hold the MCSE: Windows 7 credential?" So far, there is no official reply to this question, but my best guess would be "No," because there's enough overlap between Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 that the coverage in the 697 and 688 exams actually spills over quite nicely onto Windows 10 as well (of course, that's no doubt why Microsoft decided to keep two Windows 8.1 exams in the line-up for a Windows 10 certification).

    What I want to know is if MS will ultimately replace those two 8.1 exams with Windows 10 focused exams instead. I'm guessing that the answer to that question is "Yes," not only because it makes sense to do so as time and opportunity allow, but also because Microsoft has already told us that Windows 10 is going to be around for a long, long time and the focus of regular, ongoing functionality updates and enhancements, as well as the more usual patches and fixes. When whatever stands for the current code base for Windows 10 diverges sufficiently from where things stand right now, I have to believe that MS will significantly update or replace the 687 and 688 exams.

    Until then, you can earn a Windows 10 certification by covering mostly Windows 8.1 content. Who knew?