This change in approach is covered in a recent Microsoft Learning article entitled "Certification Update -- MCSD/MCSE Recertification exams." It announces that "Microsoft Learning has completed its review of recertification options, and will be releasing recertfication exams over the next several months."
MS Dishes the Info on Recert Exams for MCSD and MCSE
These exams will begin appearing between August 2014 and March 2015, and will eventually cover all MCSE (Server Infrastructure, Desktop Infrastructure, Private Cloud, Data Platform, Business Intelligence aka BI, Messaging, Communication, and SharePoint) and MCSD (Windows Store Apps, Web Applications, SharePoint Applications, and Application Lifecycle Management) specialties. According to the article, the recertification exams "will cover material from the exams taken to originally earn the credential, with particular emphasis on the most recent product and process changes." They also indicate that exam details will be available from a Certification Planner tool "at least one month prior to release." The re-cert interval for the MCSE is every three years, while that for the MCSD is every two years.
Microsoft also indicates they will manage recertification deadlines for individual MCSE and MCSD credentials so as to "ensure that [credential holders]... have at least twelve (12) months to prepare and pass the recertification exam." It's a brave new, ISO 17024 compliant cert world out there these days, and MS is taking all the steps necessary to ensure that its flagship credentials remain in compliance. If you hold (or are considering earning) one of the covered certifications, be sure to factor regular recertification into your ongoing career and certification planning.