Now that Windows 7 has been released you may be interested in understanding what Microsoft Certifications are available, and how you can update your certification.

Jim Clark, Sr. Certification Manager for Microsoft Learning is here to answer some of the common questions.

Stephen: Are there any new certifications for Windows 7?

Jim: Yes, in addition to new versions of the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician Pro credential and the core configuring TS exam we have created a new credential with Windows 7 that is focused on the Enterprise Desktop Administrator.

Stephen: What is the difference between this new Enterprise Desktop Administrator (EDA) credential and the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (EDST)?

Jim: Good question. The primary difference is that the EDST is focused on reacting to customer issues as a helpdesk or technical support responder?, but the EDA roles is focused on proactive desktop tasks that include designing, deploying, and managing. The EDA role is part of a design team that is looking into the future to determine what the desktop infrastructure will need to maintain, grow, or gain efficiency. This could be by upgrading or deploying a new OS, or modifying an existing deployment.

The simple answer is to look at these two credentials the same way we look at the Windows Server 2008 credentials:

  • Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator – Operations focused, responsible for today, tomorrow, and next week
  • Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator – Engineering focused, responsible for next month, next year and beyond
  • Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician – Operations focused, responsible for today, tomorrow, and next week
  • Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator – Engineering focused, responsible for next month, next year and beyond

Stephen: So those are the two Pro credentials for Windows 7, are there also new Technology Specialists (TS) exams for Windows 7?

Jim: Yes, there is one new TS exam that will support both the Enterprise Desktop Administrator (EDA), and the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (EDST) credentials. That exam is 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring. This exam is the backbone of our credentials and it validates all of the common how-to tasks associated with Windows 7. It is a requirement for both the EDA and EDST credentials.

Stephen: Will any of these new exams also count towards the Windows Server 2008 credentials?

Jim: Yes, the 70-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring exam will count towards the Desktop requirement for the Enterprise Administrator Windows Server 2008 credential.

Stephen: How about people with the Vista EDST credential or even people with the XP DST credential, will they have a way to upgrade their credential to Windows 7?

Jim: Yes, we are creating an exam so that either XP DST’s or Vista EDST’s can take this one exam and become MCTS: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician certified. This upgrade exam will be out in early 2010.

Stephen: So what would you suggest is the first step to become Windows 7 certified?

Jim: If you are new to Windows client certification, or are not currently certified as either an XP DST or Vista EDST, then I recommend you take the 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring exam. This exam is required for both of the Pro credentials and can be used for the desktop requirement for the Enterprise Administrator credential, so it’s the best place to start.

Stephen: Are there any other Windows 7 exams beyond the ones you’ve mentioned?

Jim: Yes, we also have an exam that is geared towards OEM Preinstallation specialists. This exam 70-683: TS: Windows 7, Preinstalling for OEMs is designed to validate skills of OEM vendors that preinstall Windows 7 on desktops and laptops for corporate or retail sales.

Stephen: Are any of the exams live now?

Jim: Yes, all of the exams (except the upgrade exam) are live now. Anyone can register to take an exam at www.prometric.com.

Stephen: Where can I learn more about Windows 7 certification?

Jim: Best place to start is the Windows Client Certification portal. This page will link you to all the Exam Preparation Guides for the Windows 7 exams.  If you decide you would like training before you take the exams then here Windows – Training Portal is the place to start or to get the latest information around the world of training and certification, check out the Born To Learn Blog.

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