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Microsoft Turns Over New Certification Leaf in 2017

GC I scrum young womanIf you want to jump into the retiring items, you can easily do so via the MCSE home page instead.




To remain available after March 31:


MCSD: App Builder


No longer available after March 31:


MCSD: Web Applications
MCSD: SharePoint Applications
MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect
MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management
MCSD: Universal Windows Platform


Amusingly, the new language for the MCSD: App Builder now reads, “For 2017, this MCSE certification can be earned as follows.” I’m sure somebody’s eyes were off the keyboard, so to speak, when this conflation of MCSE and MCSD occurred, and that what MS meant was really, “For 2017, this MCSD certification ... ”


Be that as it may, while this may look like MS just pruned the vast majority of MCSD options from the board, that’s not really the case. Careful examination of the elective options for this single credential shows elements that mention Azure, SharePoint, UWP, Visual Studio, and even lifecycle management.


Thus, I look at it more as a form of consolidation with an implicit encouragement for MS developers to branch out and try multiple sub-disciplines, rather than as a reduction of coverage. It’s really like MS cut the number of MCSD credential names, but not the content or coverage.


In looking at the MCSA credentials, I still don’t see much mention of pending retirements (though the MCSE: Windows 8 is retiring on Dec. 31). Neither of the older Windows Server MCSAs (2012 and 2008) mention retirement, nor does SQL Server 2012/2014.


I’m guessing that these older MCSAs will fall by the wayside only when MS decides that enough of the installed base has migrated onto the newer platform versions to justify their retirement. We may see more such action in 2017, but perhaps that shoe won’t drop until 2018.


Stay tuned, and Happy New Year!



ed-tittel120Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed blogs on certification topics for Tom’s IT Pro, and on Windows desktop OS topics for TechTarget. Check out his website at