With Vista already available to Technet + it won’t be long until the Microsoft certification exams that test candidates knowledge of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Vista will be released. In this post I will provide some insight into the three Vista exam options that will be available in the first quarter of 2007.

First of all, if you already hold an MCSE it is likely that you won’t ever have to take a Vista exam. Windows 2000 MCSEs didn’t need to take an XP exam to upgrade to 2003 and it is likely that 2003 MCSEs won’t have to take an upgrade exam to qualify for the Longhorn MCSE.  This isn’t set in stone, but generally by the time you are in the target demographic for the MCSE, you don’t do much in the way of client operating system support.

Understanding the differences between the exams comes down to understanding the difference between the audience they are targeted for.

Client Configuration Exam.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

This is the Vista exam for the tech working in the computer superstore technical department or on the sales floor selling computers that run Windows Vista. It doesn’t touch enterprise networking issues such as domains, but concentrates on installations, upgrades and making the most of features such as media centre, Tablet PC functionality and

(It is likely that the URL will be corrected as the 71 designates the exam’s beta status.)

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/71-620.mspx

Enterprise Desktop Support Exam

This is perhaps the most traditional of the exams on offer, this one is aimed at professionals working in enterprise desktop support. These professionals will have a degree of experience with previous Windows operating systems and work for a medium to large corporate or non-profit organization. The objectives canbass issues such as enterprise deployment scenarios, group policy settings, security and advanced network connectivity to be present on the exam. The objectives are at:

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-622.mspx

Consumer Desktop Support Exam

The final Vista exam, 70-623 is aimed at people that provide consumer level operating system support. The sort of people this exam is aimed at might work the phones in customer support for an electronics superstore chain, or they might be out and about helping small businesses with problems they might encounter with Vista.

For more info go to:

http://mcpmag.com/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=1122