Microsoft is retiring the MCSM/MCA Program…

After having written about my experience of going through the MCSM program, I couldn’t resist writing down about how I feel about Microsoft’s latest decision to kill the MCSM/MCA program.

For those who aren’t fully up to date about what happened, let me enlighten you first. Early Saturday morning, (Friday evening if you’re in the US), Microsoft sent out the following statement to all existing (and aspiring) Certified Masters and Architects:

“We are contacting you to let you know we are making a change to the Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, and Microsoft Certified Architect certifications. As technology changes so do Microsoft certifications and as such, we are continuing to evolve the Microsoft certification program. Microsoft will no longer offer Masters and Architect level training rotations and will be retiring the Masters level certification exams as of October 1, 2013. The IT industry is changing rapidly and we will continue to evaluate the certification and training needs of the industry to determine if there’s a different certification needed for the pinnacle of our program.”

Have a look at Neil Johnson, who also teaches during the MCSM rotation, his blog for the full email.

As you can see, for someone who recently went through the program, that’s not the kind of email I’d hoped to read any time soon. Effectively, the reactions from the community are mainly drenched in disbelief and anger; which also perfectly reflects how I feel about the decision.

Many people have already expressed their displeasure. Although twitter has the top of the talks, some others – like Paul Robichaux and Marcel van den Berg – have also blogged about their thoughts:

At this moment, all that we have is the email. Nothing more. The fact that Microsoft sent out the email right before a long weekend (Monday is apparently Labor Day in the US) doesn’t really help. Besides: who does that anyway? Sending out an email like that and then absenting from any discussion whatsoever? Maybe they hoped that the storm would settle down by Tuesday? There are many reasons why Microsoft might have chosen to kill the program. Most likely it’s cost-related. There’s no doubt that running the MCSM/MCA program costs a lot of money; maybe too much for what they get in return from a direct revenue point-of-view? If so, raising the price for the certification was no option either; it was already expensive as it was. Though I stand with my statement earlier where I said it’s more than worth it. Nonetheless, MCSM/MCA perhaps never became as big as Microsoft hoped for? Anyway. It doesn’t matter, does it?

Microsoft has lately been making a lot of rather strange decisions. A lot of IT Pros (including myself) are wondering what they (Microsoft) are trying to achieve. First, they decided to kill TechNet subscriptions, now the MCSM/MCA program. The question is what will be next…? They are, for sure, making it very difficult to keep on advocating for them…

I cherish no hope that Microsoft will reverse their decision, but I would like to have a more decent explanation as to why they made this decision and what they are up to next. This is the very least they can do for all those who have invested a lot of money and time to go through the program…

Until later,

– a very disappointed – Michael

Comments

  1. Am with you on this & looking forward to hear them(MS) too.

  2. rabbit994 says:

    I think it’s pretty clear why. Microsoft doesn’t want any more customers running on premises Exchange/Sharepoint/Lync. This is another way to slowly deplete knowledge of their products so they can push more Office365 because there won’t be fresh blood to run those products on premises.

    Microsoft is no longer a software company, they are a services and devices company: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-device-and-services-2013-8

  3. This was worse then a punch in the gut! I had just bought on ebay a server with 128gb ram and two quad core procs to get ready for the MCSM on 2013… I just feel sick…

Trackbacks

  1. […] this one Microsoft Certified Systems Master certification now dead by Paul Robichaux, this one Microsoft is retiring the MCSM/MCA Program by Michael Van Horenbeeck, this one Ain’t Nobody [at Microsoft Learning] Got Time For That by […]

  2. […] AM #2 And then this happens: Microsoft is retiring the MCSM/MCA Program… 1368747407671.cached.jpg Quote […]

  3. […] Microsoft is retiring the MCSM/MCA Program (Michael van Horenbeeck) […]

  4. […] One last thing – another blogger has shared his displeasure on this post, and made sense to me http://michaelvh.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/microsoft-is-retiring-the-mcsmmca-program/ […]

  5. SQL Server says:

    Microsoft Certified Master program killed

    The Certified Master and Architect community was collectively notified Friday, August 30, at 10PM PST

  6. Microsoft Certified Master & Architect (MCM & MCA) – Das Ende der Advanced Certification. – Und ein geplanter Neubeginn?

    ( For English via google click here – I am sorry, it's week-end, this time no translation by me)

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