See this blog post: Are Microsoft Losing Friends and Alienating IT Pros? by Steve Goodman, or this one Retiring the Microsoft Master certifications and training by Neil Johnson (who 1st broke the news I think), 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 Devin Ganger, this one by Once an MCM always an MCM by Jeff Guillet, this one Microsoft Advanced Certification (MCA, MCSM, MCM) – the end of an era by Wictor Wilén, and the many others out there starting today.
All of these bloggers are Exchange MVPs, MCA\MCMs, or MCA\MCMs in another area and are posing about Microsoft sending out an e-mail to the MCA list last night around 11PM EST announcing that they stopping the certified master\architect program on 10/1/2013. They basically canceled the program with not notice on a Friday night at 11PM on a long weekend. I’m guess they were hoping not to get much attention by doing it this way. Well they were sorely mistaken, as you can see from the multiple blog post above.
I have been an Exchange MVP now for seven years, my first year I was an MVP over MIIS (Anyone recall that product, which became to ILM, and then FIM?). We have seen the writing on the wall for awhile and Microsoft even told us that they are pushing hard to get organizations into the cloud 5+ years ago. Well this is another step in that process. Basically they are killing off the program that they use to train the top external and internal (about 50% were Microsoft employees) experts on Exchange, SharePoint, Directory Services (AD), and SQL. By doing this they are removing a key skill set from the community for current and future releases of these products.
I had hoped to become an MCA on Exchange, but the training is 2 weeks (used to be 3) and cost $18,000 (used to be $25K). So I wanted to make sure I was 100% ready before committing to this, there is a 70% fail rate. Besides the high cost there is also the cost of being out of work for really weeks (have to study HARD be ready and to past the final exam\lab test), flights, and hotel. So in reality this was a $30K+ commitment to make, so this is why I never got mine and I guess never will.
Last month they announced the dropping of TechNet subscription, which has been THE key source of Microsoft software for IT Pros to run in their labs. I always get my Microsoft software from here, I still will have access to the software (at least for now) via an MSDN subscription as part of being an MVP.
We, the MVPs, fear that the next step will be the cancellation of the MVP program. After all, why do you need independent external experts if Microsoft is only focus on the cloud and getting people migrated to the cloud (Office 365).
We’re pissed and it’s a bad time to be a Microsoft IT Pro. Guess I’ll start looking to get back into Product Management or take an IT directory\CIO position. It will be a sad day when I have to take one of these jobs, I’ve been working for myself for the last 3+ years straight [almost 100% remotely] and on & off for the last 15 has been great. But I foresee me getting my frequent flier status back and wasting a lot of time traveling and being away from my family and the great state of CO.