The release of Windows 7 has been a big story in retail and business news, and it’s becoming a big story in IT certification news, too. The Operating System exam is a huge component for most Microsoft certifications, and with Windows 7 users no longer have to take exams with the word “Vista” in the title. According to Microsoft “Windows 7 is the new Microsoft operating system designed to enhance your organization’s desktop environment.” To certify your abilities on this technology, Microsoft has launched a full complement of Windows 7 exams and certifications. Let’s take our first look.
Windows 7 Specialist Series Exams
The first Specialist Series exam released for Windows 7 is Exam 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring. By passing this exam, a candidate will earn the MCTS Windows 7 Configuration certification. According to the exam’s details, this exam is for people who “operate in computing environments that use Microsoft Windows 7 as a desktop operating system in an enterprise environment.” In addition to the Specialist Series certification you can earn with this exam, it’s a core component of more advanced certifications including MCITP: Enterprise Administrator and two newly announced certifications, MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7 and MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7 (see below for more about them). Keep reading after the jump for a short breakdown of the topics areas you’ll need to know for this exam:
- Installing, Upgrading, and Migrating to Windows 7 (14 percent)
- Deploying Windows 7 (13 percent)
- Configuring Hardware and Applications (14 percent)
- Configuring Network Connectivity (14 percent)
- Configuring Access to Resources (13 percent)
- Configuring Mobile Computing (10 percent)
- Monitoring and Maintaining Systems that Run Windows 7 (11 percent)
- Configuring Backup and Recovery Options (11 percent)
Two additional Specialist Series exams have been announced. Exam 70-681: TS: Windows 7, Deploying is expected to come out before the end of the year. Word on the street is that exam 70-681 will be the successor to exam 70-624: TS: Deploying and Maintaining Windows Vista Client and 2007 Microsoft Office System Desktop. The other Specialist Series exam is Exam 70-683: TS: Windows 7, Pre-installing for OEMs. This was just released a few days ago. This exam tests your abilities related to specialized Windows 7 images for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers. Think Dell). When you pass this exam, you become certified as a MCTS: Windows 7, Pre-Installing for OEMs. This may be a useful credential to have as Windows 7 grows as an integrated OS with new desktop, laptops and netbooks. Check out some of the buzz about Windows 7 and Google Chrome here.
Windows 7 Professional Series
Microsoft also has plans for MCITP Professional Series certifications for Windows 7. One of these certifications is the MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician. This has been generating a lot of debate over the past few months and the final requirements are still up in the air (including requirements for an upgrade option that involves Exam 70-682: Windows 7, Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician).
Here’s the most recent party line about this credential:
MSL will be offering a MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician certification. The requirements are not yet finalized. We expect to have final requirements shortly. Candidates wishing to pursue this certification can safely proceed to prepare for 680: Win 7, Configuring and 685: Win 7, EDST. Additional requirements will be announced by the end of December 2009. Upgrade requirements have not been determined yet and will be announced at the same time.
You can check out the whole conversation here.
Microsoft does list some of the certification requirements:
- Exam 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring
- Exam 70-685: PRO: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
We’ve shown you what’s required for 70-680. Here’s what you’ll need to know to pass exam 70-685:
- Identifying Cause of and Resolving Desktop Application Issues (20 percent)
- Identifying Cause of and Resolving Networking Issues (23 percent)
- Managing and Maintaining Systems That Run Windows 7 Client (21 percent)
- Supporting Mobile Users (18 percent)
- Identifying Cause of and Resolving Security Issues (18 percent)
MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator
An additional Windows 7 Professional series certification is MCITP: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator. To get this certification, you’ll need to pass two exams:
- Exam 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring
- Exam 70-686: PRO: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator
This is what you’ll be tested on in order to pass your 70-686 exam:
- Planning and Managing a Client Life Cycle Strategy
- Designing a Standard Image
- Designing Client Configurations
- Designing a Windows 7 Client Deployment
- Designing Application Packages for Deployment
- Identifying and Resolving Deployment and Client Configuration Issues
The demand for Windows 7 certifications has been great, especially since the product’s official release. Many people who were disappointed by Windows Vista are excited to finally add newer OS credentials to their resume. PrepLogic has begun to introduce Windows 7 products to their individual selection as well as to our Unlimited Access training package. Be sure to stay tuned in the upcoming weeks as new products are released.