New Dates for Vista Professional-Series (MCITP) Exams

Hi. New dates, below. For the background and info on the related beta exams, read the update to my last poast. I hope you guys know that we REALLY are not psyched about re-doing the betas… but we REALLY do want to produce good exams… so it has to be done. Thanks for your help and thanks for understanding!

  • 70-621: May 15 (beta in late March)
  • 70-622; May 16 (beta in mid-March)
  • 70-623: May 17 (beta in late March)

  • We’ll get this updated on as soon as we can. I’ll also stop typing in red font as soon as I can.

    Comments (109)

    1. gomcse2002 says:

      Hi Trika

      Thanks for your up-to-date info regarding the new beta test date for 71-621 and 71-622.

      Will the beta testers get anything like a free MS exam voucher to compensate for their extra time & effort to re-do the same exam (2 times for each exam)

    2. beta Exam guy... says:

      If I already take the old 71-621 and 71-622 exam, am I required to re-do the new beta in order to get a pass on these two exams?

    3. says:

      Hey, there. You’re welcome for the info–was trying to get it together as soon as possible. No, no voucher–the beta exams are a beta just as with any product release. We need and appreciate the community involvement, but it is a voluntary effort, with no gaurantee that it’s going to go seamlessly! That’s why they are free, because we know there is a risk involved for those of you taking it. The other option is to wait and pay to take the live exam, so you know what you’re getting, but then you’re not one of the first… and then it’s not free!

    4. Andy says:

      Retaking an exam that you may have already passed (read: changing the rules midway through a game) is ridiculous.

      Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me!

    5. gomcse2002 says:

      To some extent, I agree is Andy. It is not fair to the beta testers to re-take the same exam for 71-621 and 71-622. Not too sure it is possible to do something like this. If the people who have passed the 1st beta exams of 71-621 and 71-622, honor their passes and for those failed, let them to have the second chance to do the new (2nd version) of the 71-621 and 71-622 (based on they got their score report and know which area they have to brush up)

    6. xenocide says:

      I don’t think I’m going to retake the exams again.

      This new requirements from Microsoft shows a lack of professionalism from them …I’m trying to believe that we are not some laboratory rat for Microsoft ….

    7. Toby says:

      In your web presentation on the upgrade from MCDST to Vista you presented a slide that said the e-Learning course to go with exam 70-621 would be 5106.

      a) Is e-learning course 5106 still coming ?

      b) When ?

      c) Will it be released within a sensible timeframe when compared to the discount period for exam 70-621 ?

      As there is no specific self-paced learning material for exam 70-621 are there any books that you think would be genuinely helpful for revision ?

    8. Kyrikaze says:

      What a mess!

      So, if we take a beta exam and fail we fail. But we a lot of people take this beta exam and pass, they cancel it! And they want s to re-take it ?

      So, is not  contract, for me, there is only 2 possibilities, I pass or I fail!! Cancelling this exam is not an option!!

    9. Phil says:

      Was the reason for adding/removing/revising exam content because too many people passed, failed, or just through your own internal reviews of the exams?

    10. Luke Potter says:

      I spent most of the Christmas 2006 period studying hard for the 70-621 upgrade. I aggravated a lot of family and friends by not seeing them because I was so determined to take / pass this beta exam. Weeks later I now find out that all the effort I put in was for nothing…. A lot of us went out of our way to take these beta exams and now MS isn’t going to give us anything back. I’m personally less than impressed by the whole way this situation has been dealt with.

    11. Glenn Jenkins says:

      Why not make the re-take optional. If you opt not to re-take it, your first result stands valid.

      We took this exam not only to get the cert, but to help MS in developing a new exam. So some gratitude!

    12. Phil says:

      Any idea when the direct invitations for the new exams will be sent out?

      What about exam 624, Deploying & Maintaining Vista & Client Office System.  Will this exam be updated as well?

      Personally, I have no problems with re-taking the exams in question.  But if the new exams contain a majority of the same questions as the old ones, why should those who passed the first exam be penalized by having their passing score tossed?

      Why not give those of us who passed the first exam a voucher for a free test instead of treating passing and failing scores in the same manner?

      Just my opinion.

    13. Ken W says:

      Is there anyway we can find out the scores of the beta test that we’ve taken?  I’m not looking forward to resitting the exam, if I passed – however if I failed the exam then of course I would like to resit.  

      Also can we have a "proper" reason why we have to re-take the exams?  The reason of "wanting to produce good exams" isn’t a proper reason, considering that I’m going to have to take more time off work again.

    14. Vincent says:

      Hi Trika

      It is possible to let all the beta testers know what is our scores for the 71-621 and 71-622 first and then proced from tehre.

      To be frank, the proposal to ask US to re-take the beta exams again is not wise move at all. In fact, it really upset majority of the beta testers all over the world. I know someone had expressed their convern is not only from USA. I hope Microsoft should LISTEN and respect US but not treating US like white rat in the science lab.

    15. Kyrikaze says:

      It’s my second post, I’m French, and I took a day off to sit to this beta exam.

      I don’t understand why, we (beta testers)don’t have our result? I don’t care about sitting again because Microsoft want to improve the exam, but I don’t understand why we don’t have our result.

      We have done our part of the contract, after the beta exam, I have review each point, each question and make some comment to improve the test.

      And now, to thank us, Microsoft don’t want to give our score!!

      Thanks a lot.

    16. Andy says:

      Taking a Microsoft exam is a privilege, not a right.

    17. Luke Potter says:

      That maybe so but it’s our right to recieve a result.

    18. Lucifer says:

      Thanks for wasting a good few hours of my life.  You’d think Micro$haft would be happy just stealing our souls but noooooooooo, gotta waste our time too

    19. Gary Prescott says:

      I spent a vast amount of time studying for the beta exam, to a large personal cost of myself and to think it would be for nothing is incredibly defeating.

      Now I’ve started focusing my efforts towards exchange 2003 study only to find I’m going to have to re-study Vista again. Bravo Microsoft!

    20. Kyle M. Cowan says:

      I wasn’t in the Certification beta, but I do alot of Software betas, and it sounds like you guys think that volunteers should be paid for their time and effort.

      I just want to ask one thing, how many of you pay the guy who volunteers to help coach your kids sports team?  Do you pay the volunteers of your local religious organization to assist in delivering their services?  

      You will noticed that it is quite standard that volunteering, is to give your time and effort without expecting something back in return.

      I think you guys are all lucky to be in the certification beta because it gives you the chance before everyone else to get your credentials.  Asking you to take the same exam again is just a part of a beta.  Do you know how many times the Windows Vista beta testers were asked to redo their systems?  Do you know how many of those were also asked to do this to multiple systems?  Sure you may have read that those testers got Vista Ultimate or Vista Business for free if they had submitted a non-duplicate validated bug report.  But, are you not getting your certification for free?

      Just a thought.

    21. mooncalf says:

      how can you get on these betas?

    22. Not really shot; just sorry I had bad news for those of you who took the betas. Keep the comments coming…

    23. Andy says:

      BUT, are we blowing smoke up…just like MSL has now done to us.

    24. gomcse2002 says:

      Hello Trika

      Can you let us know whether there are any solutions to resolve the mess of the Re-Take of 71-621 and 71-622 ?

      A lot of friends had posted their comments at

      Did you read them and understand how we feel ? A lot us feel angry and upset because of the UNFAIR decision from Microsoft and ignore our feelings.

      Please advise.

    25. peter says:

      What ‘s a MESS and make everythinf one unhappy. I don’t think it is a WIN-WIN Situation for the Beta testers of 71-621 & 71-622 and MSL. Not too sure whether this is the 1st time MLS to ask beta testers to re-take the revised version of the beta test (take the test 2nd time) but the decision from MLS management is not prudent and professional at all. I understand we beta tester don’t get paid but do those beta exams voluntarily. But if MLS treat us like lab-rats and we have to take time off from regular work for it. This actually mess up a lot of our studying plan for other MCP exams planning.

    26. gomcse2002 says:

      If 70-621, 622 and 623 ALL 3 exams become Live in

      May 2007, I think I cannot handle all 3 exams before June 30, 2007 because all the VUE exam codes I got from eBay are going to expire at the end of June 30, 2007.

      This is a very GOOD example to see MLS CHANGE actually can screw up my study plan to pursue the next generation of MS Certifications. (How ironic)

    27. jkoziol10 says:

      Well, that’s interesting information, as the beta exams are supposed to be invitation only, so anyone that paid for codes on EBAY should not have any complaints about the process whatsoever, since you are not playing by the rules then the rules should not apply to you..

      So often people that actually receive beta invitations directly from Microsoft get closed out of the beta process because the codes are leaked to the general public.

      I think that problem and what can be done to personalize the invitation process needs to be addressed as much as the fiasco that ensued concerning retaking 621 and 622

    28. jkoziol10 says:

      Well, that’s interesting information, as the beta exams are supposed to be invitation only, so anyone that paid for codes on EBAY should not have any complaints about the process whatsoever, since you are not playing by the rules then the rules should not apply to you..

      Buying vouchers to take the beta exams is a slightly different story, but I don’t understand why someone would pay full price to take a beta exam

      So often people that actually receive beta invitations directly from Microsoft get closed out of the beta process because the free codes are leaked to the general public.

      I think that problem and what can be done to personalize the invitation process needs to be addressed as much as the fiasco that ensued concerning retaking 621 and 622

    29. Andy says:

      That’s not what he said. He bought vouchers to use for these exams if and when they ever go live! They are not exam specific.

    30. jkoziol10 says:

      Realized that right as I hit send, but it was too late…

    31. gomcse2002 says:

      Hi jkoziol10

      Thanks for clearing the thing up and I think you totally miss my point. Please don’t jump to conclusion too quick.

    32. gomcse2002 says:

      Hi jkoziol10

      Thanks for clearing the thing up and I think you totally miss my point. Please don’t jump to conclusion too quick.

    33. Quincy says:

      Being one of the beta testers, I think we are all professional persons (at least, we all try to get professional via passing beta exams).  And I DO think if there are some really hard & tough issues that Microsoft is facing for these 2 exams, we are all understandable & mature enough to accept this disappointing decision.

      The problem now we have is “Why this decision is made?”.  To procedure good exams? I think Microsoft always procedure good exams and that’s not a reason for retaking it.  Just open a 2nd round of beta exam and can archive this goal.     Why we need to retake the exams?  Something must go wrong.  What’s that?  We don’t know.  

      It is time for MS to improve its visibility.

    34. Mathias says:

      I took nearly every beta exam in the last 1 1/2 years except for 621-623. I wanted to take those, but didn’t have the time. And now they’re repeated… That’s a really strange coincidence 🙂

      Bad for all the people who already took them, good for me! 🙂

      It’s annoying if you have to repeat an exam, but it’s a beta and it was free. That’s the risk of taking a beta exam. You may have to retake it. Questions might be wrong. The test software could crash. And you might have to wait for months to get your resoults (71-540…). If you don’t want to take this risk, wait for the final test. The good thing about the betas is that you get them for free, and if you have good results, you might even get an invitation to Redmond to help decide on the final test questions. I think I already saved over 3.000€ by taking betas instead of final exams, and so far had never any problems with taking them.

    35. Richard says:

      I think that anyone that passed the original exam should have that pass honoured.  

    36. Michael says:

      Some people have completely missed the plot here, this was a Beta exam, it cost you nothing to sit except your time, if you have to re sit it then that is what you have to do. Beta exams are test exams and sometimes tests fail, would you have been happier if Microsoft just said you all failed and done no more.

      Something must have gone drastically wrong for Microsoft to pull the exam the way they have, I am sure you will all have a chance to repeat the exam.

    37. Mike Jenkins says:

      This is horribly disappointing.

      I suppose you get what you pay for.

    38. Toby says:

      Hi Trika,

      As per my previous comment:

      Could you please comment on the e-learning for the MCDST to Vista exams. Is course 5106 sufficient or is 5103 also a requirement ?

      Has the delay to the 70-621 exam also caused a delay to the 5106 course ?

      Many thanks,


    39. says:

      Hmmm… I must be one of the few people who took the 621 beta who has absolutely no problem with this outcome.

      The incentive for participation is a reasonably generous one – in the case of 621, passing the beta would allow you to be one of the first with not one but two new certs, at absolutely no charge.

      My opinion is that if you did the beta only to get the cert, you were participating for the wrong reasons.  I was actually a little disappointed with the exam that was presented and will be very interested to see what it is like after being reworked.

      Bottom line – it is a beta, which means the exam was in testing and not ready for release.  If they were 100% sure it was ready for release, there would be no point having the beta at all… they may as well have released it at full fee from day one.

      For whatever reason, it looks like the exams "failed" their own tests.  To maintain the integrity of the certification, there’s no legitiate way to hand out certs based on the results of such an exam.  The right thing to do is throw out those results, address the issues with the exam, then re-run it.

      So – the beta process is ongoing and they are doing the right thing by giving the people who did the first beta the first preference at places for the second beta.  I can understand those who say they invested enough time on it already and won’t do the second beta – and I can understand the disappointment.  But the certification isn’t worth having if they don’t get the exam right and only start giving out certs based on a valid exam.

      The only thing they perhaps could learn from this reaction is that beta tester expectations could be set more accurately by noting somewhere that part of the process may involve an outcome such as this.

    40. Kyrikaze says:

      …so disappointed, So, for people like, Michael, or Kyle M. Cowan who don’t understand us, I’ll make an explanation. some people don’t understand why we query Micrososft to have our result!

      It’s not a problem of getting a certificate or not! For some of you, we don’t paid for this exam, so we don’t have ton ask for anything if Microsoft want to cancel it..

      When you take an exam, you make a contract, We (beta-testers) have to take an exam sitting during 4 hours, taking a day-off to sit in, studying a long times before to take one beta-exam….and next the only thing we ask is to have our result!! so for you it’s a lot ?

      Without result, how can we judge of our understanding of Vista, without our result how can we improve ourself?

      Microsoft said that: …You were specifically chosen to participate in this beta because of your current Microsoft Certification status or previous participation with Microsoft Learning; this opportunity will not be offered to the general public. If you pass the beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form…. So what is the meaning of retake an exam if I pass it ? Hown can we know if we pass it without getting our result ? How can we improve ourself without our score ?

      Think about it, and understand our motivation before posting bullshit.

    41. says:

      Hi Kyrikaze,

      In my post I did say that I DO understand the disappointment even though I do also think that you do need to accept this is part of a normal beta process.

      As I see it, the disappointment you are feeling is a result in Microsoft Learning probably not doing enough to set your expectations correctly as a beta tester (ie. that the exam is a beta and if as a result of the review process they determine that it is not up to scratch (for any reason), then the exam becomes invalid.  If that’s the case, the only right thing to do is to discard the results.  That’s the potential pitfall of taking a beta exam.

      "Without result, how can we judge of our understanding of Vista, without our result how can we improve ourself?"

      This is the core of the issue.  If the exam isn’t up to scratch, then the results will not give us a correct indication of our mastery of the topics it was intended to test.  They need to be discarded if any later results are to have any integrity.

      If you do decide to retake the beta (and I hope you do), then if anything, this whole experience should give you even more reason to have faith in the validity of those results being a true measure of your abilities.

    42. says:

      Hi, all. Sorry for the delayed comment; I needed a little time to think about my response.  

      We are really sorry that this is cause for such frustration and disappointment for those of you who already took 621 and 622—we definitely understand that you put a lot of energy and time into participating. There has been quite a lot of discussion internally on this, on how to handle it—similar to the different perspectives that are showing up in your comments on this post.  

      My perspective (and that of the planning team) is similar to Rob’s, or Kyle’s, comments: participating in a beta, including a beta exam, is a risk/return effort. From what I understand, we have an outstanding record of exam development. This happens to be a very rare example of when the beta wasn’t ready for prime time and we’ve had to re-engineer—the risk that balances with the potential return of a free exam & early adopter certification. I did look closely at our beta invitations and at the information we have posted about participating in betas (, and we don’t explicitly talk about the risk of participating, which is really poor form. I apologize for that and will make that clear for future participants.

      SOME OF YOU ASKED ABOUT WHY WE’RE REDOING THE BETAS. Here’s what I learned from the product planners: in this case, we discovered during the final item review for exams 70-621 and 70-622 that we missed some content coverage on both exams involving supporting the Office applications on Widows Vista. Rather than add the content simply because we thought it was important, we went back to the SME groups that participated in the exam development process and asked them – again. After another round of reviews, the SMEs agreed that we had indeed made a mistake in not including the Microsoft Office content… so now we’ve gone back and added Office support content to the exam objectives and we are currently writing items for the new exam.

      SOME OF YOU ASKED ABOUT GETTING CREDIT IF YOU PASSED THE FIRST EXAM. When we realized the betas would have to run again, the planning team put a lot of thought in to how we can limit the drain on you guys, but because the second beta will essentially be a different exam, the scores you would have received on your first take are on an exam that won’t be live in the market. Therefore, the scores from that first pass don’t add up to anything or map to a certification because the product wasn’t final.

      SOME OF YOU RAISED OTHER GOOD POINTS ABOUT OUR BETA PROCESS. I’ll summarize your comments, suggestions, and concerns for the planning team and let you know what I learn.

      SOMEONE ASKED ABOUT EXAM 70-624. It is on track for a February 14, 2007 release.

      SOME OF YOU POSTED SOME OTHER GOOD POINTS AND QUESTIONS. I will get to those as soon as I’m able.

      I know this isn’t good news. We know that you have the option to NOT participate in the betas, and understand that this could be a deal breaker for some of you. That’s not what we want to have happen—-we need/value community involvement in the development process—-but we do, in this case, have to go back and make sure the exam that goes out in to the market is solid, and adds up to a certification that is meaningful.


      Trika (Your Messenger, Shot, But Not Dead Yet)

    43. Tom says:

      So we have to retake the beta exam because you think there should be some Microsoft Office questions in a Windows Vista exam? Just add the questions in to the live exam or have a few more people take the beta exam with the questions added. I don’t care anyway, I doubt I will take this exam again. It wasn’t all that difficult.

    44. gomcse2002 says:

      HEy Trika


      I have re-visit the info of 70-621 Study Guide at and it never mention we need to support Office Applications, so what is the point to add more Office questions for 71-621. This is ridiculous !!

      So that means the study guide is useless and not reflecting what kind of area is going to test us on.

      To be frank, the whole thing is not FAIR to us !!!

    45. notsecret says:


      Q1.VISTA – What is that?

      A1.The "new" OS from Microsoft. Actually, a lame copy of MacOSX and various OPEN linux OS.

      Q2.When it will be used by your company?

      A2.Maybe in 4-5 years, definetly not in the next 3

      A3.When will be taking other beta exams?

      Q3.You mean Microsoft beta exams??? Never – maybe when "pigs are flying"    

      Q4.Who is Microsoft?

      A4.You mean MICROBULLSHIT, a company in which different  department don’t know what they’re doing and are stealing ideas from others. And, in which they dont have respect for they customers.

    46. gomcse2002 says:

      Also the study guide at

      NEVER mention we need to study how to support Office Applications.

      In other words, both study guides are useless and not being helpful to exam testers for both exams.

      Sigh !!

    47. Glenn Jekins says:


      A couple of us at have emailed regarding this issue. Both responses came from Javed.


      Email response I received:

      Questions from me:

      1. Will the results of THIS exam (71-621) be delayed more than normal beta exams are?

      2. Is there a possibility that people who took the beta exam 71-621 may have to retake it?

      3. Will there be a second beta for 71-621?

      Answers from mcp help:

      1. Yes

      2. No

      3. No


      Email response from another member:

      Thank you for your e-mail regarding beta 71-621.

      Please be aware that Beta exam results take up to 3 months and there is no retake of this exam. Also the exam 71-623 has been delayed and Microsoft will announce the new schedule for this exam.

      Candidates are notified by e-mail of the results of their beta exam a few days prior to the exam going live. If you have not received your score report within this timeframe please contact the testing company you tested with to have this resolved. You may contact us at after you have received our e-mail notification to confirm your exam results.

      If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know. Thank you for contacting Microsoft.


      As gomcse2002 mentioned; the official page for 70-621 does not mention support for office.

      I have not found information on this issue anywhere other than this blog. MCP Help states that there will be no second beta. The lack of update at speaks to the same…

      When will the offical word from Microsoft be released?

    48. Kyrikaze says:

      Pfff, no meaning about office question which should be missing! And what is the aim of a beta exam ?

      If they want to cancel any beta exam that they finally found inssuficient after our test as beta-tester , why don’t they think about forgetting beta exam at all.

    49. Jack says:

      >__<""  We need to know MS Office in a Vista exam… I see…BTW, is MS Office bundled in Vista?  //think

      Why do we need 70-624 "TS:Deploying & Maintaining Vista & Client Office Systm 07" then?

      To product planners of Vista exams: Before starting 2nd round of beta exams, it is better to ask SME groups about the coverage of MOSS, Exchange2007, SQL2005, VS2005, WF, WPF, WCF, WinMobile, Windows Live OneCare, Forefront, MSN messenger, memory upgrade for Vista upgrade, SUSE linux integration, differences between Vista & MacOS X, the usage of study guide etc…

      It’s easier for me to accept if the reason is "corrupted exam result database".  


      PS: Trika, to be fair, you did quite well in handling this case. Please stay alive & keep delivering our messages to planning team. If possible, please also give them some pressure.  Thank you!

      Jack (disappointed)

    50. gomcse2002 says:

      Hello Trika

      I totally agree with Jack that you handle the case in a professional manner but your "exam team" is NOT ALL. So what is the point to produce 70-624 if 70-621 and 70-622 (may be 70-623) already have Office Applications Support coverage. Anyhow, the reason to cancel the 1st round test exam results just because of Missing Office questions are not CONVINCING AT ALL.


      Gomcse2002 (very disappointed & angry)

    51. gomcse2002 says:

      Hi Trika

      I just got a reply from MCP HelpDesk (Tripti) and this time the answer is not from Javed. So I am sure the answer from MCP HelpDesk is not bias or one sided.


      Email as follows:

      We are happy for your continued interest in Microsoft.

      Candidates are notified by e-mail of the results of their beta exam a few days prior to the exam going live. If you have not received your score report within this timeframe please contact the testing company you tested with to have this resolved. You may contact us at after you have received our e-mail notification to confirm your exam results.

      If you pass both the beta exam 70-621 and 70-622 then you would not have to give the exam again.

      If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know. Thank you for contacting Microsoft.


    52. Andy says:

      Come on…You said yourself there wouldn’t be the opportunity for "early adopter certification" with Vista and now there is? What’s the real story as to why these exams are being "re-worked" and "early adopter certification".

    53. igotrivered says:

      I would like to have taken any one of the beta exams. Unfortunately I wasn’t given the chance as I have only had a cert for a little over a year. But if I had taken one then I wouldn’t mind having to retake it. You are volunteering your time to help the final development of this exam people. You should consider it somewhat of a privelage that Microsoft thinks that you know your stuff enough to invite you to take a beta. You took the test for free and all I hear are complaints. And as for the people complaining about office being added the original mcdst cert required supporting office apps as well. So it should have been expected in the first place.

    54. says:

      Glenn and G, thanks for the flag on getting conflicting info from the Regional Service Centers for MCPs. I’ve just sent an e-mail to those guys to find out what’s up.

    55. gomcse2002 says:

      Hello Trika

      Please kindly get back to us next week and let us know what ‘s up.

      I hope the score reports of 71-621 and 71-622 had not been deleted yet !!

    56. Jeff says:

      I’m floored right now.  I, like many of the 70-621 beta testers, had studied hard over the holidays, put a lot of effort into being successful in the exam, and have been eagerly awaiting my results.  When I got antsy to hear word after about five weeks, I find these blog posts.  I have no message from Microsoft regarding this topic.  I see nothing posted on Microsoft web pages either.

      This is my first beta exam, although I’ve passed about 20 IT cert exams from CompTIA, Microsoft, and Cisco thus far.  Although I’m new to beta exams (I could never seem to time my study plan with their appearance), I think I’m right in thinking this is not only highly unusual for Microsoft but also for other vendors.  In fact, I don’t recall hearing that CompTIA, Microsoft, or Cisco have asked beta testers to retake a beta exam before.  If they have, I’d like to know about it and hear what kind of response they received.  

      I also teach IT subjects and help prepare students for IT exams at a large, international company.  As a veteran and proponent of IT certification, I’m very upset at what I’m reading here.  I honestly don’t know what I’m going to say to my students now.  I can only hope that Microsoft will seriously listen to the comments posted here and elsewhere, and act appropriately.  Because if what I’m reading and concluding is true — that the scores of the beta testers will be thrown out and not shared with the testers, that the testers will have to retake the exams in order to receive recognition of their efforts, that Microsoft will in effect penalize the beta testers for their own mistake and turn the concept of beta testing upside down — I would have to put this all under the label of "Not Acceptable".  To be sure, my counsel for my students will change.

      Even though I’m going to echo other poster’s remarks, I think it’s important that our disappointment is repeated.  Perhaps the growing strength of our disaffection will sway those at Microsoft who are, for what it seems, about to make a misguided and heavy-handed decision on these particular beta exams.

      I took the beta exam because I wanted to demonstrate my knowledge of Vista, achieve the Vista certification, and be one of the people who help Microsoft to create their exams.  Once the exam was over, I believed I had succeeded in all three goals.  My understanding of the beta process was based on the email I received inviting me to take the beta and on what is printed on Microsoft’s websites about betas — that in exchange for taking a longer test and providing comments to Microsoft on the questions, thereby allowing them to adjust the exam and release it to the public, I would be able to take the exam for free.  In essence, I was being paid for my service to Microsoft by the waiver of the exam fee (this is different from volunteering).  I was told that I would not be able to re-take the beta exam.  I was told that I would receive my results.  I was told that passing the beta, even though it would be different from the actual exam, was equivalent to passing the actual exam and I would receive the appropriate certification for passing.  I was told that by participating in the beta, I was providing a valuable contribution to Microsoft which was "integral to development of exams in their released version" (MS email, 12/8/06).  I was told that by participating in the beta, I would “be able to respond to a subset of the questions in the exam set.  Microsoft performs a statistical analysis of the responses of all beta participants to the questions contained in the exam set to verify the validity of the exam questions and to determine which questions will remain for the certification exam” (“What is a beta exam?”, MS website, updated 11/17/06).

      Reasonably, everything that I read from Microsoft lead me to believe that I _would_ receive my results, that if I passed, I _would_ receive the certification, and that it was already understood that the beta exam would not reflect all of the content of the exam released to the public.  The beta process was meant to assist a vendor in evaluating an exam, who would then adjust the exam after their evaluation of the results.

      If Microsoft decides to throw out the scores of the beta exams, not relay the original results to the testers, and requires retaking the exam before certification is awarded, they are breaking all of their promises that a reasonable person would conclude have been made by Microsoft’s public documents and private communications, they are violating their own policies on beta exams, and they are changing the purpose of the beta exam process.  The beta exam process is _not_ like beta software and should _not_ be conducted in the same way.

      It is clear to me that the beta testers have fulfilled their part of the beta exam process.  They have taken the exams, they have provided feedback to Microsoft, and Microsoft has, through the beta process, identified areas which need adjustment for the actual exam.  Microsoft should fulfill their part of the bargain now.  Microsoft should release the results to the beta testers, they should award certification for those who passed, and they should personally thank us for assisting them by choosing to participate.  If Microsoft wants to run a second beta on these exams, they should offer those who took the first beta the opportunity and priority to take it again, but they should still award those who passed the first beta the certification for the exams as they clearly indicated they would.  I’m sure most of those who failed the first beta will want to take the exam again, but I’m also sure that some of the people who passed the first beta will also want to take the exam again to get a shot at improving their score and to see the additional content.

      I will be very interested in following the developments of this issue both personally and professionally.  I advise Microsoft to honor their agreements in a timely manner.  Speaking out against the information being posted on this blog is not our only option.  

    57. gomcse2002 says:

      I could not agree with the resoning from Jeff and STOP make a lot of excuses to cover up for you mistake and let all youe betat testers SUFFER !!

    58. Glenn Jenkins says:

      I agree with Jeff 100%.

      As I stated before…

      If there is a re-take, it should be optional. Those who passed the first one, and decide not to take the second one should have thier passes honored.

    59. Luke Potter says:

      Jeff, thanks for that post.

      Microsoft please be aware that many of us studied hard over the holiday period in order to be ready for this beta exam.

    60. Kyrikaze says:

      Hi, Thans for that post !!

      I, Kyrikaze, totatlly agree with you!

    61. Ray Frangie says:

      Well said Jeff.

      I totally agree with you.



    62. Chance says:

      >>I have re-visit the info of 70-621 Study Guide at and it never mention we need to support Office Applications, so what is the point to add more Office questions for 71-621. This is ridiculous !!<<

      Why is there a reason to believe that since you had to learn how to support applications in WinXP (see MS 70-272 requirements) that there would not be similar application support questions on the 71-261 beta?  I, for one, do applaud this move – although begrudgingly.  Because this is an upgrade exam, I expect it to be a bit more generalized as opposed to 70-620 and 70-622/623.  

      I, like most readers, am not happy about having to retake the exam, but I do intend to sit the retake.  I would strongly suggest that MS make it worthwhile to those sitting the second beta by not only getting it right this time, but also by rewarding those individuals with some sort of incentive that isn’t wearable (How many T-Shirts can one company pass out?!?!?) such as another exam voucher or full version of Vista/Office 2k7.  Somehow I think they won’t (imagine that, right?), but it would be the admirable thing to do for such an – in Microsoft’s words – important group of individuals providing such a valuable service.

      Just my thoughts on this!


    63. Chance says:

      Typo!!!  70-261 should read 70-621…it’s the weekend..what do you expect? 🙂

    64. says:

      I wouldn’t refuse some minor token for retaking the Beta (meh… I’ll take a t-shirt), but I certainly do not wish to receive a certification based on a flawed exam.  I personally would file that one in the trash and leave it off my resume, as it would be completely worthless.  I would similarly ignore that certification appearing on anyone else’s resume, as I would not be able to trust its validity.

    65. Quincy says:

      Just a few thoughts after reading the new comments:

      1. This beta is NOT a fair game

       – Changing rules after finishing the game… um…. it is not fair

      2. Official words should be given

       – Who should I trust?

      3. Office2K7 is not a strong reason for the retake.  

       – It is NOT part of Vista.  

       – For general application support, the 1st beta has already included that.

       – We have 70-624 exam already

      4. I want my score report.  

       – This result show how depth we understand Vista.

       – It helps us to improve ourselves.

       – MS told us we’ll have that, in the FAQ in MS Learning, in this blog,  in the LiveMeeting, at the end of exam, the printed report after the exam, etc…  

       – There is NO statement mentioned that the score report will NOT be given.

      5. Certification should be given to those score high enough

       – I don’t think Office2K7 should be included, anyway, let’s forget about the nature of the new content first.  

       – Say :

          Passing Score : 700

          New content added: 10%

          What we have scored in 1st beta: 800

          Assuming that we scored 0 for the new content, so our score in 2nd beta is:

         (800 * 90%) + (0% * 10%) = 720 which is > passing score

         – In this case, certification should be given, no doubt!

      6. I’ll be delighted if full version of Vista or Office2K7 is given

       – We need to study office2k7, right? 😛

       – XBox360 is also great! 🙂

       – Okay, just joking.  How about a MVP title? 😀

      7. Disappointed

       – Frankly speaking, I am now more disappointed than when I first heard this news

    66. Pateick says:

      Quincy, thanks for excellent post. Evcerything you said Make Sense. Only MLS or Microsoft is doing something not making any COMMON SENSE.

      All in all, very disapoointed so far for the decision from MLS.

    67. Andy says:

      It’s not that I/we have to retake the beta but that we took it so we wouldn’t have to wait for and take the another exam (the final version). So we all failed no matter how you look at it (by no fault of our own)!

    68. gomce2002 says:

      Hello Trika

      I hope you are going to give us positive response regarding the Re-Take of 71-621 and 71-622. I bet after you read through all 66 comments from various beta testers, more than 85 % of people object the idea of re-taking the exams and think the game is NOT FAIR TO US. The reasoning from your team is not ACCEPTABLE AT ALL. I sincerely hope that you can talk to your team and rectify the terrible situation ASAP before you take off to TechEd in June 2007.

      Of course, I really hope you ca put yourself into our shoes. A lot of us spent endless hours over Christmas to study for those 2 exams and gave up a lot of family quality time.

      A lot of us still waiting for the exam results of 71-621 and 71-622 anxiously (including myself)

    69. Kyrikaze says:

      Hi Trika, now, i’ll force you to read french to understand that we beta tester from any place France, USA, UK, CANADA……are surprised by this ending.

      NB: I encourage you (beta-tester) to post your message, in your native language to show your feeling about it. Please indicate your FIRSTNAME – COUNTRY – CITY- AGE.

      FARID – FRANCE – PARIS – 27

      Bonjour Trika,

      Je ne comprend vraiment pas les raisons qui aujourd’hui poussent Microsoft à agir de la sorte. Nous avons pourtant convenu d’un accord, accord écris en validant ce contrat avec le début de la session de test beta. Nous devions tester cet examen et nous l’avons tous fait, pour certains (comme moi) nous avons du prendre des journées de congés, nous avons réviser longuement, nous avons passé en revu l’ensemble des questions betas et apporté nos commentaire que ceux-ci s’imposaient. Concernant Microsoft, nous n’attendions de votre part que nos scores et les bénéfices qui pouvait en résulter. Malheureusement, vous ne semblez pas décider à honorer cet part du contrat, ce qui est fort dommageable. Microsoft, peut encore changer de point de vue à ce sujet, transmettez cette pensée s’il vous plait.


    70. gomcse2002 says:


      My comments is written in Chinese


      你好 ! 我好像大多數 71-621 / 71-622 MCP 考試測試員, 十分不理解微軟取消我們全部測試考試的

      所有結果, 這次突然的決定是十分不尊敬重微軟和考試測試員的合同協議,, 還有這次 Re-Take 帶來許多 Stress 和影響 MCP 考試進展, 我懇切期望微軟將會傾聽所有我們的評論 from Trika’s Blog 作出一個慎密決定, 讓微軟和讓考試測試員雙勝利 !!!

    71. pontfirebird73 says:

      I have MCSA MCDST certs and I don’t ever recall in depth Office applications on the tests or the study guides. Isn’t that why there is an MOS cert? Even using Vista beta it certainly didn’t come with Office2007. 71-621 was the first beta test I ever took and may be the last if I don’t get some good explanations as to why I took a test for nothing.

    72. gomcse2002 says:

      He Trika

      Don’t hide from US and all of US are still waiting for your response and by CHANGING SUBJECT WILL NEVER LET US FORGET WHAT YOU GUYS DID TO US.

      So please get back to US ASAP.

    73. says:

      Hi. It’s me, Trika. Not hiding. Just quiet if I don’t have anything additional or constructive to add. I’m reading every post. I hear you. And I’m passing it on.

    74. Toby says:

      Hi Trika,

      Could you please provide some information on e-learning course 5106 ?



    75. Richard says:

      I noticed on the Microsoft preparation website that: "Exam 70-621 will be available in a beta release from March 29, 2007 through April 12, 2007".

      When can we expect the invitations for these beta exam?

      What is different compared to the "old" beta-exam?

    76. Richard says:

      In addition to my previous entry (sorry I hit the submit button to quickly).

      I don’t see "office" mentioned in the preparation guide. That’s the reason that I am asking what is changed?

    77. Richard says:

      In addition to my previous entry (sorry I hit the submit button to quickly).

      I don’t see "office" mentioned in the preparation guide. That’s the reason that I am asking what is changed?

    78. Glenn Jenkins says:


        When you fail an exam; you get a score report. We use these to see where our weak areas are. Since it seems MS has made up there mind on this; can we atleast get our score reports?

      That’s the least MS can do to show appreciation.

      Please answer this post directly.

    79. Toby says:

      Hi Trika,

      Could you please provide some information on e-learning course 5106 ?



    80. hartplaza says:

      Hi Trika,

      A question about exam 70-620 and the beta for 70-621. If I do the beta for 70-621 (which I intend to do, once i get invited), do I (after passing the 70-621) still have to do the exam 70-620, which is allready available?

      What is the extra value doing the 70-620 first, and then the 70-621?

      With other words, I don’t understand a thing about the exam numbers for MS Vista. Which exams should I do? I am MCSA 2003 And MCDST

    81. Alberto says:

      Hi Trika,

      Do you know what is the official name of the certification I get when I pass the 70-624 exam?..

      Transcript: MCTS-Business Desktop Deployment with the BDD

      70-624 Preparation Guide: MCTS-Deploying and Maintaining Vista Client and Office System 2007 Desktops.



    82. Michele says:

      I agree 100% with the posting from Jeff.  

      I just found out today about the beta retest.  What is most frustrating for me is I had to take a full day off from work just to go take this test, yep burn one of my vacations days.  But I knew in taking this I would be accomplishing a certification and that was ok with me, but now it was a total wasted day.  I may not be able to get another day to take it again.  And to further the frustration to help me prepare for this I purchased the online training from Microsoft, if I cannot take this again is MS going to refund the money I spent to train and prepare for what was to get me a certification.  I certainly hope that MS rethinks their decision as it is a very poor one.  Michele

    83. says:

      If you are an MCDST, you can take 621 and earn both MCTS: Vista and MCITP: Enterprise Support (if you did not have your MCDST you would have to take 620 and 622). The only reason you, as DST, would want to take 620 is if you ALSO want to earn MCITP: Consumer Support; there is no upgrade path to that (it requires 620 and 623 if you are MCDST or not). Did you already watch the Vista cert LM? I think the paths are well explained.

    84. harplaza says:


      Thanks for the response. I am starting to get the picture. Only one question left. How about the 70-624. How does this exam fit in the whole picture? Or is this exam completly on it’s own?

    85. Phil says:

      When will the invites for the new beta exams be sent out?  It’s getting close to the new exam dates and I’d like to have a few weeks of time to prepare.

    86. Andy says:

      70-621: May 15 (beta in late March)

      70-622: May 16 (beta in mid-March)

      70-623: May 17 (beta in late March)

    87. Luke Potter says:


      We still don’t have any answers to points raised earlier in this blog.

    88. hartplaza says:

      You know the dates are getting closer, so start preparing. Either for the beta exam, or the "real" exam. You don’t have to wait preparing till you receive the invitation. It wont heart you to start preparing ahead.

    89. hartplaza says:

      sorry, I missed addressing mine statement to Luke Potter and specially Phil, asking when to receive the invitation, so they can start preparing.

    90. Glenn Jenkins says:


        It’s been over a week since my last post. You have replied since then, but not to my question.

      How’s it coming with an answer on that?

    91. says:

      Here are the dates we are shooting for (READ: these are not guaranteed dates) for the betas for 621, 622, and 623. The invites should be sent out approximately one week before as shown below. We will be sending an e-mail to ALL affected customers with more information this week. I’ll update the blog as soon as that e-mail gets out the door.

      Exam 621

      Beta Invite: March 22

      Beta Start: March 29

      Live Date: May 17

      Exam 622

      Beta Invite: March 9

      Beta Start: March 16

      Live Date: May 10

      Exam 623

      Beta Invite: March 15

      Beta Start: March 22

      Live Date: May 16

      Hi, Glenn. I would like to answer every post directly, and I’m doing so where I’m able to provide information of (hopefully) some value. When I have something constructive to add on this topic, or an answer to your question that I can back up, I’ll respond to the whole group right away. Thank you.

    92. Guy says:

      Are Microsoft intending to contact beta testers of 71-62x to inform them of the situation?

      I took the exam in December 2006 – as I hadn’t received any communication since then, I had to trawl the internet to find the answer to my question.

      I’m fairly annoyed with the outcome, but even more disappointed that there has been no effort to let the beta testers know what’s going on. It gives the impression that Microsoft Learning doesn’t really care about its testers.

    93. Guy says:

      OK… that answered my question

    94. OK, so I finally have something new to add to the ongoing discussion about the Vista beta retakes . First

    95. ... says:

      mmm.. nice design, I must say..

    96. ... says:

      Du musst ein Fachmann sein – wirklich guter Aufstellungsort, den du hast!

    97. Vincent says:

      Translates from German back to English —> You must be a specialist – really good place of assembly, which you have!

    98. gomcse2002 says:

      Hi Trika

      Will we be getting Exam 623 Beta Invite Email from MLS on March 15 ?

    99. ... says:

      luogo grande:) nessun osservazioni!

    100. ... says:

      Chi ha fatto questo? E un buon posto per trovare le informazioni importanti!:)

    101. says:

      I hope all re-takers, at this point, have been able to successfully get a seat in the 621 or 623. Tomorrow afternoon will be 72 hours (from the point the registrations actually started working, not from the point we sent them out…) and we will open up the registration more broadly.

      If you TOOK THE FIRST ONE (621 or 623), and tried to register via the instructions (i.e. CALL the test center and talk to a supervisor for 621) and were not able to register; please send me a mail directly and I will help escalate.

    102. ... says:

      Ich erklare meinen Freunden uber diese Seite. Interessieren!

    103. ... says:

      Stupore! Amo questo luogo!:)))))))

    104. mike says:

      just curious, since the beta was such a disaster, if one follows the 20+ pages of comments here, will Microsoft publish the questions to be used as a partial review test for the endusers planning to take the live test.  Granted it may not have the Office content, but as long as one can see the logic that is being applied and the answers are correct, then it would at least make good practice material.

    105. Jeff says:

      [Update to my Feb 10th post.]

      I want to take this opportunity to thank Trika and the rest of the Microsoft Learning team for their attention to the issue of the Vista beta exams.  Although I was willing to write this off after deciding not to take the 621 beta exam again, Trika and her team have clearly shown they did care about the issue and were willing to work it out until it was resolved.  I find that very encouraging.

      I had taken advantage of the free voucher offered to those who took the first 621 beta to sign up for a different exam (which I haven’t taken yet).  And not long ago, when I rescheduled the other exam with Prometric, I noticed that the annoying "Tested" designation next to the 621 exam I took in December had changed to "Passed".  I honestly stared at it for about a minute.  I didn’t think that would ever change.  Then I went to check my MCP transcript and, sure enough, two new certifications appeared as promised.  I ordered my Welcome Kits and went back to this blog to catch up.

      And again, what I found was very encouraging.  Although I had essentially given up on the issue, Trika and Microsoft Learning had not.  I saw many posts in this blog which not only communicated well the status of the beta to those who were still following along, but what I read also demonstrated customer commitment and care.  You listened to us (most, if not all, of our suggestions for resolution were implemented), you empathized with us (Trika gets hefty karma points for weathering the storm in a compassionate way), you kept us in the loop (the many updates were great and showed how important this was to the team), and you (ultimately) fixed the problem.  Now I have a different opinion about MS beta exams.  I might even take one again in the future. 😉  But I will assuredly let those who commiserated with me at my first post know that the story didn’t end there.

      Good job and thanks much!


    106. says:

      Jeff, Thank you for taking the time to come back and for the encouraging words. I didn’t do much. But lots of people (Liberty, Jennifer, Holly, others at MSL and at the exam partners) made time in their crazy schedules to keep slowly and surely plugging on this dumb thing. We all hate that it was such a bad situation for you guys. I’ll pass on your note to the people who did the good things. In the meantime, you made my day. Thanks.