Windows Server 2008 certification paths

If you want to know what is coming for WS2008 certification, watch this Live Meeting recording:

  • This is early info and can change - exams are built on the technology... and until WS2008 locks, our exam content is subject to change

  • WS2008 certs were developed in new generation model of cert--with careful attention to current Server-related job roles, shorter, more specific exam paths

  • There are three MCTS certs, 1 exam each: Active Directory, Infrastructure, and Application Platform (virtualization, etc)

  • There are two MCITP certs: Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator--these are stand alone certs, each... and will be highest level certifications on WS2008

  • There is a transition path from MCSA and MCSE 2003 to the Windows Server 2008 certifications--that will be available in September-ish. No upgrade/transition from WS2000.

  • There is no MCSA or MCSE on Windows Server 2008; but your MCSA and MCSE on Windows Server 2000 or 2003 are not retiring, expiring, or in any way de-prioritized. Keep working on them--they aren't going anywhere

  • Exam release timeline is tied to Windows Server 2008 Release to Manufacturing (RTM)... the MCTS exams will be available one month after RTM and the MCITP exams will be available two months after RTM. So, keep an eye out for the RTM date MIcrosoft announces for WS2008 and then you'll know when to expect the exams to be available at your local test center

  • The afternoon session was good, too, primarily because we decided to talk about "Winders" Server instead of Windows... so much more approachable, don't you think? Thanks for attending. We hope both meetings were helpful.


Winders Server 2008 Q&A

These Q&A won't make sense unless you watch the recording first, FYI. I promised I would post this but want to re-up my disclaimer... this is ROUGH Q&A from our sessions to day; it has not been copyedited or proofed. Hopefully this will be a helfpul place to start in advance of official Q&A/info being posted on I'll see if I can fill in the blanks on the bits where we have holes.

Will old generation MCSA and MCSE's on 2000 or 2003 expire? No. Absolutely not. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! Not retiring or expiring. No.

Should I work on 2003 or 2008? Totally depends on what technology you use/are going to be using. If your organization (or where you want to work) is using 2003, then start that track! People will be looking for these skills for a long time to come; just because 2008 is new, it is not right for everyone.

Are these certifications replacing the MCSA and MCSE credentials? Not replacing –but yes, they are the certifications for WS2008—there is no change to 2000 or 2003 MCSA / MCSE tracks or certs.

I just received my MCSA on Windows Server 2003, should I continue to go for the MCSE on Windows Server 2003? Yes, if you are working with 2003 then that is a good goal. We would only suggest stopping your current 2000 or 2003 track and waiting for 2008 is if you know you will be an early (or immediate) adopter of 2008 and do not have a need to show skills on 2003 or 2000.

I am an MCSE. Should I take both upgrade exams? No. Just the one for MCSE, 70-649. You won’t get anything additional by taking the MCSA upgrade exam, also.

What is the difference between the new pro-series certs, Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator? Is there overlap? EA does not encompass SA. In the past, MCSA was a subset of MCSE—but based on feedback we received they have two different focus areas: EA is focused on design and SA is focused on operations. If you earn the EA, you do NOT automatically earn your SA. You need to complete the requirements for both, if you want to earn both.

What will the cost be for the new exams? Same as current price; $125 is cost in US.

Will there be any Cougar (small business server) Specific training/Exams? The current release schedule has this product releasing roughly 6 months after WS 2008. We will have a TS cert on this product and a new job role cert as well. Look for these in July/Aug of 2008.

Will there be an early adopter "credential" for the IT Pro credentials as there was with the 2003 MCSE? Yes, first 500 customers who achieve their upgrade (70648 and 70-649) will get a charter certification.

I take it that a person can be both a server administrator and an enterprise administrator, assuming all the necessary exams are passed? Yes. If both of those job roles are relevant to you.

Will all recertifications be exam based, or are there plans for some type of continuing education that can be applied to re-cert? Easier for other orgs to do it because they don't have the volume that we do. We’re checking on options but for now our plans for now are just to use exams.

Why can't a 2003 MCSA take 649 instead of 648 & 643 separately? recognizing MCSE certified... upgrade exams are only applicable to the target audience (MCSA = 648; MCSE = 649...) MCSA will have a harder time with the upgrade exam because there are already a lot of new skills being tested as is.

Are there simulations on the upgrade exams? No.

Will the upgrade voucher be valid either for SA upgrade or SE upgrade? Good on either rexam

How much longer are you going to be offering the 2000 exams?

Are the amount of questions going to be the same on the upgrade exams? No, there are more... but not tremendously more than the direct path. Will be a different experience then very difficult paths we’ve had in the past.

Will MCSA 648 easier to pass than the MCSE 649? Not necessarily easier, no. Broader amount is covered in 649 – but for an MCSE the upgrade should be about as “easy” as for an MCSA to take 648.

As I think Server Administrator is like MCSA and Enterprise Administrator is like MCSE? Is it so? Not entirely, no. Many people will look at it that way but we actually started over with the job roles and the objective domains (what the exams cover) is a different set of skills—in some cases a stronger set of skills—in the new MCITP than were in MCSA and MCSE. Server Adminstrator covers much more operations than did MCSA. Enterprise Admin is based on an actual job role profile where the MCSE certification was not - it combined tech skills with some job skills included.

if i am mcsa only now i can take 40% discount in upgrade mcse to win server 2008 if i am be mcse in future? Answered: There is an upgrade for MCSA, too. You can register for the 40% voucher and use it for your MCSA upgrade OR... if you earn your MCSE by then you can use it on the MCSE upgrade.

I'm almost an MCSA 😉 should I go for exam 70-648, or aim forr the MCSE and go for 70-649? We’d say go for MCSE if you are using 2003! If you are just sitting there, twiddling your thumbs waiting for 2008 ( J ) then sit tight and work on 2008 when they are available.

70-620 is currently available? and if taken now it would count towards the mctip ent. admin when the other exams become available? Yes. 620 (and 621, for MCDSTs), and 624 are all available now. If you plan to earn the MCITP: Enterprise Adminstrator exam you could start with one of those now.

Is 70-647 a superset of 646? Will taking 647 earn Server Admin automatically? No. separate tracks.

How are the Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator different? Is there a reason they don’t overlap? SA is operations focused; EA is design. There is overlap in the technology knowledge and some of the professional level skills – but we recognize these are two very separate roles in organizations and wanted to give you the option to certify on what you do. .the job roles and requirments are different so earning the EA does not give you the SA.

I have seen the Infrastructure Services TS referred to as Newtorking Infrastructure Services. Which is the "official" title? Answered: Networking Infrastructure

The Certification MCSE is not valid for Windows Server 2008. Answered: Yes--still the premier cert for 2000 and 2003

I'm MCSE and MCDST certified, doing my MCDST to MCITP: Enterprise Support upgrade exam in 2 weeks. Will I still have to to the 70-620 vista exam? Answered: if you pass 621... you cover your 620 requirement, yes!

what about logo usage? can we still use our MCSE logo. I ask because you mentioned the legal issues you are having.. I know they wont be retired, just wondering about logo usage. Yes. you can keep using your logo….

is tis mean that i don't need to take MCSE security and go direct to upgrade? Answered: depends on what technology you are working on... if you work on 2003 security --FINISH that cert!! if you are going to be an early adopter of 2008... you can wait and start 2008 (but it is a long way off so keep going on 2003, is my persnal opinion...)

Do I have to take EA and SA? Or is one better than another? Answered: depends what job role you are working on/looking for. they both cover differnet skills... so one is likely enough unless you cover a lot of different areas!

What kind of certs will be available for System Center such as SCCM and SCOM? We will release TS certs on both technologies as well as a new job role cert. Look for these in Oct/Nov 2007.

For IT pros in Quebec, did you come up with a replacement for "engineer" for MCSE 2000/2003 certified people ? What phrasing do you suggest they use on their resume for 2000/2003 ? Answered: Legally, we are only allowed to let you guys use the acronym - MCSE - it can't be spelled out.

why no upgrade parth for Windows 2000 MCSE ?? Answered: Many reasons: The technology jump from 2000 to 2008 is too great; we are now covering the job-role skills, too, and found that trying to put it all in an upgrade path makes the exams almost impossible for people to pass; if we tried to cram it all in, the upgrade exams would be way too long/too difficult OR we'd have to have so many upgrade exams that it wouldnt be a shorter path than the direct path

Do the SA/SE upgrade vouchers expire (before the exams do)? Answered: The vouchers will likely be good for about 6 months after the upgrade exams go live (you'll have 6 montsh or so to use them). The upgrade exams themselves are usually avaiolalbe for 3-5 years.... so yes, the vouchers will expire before the exams do!

is there beta certification avaialable for 2008, if yes, by clearing the beta exam, do we have to take the certification exam again? Answered: There will be beta exams for all the 2008 exams. You can learn about them here: If you pass the beta, you earn the certification--just as if you had taken the final (live) exam.

as an MCSE 2k3, is it logical to start with Vista cert. now and do the rest when they come out ? Answered: Yes. That is a good plan. 620 and 624 are both avaialbel now; so you can check that off your list. Then, the 649 will be available earlier than the rest of the track; so when your Pro-level exam is live you'll have just the one to go.

Scenario:I'm mcsa 2k and upgrade to mcsa2k3 what steps from there to obtain mcse2k3? and then upgrade to mcitp enterprise admin. Answered: From MCSA2k3 you would take 70-296 to earn your MCSE2k3. Then, follow the path Rob explained from there, with upgrade exam 70-649 (not available for months and months yet) to WS2008. ALTERNATIVELY, you can stay where you are and take the MCSA2k3 upgrade exam 70-648 to WS2008... either way is the same # of exams, I believe. 296 is a tough one--so if you are NOT working with 2k3 you might wait and focus on 2008. But if 2003 will continue to be your foucs--finsih your MCSE2003. These are strong certs; they aren't going anywhere; and will have great recognition for years to come.

When will content areas for the various tests be available? Probably not for months yet; Server 2008 won't release for anohter 4+ months so we won't have full details on exam content until months from now. Keep an eye on the MCP newsletter for more info.

Are there changes in the way MCT's are credentialed to deliver the new classes? nswered: MCTs must hold the applicable MCITP/MCPD (professional series) cert to teach related classes... UNLESS there is no professional-series cert; in that case, the MCTS is the requirement.

Genearl comments about too many cert names on logos and transcripts: Well, that would be a monster. Our intent was not that you need to show all your credentials, all the time, and most customres don't get certified on everything so hopefully this won't be a very common concern! -we wanted to make it customizable so you could highlight the skills you need to show in a given situation. Also, if you earn the pro-series cert, the MCTS is covered within that... If you need to show everything -- sharing your transcript would be the way to go. For logos, you can create different logos for differnet situations--but you're right, you can't fit 10 certification names in one logo...

what about isa server it is deleted or what because in server 2008 don't talk about it? We will have a separate MCTS on ISA... more info on that soon. Also a separate MCTS on Forefront

how does one qualify for beta exams?

Will there be any specific design exams? The design skills are tested in the Enterprise Administrator Pro exam.

what was the thought behind not having a client exam in the SA track? We wanted to keep the Operations-oriented job role (Server Admin) short so we are recommending the client exam but not requiring it.  With Enterprise Admin, we are requiring it.

I notice that the titles for the PRO: Server Administrator and Enterprise Administrator don't include "Windows Server 2008." Are these titles still versioned like the MCSA/MCSE were? No – they are intended to be connected to a job role rather than a particular technology and that is why they do not reference a specific technology.

How is the ITP: Enterprise Admin an upgrade to MCSE? By retaining the Admin name in the title, it seems more MCSA-like. Is there a planned certification level between the base ITP certs and MCA - or higher-level ITP certs? the ITP:EA appears be design focused, but the title is admin? The primary reason we are not using the word "engingeer" is that it has long been problematic; Microsoft has been repeatedly sued over use of this title in different countries, and the word continues to cause difficulties.

Will there be training kits for all the exams? We're currently working on Training Kits for all the WS2008 TS and Pro exams, but not the two upgrade exams. We’ll most probably come out with separate books for these two exams after the other WS2008 books are published early next year. In short, the reason for waiting until then is that the upgrade exams are subject to change since they’ll be available before Windows Server 2008 ships. It’s not so easy to upgrade a book once it’s published (without publishing a new edition), so we wanted to wait until these exams were a bit more stable.

Comments (44)

  1. dave says:

    as i can’t download this (the other technet stuff I can) it will be a few days before i can watch this … but picking up from the FAQ points

    SA operations & EA  design sounds pretty much the MCSA/MCSE difference as I’ve always described them – that’s cool, if you arrived at the same distinction by a separate analysis then I guess it means the distinction is significant.

    While you’ve seperated EA from SA I suspect that a developing admin will take the traditional SA as they develop before EA. Going forward, I wonder if an EA without operational skills is really useful … if the assessment of skills & knowledge really is divorced (I don’t think it can be so it’s probably a moot point)

    So there’s no client in the SA or EA? I suspect that’s going to be a flaw. In those roles it is still extremely important to understand the client. I actually found the client course/exam tied many things together – and was actually quite tough.

    And … of course – expiring the ITP’s is silly (sorry – can’t leave that alone)

    And the most important query – how’s stranger in a strange land going for ya?

  2. Jennifer with KaplanIT says:

    Thanks for the informative call yesterday!  As always your the best at keeping us informed.

    And thanks for the shout out.  My coworkers are calling me a rock star like Cher, but in the geek world ;-).


  3. Jennifer with KaplanIT says:

    Thanks for the informative call yesterday!  As always you’re the best at keeping us informed.

    And thanks for the shout out.  My coworkers are calling me a rock star like Cher, but in the geek world ;-).


  4. Jennifer with KaplanIT says:

    AAK – I tried to fix my typo and posted twice.

    Sorry folks – I know there is nothing worse than a double poster or better yet a double poster who posts a third post to apologize for the double post.


  5. R says:


    There is a client requirement for EA.  You need to take either 70-620 or 70-624.

  6. Lukas Beeler says:

    I’m not quite understanding why the EA has a client exam, and the SA does not.

    Could someone enlighten me?

  7. Bob G. says:

    Where should a NT4 MCSE start?

  8. Dave says:

    R Thanks for clarifying

    you echo my thoughts Lucas – if a client was in only one ITP then I would have expected it in the SA rather than EA.

    Trika – can you fill us in on the reasoning behind that? Not complaining – just curious.

  9. Hunter says:

    I understand that we need 70-649 and either 70-620 or 70-624 plus ONE other exam to earn MCITP EA. What is the ONE other exam or exam category?

  10. Warwick James says:

    Yes, I too believe that a client exam should be mandatory for both the SA and EA streams. As others state, I agree also that to be an EA you must at least at a high level understand what and how an SA must do to complete their work… otherwise the architect/designer becomes more like a sales person… promising all, delivering none, and making implementation a nightmare for the poor ol’ SAs out there.

    2 cents

  11. Mr M says:

    Only the first 500 get the early achiever ?

    I think it was the first 5000 before…i love the golden card 🙂

  12. Hunter_french says:

    Nevermind about my previous question, I found the answer listening to the Live Meeting recording. I have to admit, the new cert program is greatly disappointing to me. Sorry.

  13. Tommy says:

    Stupid question: What is a "charter certification"?

  14. dr smith says:

    I think the whole 2008 certification thing is a complete bloody mess…

    an employer basically wants to hire the best qualified person available… between an mcsa and an mcse, the employer chooses the mcse!

    how many jobs do you see advertising for an mcsa? none! mcse? thousands…

    I’m thru with microsoft qualifications, as an employer myself, anyone with microsoft qualifications is rejected immediately.

  15. dr smith says:

    I think the whole 2008 certification thing is a complete bloody mess…

    an employer basically wants to hire the best qualified person available… between an mcsa and an mcse, the employer chooses the mcse!

    how many jobs do you see advertising for an mcsa? none! mcse? thousands…

    I’m thru with microsoft qualifications, as an employer myself, anyone with microsoft qualifications is rejected immediately.

  16. Below, the beta information for 2003–>2008 exams 71-648 and 71-649 (for which we did an original

  17. Below, the beta information for 2003–>2008 exams 71-648 and 71-649 (for which we did an original

  18. JudedeDude says:

    Lets switch to Linux ! One exam for RedHat and ur a winner!

  19. Anthony Rowe says:

    Where can I download the presentation from this live meeting?

  20. seenu says:

    i have MCSE2000.I scored it by 2001.I have not upgraded to 2003,Can I upgrade to mcse 2008?

  21. says:

    Anthony, we’ll have the PPT posted in a few weeks–we had to have it transcribed and proofed a bit before we can publish the deck.

    Seenu, no, there is no upgrade path from 2000 to 2008.

  22. Hi. You probably already heard the update on WS2008 release to manufacturing (RTM) , now scheduled for

  23. Hi. You probably already heard the update on WS2008 release to manufacturing (RTM) , now scheduled for

  24. Sam says:


    I have been slacking off for taking my MCSE exams. now that there is a server 2008 coming out its making me wonder if I should wait and get the 2008 certification where I could save money and time rather than doing 2003 and then and upgrade. Currently I am NOT working on win2003 or exchange but I will be shortly.

    what do you suggest I do?

    thank you in advance

  25. Peter Read says:

    Sam – depends what you’ve done, what your experience is and whether you’ll be going to 2008 soon.  

    If you’ve one exam left, 4 years experience on 2k3 and no plans for 2k8 then finish 2k3.  If you’ve only done one exam, have no real 2k3 experience and will be working on the cutting edge, maybe 2k8’s the better plan.  

    Anything in between, it’s a judgement call.  Personally though I don’t see 2k3 skills being undesirable any time soon.

  26. scuthber says:

    Has the PPT for this LiveMeeting been made available yet?

  27. So many questions, understandably, about what you should do next, with Windows Server 2008 certifications

  28. So many questions, understandably, about what you should do next, with Windows Server 2008 certifications

  29. Steve says:

    I sent you an email about this but never received a response. I would like to know why 70-622 is not considered a required exam like 70-620 / 70-624. This exam is supporting Vista in the Enterprise. I think it should be considered that this exam be added to the "required" list in place of 70-620 or 70-624. What is your feedback on this? Im quite curious.

  30. Steve says:

    Also, please clarify if the Charter Status is 500 or 5,000 like Windows 2003. 500 seems a bit insane of a goal to shoot for. Espcially since individuals might have passed their Beta exams.

  31. Are you sitting down, Windows Server sports racers? Here is the beta information (and live prep guides)

  32. Are you sitting down, Windows Server sports racers? Here is the beta information (and live prep guides

  33. Sachin Bhardwaj says:

    What are the new things which is there in Windows server 2008 as compare to Windows server 2003.

  34. William says:

    Upgrade vouchers I missed the call, and the slides dont; work on the download so I never finished listenting, but are we all getting vouchers for the 649 update?

    and I thought 649 only got you the three TS level exams and not completing the upgrade path to SA or EA

    don;t you also have to do 647 EA?  I see that soem people are already callign them selves MCITP:Enterprise Administrator, I think that they took the 649 in beta?

    how does that work again?

  35. Holger says:

    …Exam 70-648 is intended for IT professionals who currently hold an MCSA on Windows Server 2003 certification and work in the complex computing environment of medium to large companies. The MCSA on Windows Server 2003 certification is a prerequisite for this exam. Without it, your transcript will show that you passed the exam but will not show credit for the resulting certifications.

    Even if I am a MCSE 2003?

  36. Niall says:

    Well because MCSA is a subset of MCSE you will get credit for it..

  37. Tsunami says:

    i just completed my mcse 2k3. i took 620 as the core OS. i intend to upgrade to mcitp:ea. pls can someone tell me if i have to take 624 along with 649 and 647 or does my 620 suffice

  38. Aarvy says:

    I heard news from counselors of certain training institutes claiming that MCSA/MCSE on Windows Server 2003 will expire by March 2009.

    They also suggested a MCTS on Windows Server 2008.

    I assumed that organisations will not migrate to Windows Server 2008 that quickly and certification on Windows Server 2003 would still hold valid.

    Kindly provide your thoughts on this.

    Thanks for your time.



  39. Tabitha says:

    I am totally confused on what I should be doing. A lot of companies want MCSE but I don’t know which one to take. I haven’t taken any exams at all. I thought that the 2008 would be good but I don’t know. Please help me

  40. MCSE Training says:

    Well many companies are still on Win 2003. Win 2008 is only a upgrade in operating systems. So there is  no need of a confusion move ahead with the latest version, anyways you will have a backup for the older version.

  41. Hi! please email exam dumbs on server 2008

  42. Hi! please email exam dumbs on server 2008

  43. The SMTP service runs as a service on Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition and Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, and it starts upon installation. Although there is only one SMTP service on a computer, it is possible to have more than one Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) virtual server. You can start, stop, or pause each virtual server independently of one another while the SMTP service is running.

    If you have more than one SMTP virtual server, it is important to remember that pausing or stopping the entire SMTP service will affect all of the SMTP virtual servers. When the service is stopped, you cannot use IIS in Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to perform administrative functions on any SMTP virtual server.

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