Feeds

back to article Redmond's certification chief explains death of MCM and MCA

Microsoft's late Friday afternoon decision to ”retire” some of its highest-end certifications has been explained by the chap who made the decision to do so. News of the certifications cancellation has enraged those who hold or were studying for the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM), …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
Alien

Reality sinks in perhaps?

Quote

“We simply think we could do much more for the broader community at this level – that we could create something for many more to aspire to. We want it to be an elite community, certainly. But some of the non-technical barriers to entry run the risk of making it elitist for non-technical reasons. Having a program that costs candidates nearly $20,000 creates a non-technical barrier to entry. Having a program that is English-only and only offered in the USA creates a non-technical barrier to entry. Across all products, the Masters program certifies just a couple of hundred people each year, and yet the costs of running this program make it impossible to scale out any further. And many of the certifications currently offered are outdated – for example, SQL Server 2008 - yet we just can't afford to fully update them.”

so, it is

1) Only available in the US

2) Only in English

3) costs more than a years salary for some people in the 3rd world.

4) People just don't have the cash lying around to do certs.

Welcome to the real world MS. It has taken you long enough...

Care to reverse some of you other recent footgun decisions? eg Technet?

On the other hand, it could be 'We didn't get enough $$$ of income with this really hard cert. Lets dumb it down and charge less so that we get more people passing this useless bit of paper?

Sarcasm rules eh?

10
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

Microsoft is becoming increasingly irrelevant as a systems provider. Win8 is a dead duck, people might accept Win9 but will they go for the Win10 "cloud" OS?

And if you are going for a "cloud" OS (which is nothing more than the dumb terminals of old), they why not go for a system that has all the tooling to work that way and is already deployed - i.e. any *nix.

As the application will be delivered by HTML5 (assuming MS don't screw that up) the actual executing OS has no relevance.

Windows is, by heritage, a single-seat single-user OS; it's not fit for the multi-user architecture of the client-server. And no, RDP isn't the answer.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

HTM:5 has been coming for at least 6 years and still has a small overall market share. I think you underestimate the timescales on which change takes place in IT.

(I remember in 1999 watching a demo of a sales website using very heavy pages for the time. When it was throttled to 33kbit/s (modems of the period) of course it slowed to a crawl. The developer explained that this wasn't a problem, because in a year, or two at the outside, everybody would have ADSL)

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

I know enterprise IT moves at a glacial pace, but that really wasn't my point. There's really two choices:

1) HTML5 (plus CSS3, JQuery etc - i.e. a web browser based solution); or

2) Something like X server.

If MS go with 1), they are likely to add proprietary extensions and break standards (as is their normal mode of practice). If they go with 2), they will likely not publish the specs until forced to by a court of law (i.e. SAMBA). Neither is particularly good for the industry of the customers; especially when the solution already exists elsewhere.

For major corporates network bandwidth is a non-issue, and these are people I can see who would benefit from a client-server model from the 1970s. Joe Public (i.e. the rest of us) would need the ability to work off-line and then only push data when required.

If think MS will soon have to face reality; it will become irrelevant in the OS market. Then, slowly-slowly, it will become irrelevant in the applications market. It'll go the way of IBM; consultancy and supporting a few, very high-price, platforms. Unlike IBM however, I can't MS won't be doing much to support F/OSS as MS is culturally hostile to openness and standards.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"Microsoft is becoming increasingly irrelevant as a systems provider"

You might like to think so, but Microsoft still have a 92% share of the desktop market, and their server OS market share, application server market share and cloud market share is still growing...

"And if you are going for a "cloud" OS (which is nothing more than the dumb terminals of old), "

- It really isn't - I guess you must originate from that era to have such a lack of understanding of a modern stack?

"they why not go for a system that has all the tooling to work that way and is already deployed - i.e. any *nix."

Because it isn't like legacy green screen world. As a Microsoft example they have a better performing and slimmer hypervisor than any Linux, a better security model (for instance dynamic access control, constrained delegation, kernel / driver separation), and much more extensive software defined networking and cloud features that are available out of the box with any Linux vendor - and above all a lower TCO in any combination of public / private cloud model.

2
16
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"You might like to think so, but Microsoft still have a 92% share of the desktop market"

A market which is becoming less important, more so when we are going back to the client-server model.

"I guess you must originate from that era to have such a lack of understanding of a modern stack"

I guess you have no knowledge of that era to have such a lack of understanding of the old client-server stack. You know the whole concept of virtualisation (or emulation, if you prefer) extends back to the 60s, don't you. The protocols to have network transparency come from then as well. The idea of resource sharing; in fact, everything. We have some nicer tools now and ways of using more commodity hardware/migrating and faster networks...but the basic theory hasn't really changed.

"As a Microsoft example they have a better performing and slimmer hypervisor than any Linux"

Cobblers. Cite a source please (and not one attached to MS).

"a better security model (for instance dynamic access control, constrained delegation, kernel / driver separation)"

Cobblers. Cite a source please (and not one attached to MS).

"much more extensive software defined networking and cloud features that are available out of the box with any Linux vendor"

Cobblers. Cite a source please (and not one attached to MS).

"a lower TCO in any combination of public / private cloud model."

Cobblers. Cite a source please (and not one attached to MS).

13
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"A market which is becoming less important, more so when we are going back to the client-server model."

Not in the business world as yet. tablets are not replacing PCs in vast numbers so far. I see no signs of 'going back to client server' except for limited deployments of VDI - and that market is also overwhelmingly Microsoft based.

"I guess you have no knowledge of that era to have such a lack of understanding of the old client-server stack"

Oh but I do - I have retired many such legacy estates. Wang, IBM, VAX, you name it....

"The protocols to have network transparency come from then as well"

Oh, really - do tell we what application layer protocols from the 1960s are commonly used in modern client server VDI today then? All the big VDI players like Citrix, Microsoft, Quest, VMware and HP use far more modern protocols...

"Cobblers. Cite a source please (and not one attached to MS)."

It's a fact - go do your own research. Linux cannot separate the hypervisor from the kernel. In Hyper-V (like VMware) the hypervisor is a separate layer from the kernel....and Linux still cant reach 1 million IOPS in a SINGLE VM - that Hyper-V achieved about 2 years ago and VMware a few months afterwards...

In terms of security - again go do your own research. Clearly you don't know what you are talking about so you need to... In outline - Linux is a monolithic kernel, and Windows is a more modern hybrid microkernel. You can Google the other things I mentioned to understand what they are and why Linux has a broken model like SUDO that has to execute as Root instead....

See

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1GJA88J&ct=130628&st=sb

and

http://www.gartner.com/technology/reprints.do?id=1-1IMDMZ8&ct=130819&st=sb

"Enhancements include significant scalability improvements (matching or passing those of vSphere for the first time), Hyper-V Replica for effective disaster recovery, the Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch and Network Virtualization, a more flexible live migration and storage live migration, Hyper-V clustering and clustered live migration, and improved Dynamic Memory. System Center VMM 2012 was delivered in April 2012.

While it has taken Microsoft five years, it has effectively closed most of the functionality gap with VMware in terms of x86 server virtualization infrastructure. Management and automation gaps on top of the virtualized infrastructure remain — notably, VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is more automated and better-suited for large-scale disaster recovery requirements. However, System Center VMM 2012 has also dramatically improved the ability to create private cloud solutions based on Hyper-V. Microsoft has also made fundamental strategy changes with respect to cloud interoperability and service provider enablement, adding support for standard Hyper-V VMs in its Windows Azure service, and potentially enabling service providers to build cloud infrastructures based on Hyper-V and System Center VMM 2012"

"Microsoft has a vision of infrastructure and platform services that are not only leading stand-alone offerings, but also seamlessly extend and interoperate with on-premises Microsoft infrastructure (rooted in Hyper-V, Windows Server, Active Directory and System Center) and applications, as well as Microsoft's SaaS offerings. Its vision is global, and it is aggressively expanding into multiple international markets.

Microsoft has built an attractive and easy-to-use UI that will appeal to Windows administrators and developers. The IaaS and PaaS components within Windows Azure feel and operate like part of a unified whole, and Microsoft is making an effort to integrate them with Visual Studio and System Center.

Microsoft's brand, existing customer relationships and history of running global-class consumer Internet properties have made prospective customers and partners confident that it will emerge as a market leader in cloud IaaS. The number of Azure VMs is growing very rapidly. Microsoft customers who sign a contract can receive their enterprise discount on the service, making it highly cost-competitive."

I

3
9
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"It's a fact - go do your own research"

"In terms of security - again go do your own research."

I am not the one who made the claims. Cite or retract, please.

4
1
FAIL

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"Microsoft has built an attractive and easy-to-use UI that will appeal to Windows administrators and developers."

Now we know you're a shill.

9
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"Cite or retract, please"

I'm not in the business of giving free kernel and OS architecture lessons. If you disagree then go find your own material to prove me wrong. I have given you enough outline details for you to use Google, so I'm not retracting anything :-)

1
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"Now we know you're a shill."

That's Gartner's opinion, not mine.

I don't really like the UI - I mostly use Powershell. (It's like a UNIX shell but more secure, flexible and powerful.)

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"I'm not in the business of giving free kernel and OS architecture lessons."

I don't need the lesson - I just want you to cite a source.

Seeing as you are now being defensive, I will have to assume no such source exists and thus your statements are merely opinion.

As you other statements are verging on the ill-informed, I don't rate your opinion.

1
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"It's like a UNIX shell but more secure, flexible and powerful"

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You know there is no single shell for *nix?

Like I said, ill-informed.

2
3
Silver badge

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

"I will have to assume no such source exists and thus your statements are merely opinion."

I'm fairly sure that such sources might exist but only on Vogsphere

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

Which OS is the client-server miracle OS that you recommend then? would it be Linux by any chance?

I would imagine there are few people doing serious computing on an X terminal these days. In fact there are efforts under way to get rid of the whole bloat and overhead of X11:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Wayland

"These days we only use a fraction of what X was originally designed to do. X11, by definition, is a big protocol of rendering primitives and font management and lots of other stuff. Most of that stuff we don't really need or use in modern desktops. "

1
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

I think Bash is pretty much the shell on Unix. Old timers might prefer something else of course.

1
1
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

The reality is 95% of the top 500 HPC systems use Linux. The others either run another *nix or a custom sys.

1
1

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

You say Linux still can't rach 1 million IOPS in a single VM.

I spend less than thirty seconds with The Google

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=linux+iops+single+machine&l=1

The first hit is an IBM research paper detailing Red Hat Enterprise Linux reaching 1.5 million IOPS on a single KVM guest.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

And that's why I demanded they cite a source. The fact they didn't was very telling.

1
1
Silver badge
Boffin

Shill season!

Oh dear. Oh very dear.

As someone who had to deal with the fallout of a boneheaded corporate-level decision of implementing the full MS stack, I call the bluff.

No, Hyper-V is bad, and it even manages to b0rk the virtual network interfaces, even if the guest OS is another Windows Server instance. Our Failover cluster would er... fail to switch over to the failover instance when we actually needed to do that. The SQL Server cluster also had its hiccups and it seems that it eventually got broken up into two separate servers as the failover cluster wouldn't work as advertised. AD would barf with few users (3000?) and the schema is horribly pedant on what you can/can't do vs. a regular LDAPv3 server.

No dude, the company that did that boneheaded decision is now migrating away from the MS stack because everything the MSFT dudes told them was a load of bull.

VMware is still king on the virtualization stuff. UNIX (and Linux/BSD variants) is still the best choice for "cloudy" stuff. Hell, most banks don't do Windows except on desktop systems and ATMs. (They do use WinServer for AD and managing the desktop PCs though.)

Please, few people will ever dare to say MS has the best solution ... not if they've seen the alternatives faring much better. Which they do!

3
1
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Reality sinks in perhaps?

Spot on...odd how they figure this out now...

0
0
Bronze badge

Re:...and above all a lower TCO in any combination of public / private cloud model.

This comment brought to you by a paid Microsoft shill.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Need some new certs

MCSA - Microsoft Certified in Standards Abuse

MCIO - Microsoft Certified in Interoperability Opposition

MCB4W8 - Microsoft Certified in Bullshitting for Windows 8

MCEUS - Microsoft Certified in Enforced Upgrade Strategies

MCMA - Microsoft Certified in Monopoly Abuse

NSACBP - NSA Certified Business Partner (You may not want to advertise this last one)

13
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Need some new certs

What about Google?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Need some new certs

Google doesn't advertise their NSACBP either.

1
0

Shame to see it go. I've been certified with them since 2000, and the MCM for SQL Server was definitely a title I'd not have mind pursuing.

I agree with some of the sentiments voiced in the other article's comments in that the MS exams tend tor ely on a lot of memorization (Who really knows the exact syntax to set up some obscure task that most would hardly ever touch?), and that's been one of my main gripes with the exams (the other being that the official MS study material hardly ever helped to properly prepare for an exam. I tend to rely on Wrox for that).

However, the SQL exams at least did seem to be targeted at understanding what specific solution would work best for a given situation. Granted, some of the example use cases were far-fetched (some downright stupid), but any DBA worth their money would not ave much issues passing those questions purely on experience. I know I did, and to me as a contractor, it made a huge difference being certified.

I guess the new SQL MCSE is where the buck stops for me. Shame. Let's hope something like MCM comes along again at some point in the future, as MCM for sure was no easy feat to achieve (albeit, overpriced).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Welcome, indeed, to the real world

It's obvious that technical certifications are required (well, I think so...) Anyone who has perused the CV of someone claiming expertise in, say, SQL and found that said expertise extends as far as SELECT * FROM T and putting the result in a spreadsheet, knows that there are a lot of people out there with a hopelessly inflated notion of their own skills and ability, and gatekeepers are needed.

The problem with top level certifications in architecture and design is that they must involve a considerable degree of creativity. It's no good knowing all the Microsoft tools for system architecture if you haven't got the least ability as a system architect, and anyone who really is a good system architect isn't likely to start from the premise that the solution is Microsoft, now what was the problem.

We don't have Chartered Bentley Structural Engineers, for instance.

9
0
Silver badge
Pint

"We don't have Chartered Bentley Structural Engineers, for instance"

Nicely put.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Welcome, indeed, to the real world

Exactly - go and do an HNC or Degree course instead of studying one particular solution. Yes it's hard and it costs. Yes it takes time. Yes it has value for a long time after.

3
0
FAIL

Could have been handled so much better

Microsoft could have gone to their community and said "Here are the problems with the current Masters certifications. Help us create a new set of certifications that will be more up-to-date and more accessible to people around the world." Once the replacements are more-or-less ready, they could have announced that the Masters certs were being phased out and replaced with Xyzzy certs. No outrage, users feel Microsoft cares about and listens to them, everyone's happy about better and cheaper certs.

Instead, they started by canceling the Masters certs with little explanation and no replacement ready, and now are scrambling to do damage control and try to rebuild bridges. From the phrasing of the announcement, I doubt they had any plans for a replacement certification before seeing what a negative response it got.

4
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

"didn't meet own goal"

au contraire - went straight between the posts

1
0
Silver badge

How can you be a "master"?

When the subject you are attempting to be a master of is changing. When Microsoft gets the test out, it is probably out of date as the world (+dog) has passed them by.

Ever wonder why Linux DOESN'T need certifications?

0
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: How can you be a "master"?

Umm...LPI? RHCE? UCP?

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: How can you be a "master"?

That's why these qualifications are often attributed to a specific release of Windows or have a time limit.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: How can you be a "master"?

RHCA, Certificates of expertise, RHDCE?

0
1
Silver badge

Re: How can you be a "master"?

Ever wonder why Linux DOESN'T need certifications?

MSFT doesn't need certifications either. But if you're referring to the availability of such, err... RedHat has a couple of those.

0
1
Silver badge

"causing upset amongst our most treasured community is far from ideal"

Agreed. So when are you reinstating Technet ?

Because killing that off was, in my humble opinion, the worst decision you have ever made.

4
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Wasn't that the POINT!?

“Only a few hundred people have attained the certification in the last few years, far fewer than we would have hoped. We wanted to create a certification that many would aspire to and that would be the ultimate peak of the Microsoft Certified program, but with only ~0.08% of all MCSE-certified individuals being in the program across all programs, it just hasn't gained the traction we hoped for.”

I thought the entire point was that only a very few people would attain this certification. Indeed, all of the promotion I'd seen for this certification was along the lines of "it's bloody hard if not impossible, so only do this if you're positive you know your stuff."

I'm sorry, but claiming that you're canceling a certification which was supposed to be reserved for the elite few because only the elite few have attained it means either you're lying, or your organization has totally lost its focus.

11
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Wasn't that the POINT!?

It wasn't about the money, but not enough people paid to gain the certification so we were losing money and had to kill it.

There isn't a single initiative proposed at Microsoft that doesn't have to display the monetary aspects for its approval. The original plan for these certs had to have some monetary benefit or it wouldn't get approved. That monetary benefit never materialized - and probably significantly so - and they were cut. No mystery, no twisted Microsoft speak needed here.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Wasn't that the POINT!?

You don't think the point of the certs might have been to drive customers to use MSFT products in the knowledge that they could hire somebody who had proven that they actually knew what they were talking about?

If the point is just to make a profit on the certs - they could just put them all on ebay

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Wasn't that the POINT!?

" canceling a certification which was supposed to be reserved for the elite few because only the elite few have attained it means either you're lying, or your organization has totally lost its focus."

Why "either/or"?

Could it not be both?

Certainly looks like "and" from where I sit.

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

MS is Cutting costs

cf title

1
0
Silver badge

Re: MS is Cutting costs

This is the remarkable part, yes. An admission their pockets are not bottomless.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: MS is Cutting costs

This is the remarkable part, yes. An admission their pockets are not bottomless.

You've got it,

"We must increase shareholder value, and if it doesn't increase shareholder value, then it is a flop."

0
0
Anonymous Coward

acchhh

I couldn't think of anything worse than becoming a certified MS 'master'. To be publicly known as a person who has dedicated some part of their all too precious life to the deep understanding of the pristine nirvana of software engineering which is MS windows. And possible being proud of it. I would rather be a certified master of Donkey Kong, level 22.

2
2
Silver badge
Pint

Re: acchhh

I could never get past the 3rd barrel.

Here's to you.

1
0
Bronze badge
Gimp

Anonymous Cowards

I've never seen so many spineless linux trolls posting bullshit in one thread under the 'Anonymous Coward' tag.

Grow some balls people...

0
2

Ignore the community at your peril

Seems Microsoft is back on the path of ignoring the community they need to court.

In my 35+ years of IT its never been more about hearts and mnds than ever. Remember Good beats Best when you bring in the very illogical emotion we all tend to have.

So lets see M$ (and for all the BS its always about the $$) have canned the Technet Subscription program cause as technical reccomenders we are all freetards. Now they can the high level certifications, hmm maybe one MCS are the only ones who can provide this high-level advice.. having done a few gig's with them, I have seen the over promise failures of projects... nah give me someone with real world experience please..

But the trajectory M$ is taking, well "Its time" time to move on from a platform that has provided a comfortable living. to a new one, back to more *nix in my future, and certainly more VMware.

I personaly will now no longer reccomend Microsoft products and will work hard to help those who want to migrate off them. Public Cloud, Private Cloud, client server its now a matter of "Anything But Microsoft"

3
1
Bronze badge
WTF?

Microsoft Certifications

At our Linux shop, when prospective IT bods show up with a Microsoft cert, the obvious question is: What is it good for?

Our CIO's stock reply is: Wiping your ass!.

Says it all!!!

1
1
This topic is closed for new posts.