The desktop OS MCSA has finally reared its head and is now available through Microsoft Learning. Upon closer inspection, it's as much an upgrade to MCSA: Windows 8 (which is really focused on Windows 8.1) as it is a standalone Windows 10 certification. Be that as it may, it's here and open for enrollment and testing for all interested parties.
Take the requirements for the MCSA: Windows 8 — namely exams 70-687 Configuring Windows 8.1 and 70-688 Supporting Windows 8.1 — then add the new 70-697: Configuring Windows Devices exam and presto! There's your new MCSA: Windows 10. Larry Kaye, Microsoft Learning's Senior Product Manager for Certification, spells out all of the details in a recent blog post entitled Certification Update - MCSA: Windows 10 Released.
This is bound to be good news for IT pros who actually earned the MCSA: Windows 8, since it essentially provides them with a brand-new credential with only a single additional exam needed to qualify. Those who don't have the MCSA: Windows 8 credential, but do have an MCSA: Windows 7 have already started asking about an additional upgrade exam to be able to catch up to the new Windows 10 cert, but as of yet Microsoft has no official response to this inquiry.
Several people have expressed their concern or surprise that this Windows 10 labeled certification has no exams with the same OS designation attached to them as part of the requirements. We are also a little bit surprised to see this certification come together with relatively little explicit coverage of Windows 10 in its current form. But with the Windows 8.1 OS sharing quite a bit in common under the hood with Windows 10 (except for GUI changes, some new Windows Store apps, and some added screens and capabilities in tiled system controls) we can also understand why Microsoft may have decided to put something together out of existing materials as well as the new 70-697 exam.
For additional details, visit the MCSA page to learn all about the MCSA: Windows 10 certification. We expect to see some development and evolution in the constituent exams as well over the next 12 to 18 months. Stay tuned — we'll keep you posted as those changes unfold.