Microsoft abandons MCSE decertification policy

Microsoft Corp. said it will not decertify MCSEs (Microsoft-certified systems engineers) for Windows NT 4.0 or below who do not upgrade to Windows 2000 by Dec. 31, as was announced more than a year ago by the Redmond, Wash., company.

Announcing its decision, the company cited an inability to “accurately predict the appropriate timing” for retiring certification credentials on older versions of its products.

“We’ve spent the past six months doing channel and customer research, and it’s become pretty clear that there is a set of customers who are well-served to have their MCSE on Windows NT 4.0. We want to continue to recognize that skill set as valuable,” said Robert Stewart, general manager of training certification for Microsoft, explaining the reason for the sudden change in policy just a few months before the deadline.

The company is still trying to encourage MCSEs to upgrade, however. Individuals working for organizations classified as Microsoft partners must do so in order for their companies to maintain their partner status, and those who do upgrade will have the formal designation of “MCSE on Microsoft Windows 2000” to differentiate their qualification.