There’s so much talk about what certification to get, what exam to pass, what are the requirements, and how to get certified. However, the opposite side of the coin is the older certifications and exam that go away over time. When technologies become obsolete, Microsoft retires certification exams that are no longer as relevant as they once were to make room for the newer certifications coming out with current technologies.

Microsoft does publish the exams they are retiring and the planned retirement date, but the information is a bit hidden / buried within the Microsoft Learning site. As a result, I thought I’d post about the Microsoft Certification Exams that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2018 to shed a little light on this to those who may not really be aware.

Microsoft Exams Retiring in Early 2018

Here’s the list of Microsoft certification exams that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2018:

Retiring on March 31, 2018

  • 70-696 Administering System Center Configuration Manager and Intune (originally published Jan. 23, 2015)

Retiring on July 31, 2018

  • 70-398 Planning for and Managing Devices in the Enterprise (originally published Nov. 24, 2015)
  • 70-488 Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions (originally published July 20, 2013)
  • 70-489 Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions (originally published Nov. 20, 2013)
  • 70-496 Administering Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (originally published Nov. 20, 2013)
  • 70-497 Software Testing with Visual Studio (originally published June 8, 2014)
  • 70-498 Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio (originally published June 8, 2014)
  • 70-680 Windows 7, Configuring (originally published Apr. 1, 2009)
  • 70-685 Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (originally published Nov. 27, 2009)
  • 70-686 Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator (originally published Nov. 20, 2009)
  • 74-343 Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 (originally published Apr. 4, 2013)
  • 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center (Originally published Nov. 4, 2013)

Microsoft Exams Retired at End of 2017

Also, since this is my first post talking about expiring Microsoft certification exams, here’s a list of the exams that retired at the end of 2017:

Retired on December 31, 2017

  • 70-246 Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 (originally published Apr. 7, 2014)
  • 70-247 Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud (originally published Apr. 7, 2014)
  • 70-534 Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions (originally published Feb. 26, 2015)
  • 74-344 Managing Programs and Projects with Project Server 2013 (originally published Apr. 5, 2013)
  • 74-678 Designing and Providing Microsoft Volume Licensing Solutions to Large Organizations (originally published Sept. 2, 2014)
  • MB2-709 Microsoft Dynamics Marketing (originally published July 9, 2015)
  • MB6-890 Microsoft Dynamics AX Development Introduction (originally published Dec. 18, 2015)
  • MB6-892 Microsoft Dynamics AX Distribution and Trade (originally published May 9, 2016)
  • MB6-893 Microsoft Dynamics AX Financials (originally published Mar. 11, 2016)

What does “retiring” an exam mean?

Basically, when a Microsoft certification exam is retired the exam will no longer be available to take. This means that only the people who have already passed it will ever be able to pass the exam. It also means that since the exam is retired, the certification earned by passing the exam may be deactivated. If your certification is deactivated due to an exam you previously passed being retired, then you may need to take and pass a new Microsoft certification exam to re-earn the current version of that certification.

Also, just because an exam is scheduled to be retired doesn’t mean you can’t take it anymore. You actually have until the planned expiration date to take and pass the exam. And, if that exam and it’s related certification is relevant to your job duties, or planned career path, then you may still want to take the exam. However, generally this means there is likely a newer exam, and possibly certification, available for you to pass that would probably be more relevant to your job / career future. In the end, knowing if / when a certification exam is being retired, it’s still up to you to decide if that exam is worth taking before that retirement date passes.

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion some people have regarding Microsoft certification exam retirement and certification deactivation. If you have further questions, please post them in the comments. Thanks!

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect