Retiring the Microsoft Master certifications and training

I received this extremely sad news this morning. I have been a part of the MCM/MCSM community for 5 years now and have made many friends, both attending and instructing at MCSM:Messaging. I am sure I am not the only one, but I will certainly miss this community and the many friends that I have made.

Termination E-mail Message in Full

We are contacting you to let you know we are making a change to the Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, and Microsoft Certified Architect certifications. As technology changes so do Microsoft certifications and as such, we are continuing to evolve the Microsoft certification program. Microsoft will no longer offer Masters and Architect level training rotations and will be retiring the Masters level certification exams as of October 1, 2013. The IT industry is changing rapidly and we will continue to evaluate the certification and training needs of the industry to determine if there's a different certification needed for the pinnacle of our program.

As a Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, or Microsoft Certified Architect, you have earned one of the highest certifications available through the Microsoft Certification program. Although individuals will no longer be able to earn these certifications, you will continue to hold the credential and you will not be required to recertify your credential in the future. You will continue to have access to the logos through the MCP site, and your certifications will continue to show in the appropriate section of your transcript, according to Microsoft technology retirement dates. If you are a Charter Member, you will continue to hold the Charter Member designation on your transcript.

Also as a Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, or Microsoft Certified Architect, you are a member of an exclusive, highly technical community and you've told us this community is one of the biggest benefits of your certification. We encourage you to stay connected with your peers through the main community distribution lists. Although we won't be adding more people to this community, you continue to be a valued member of it. Over time, Microsoft plans to transition the distribution lists to the community, and, with your consent, will include your information so that it can continue to be a valuable resource for your ongoing technical discussions.

Within the coming weeks, you will receive invitations to an updated community site. This community site will require you to sign in with a Microsoft Account and will replace the need for a Microsoft Partner account as is required today. From this site, you will be able to manage service requests for the Masters and Architects communities – such as ordering welcome kits and managing your contact information for the distribution lists and directory - and accessing training rotation and other community content (if applicable).

If you have not ordered your Welcome Kit, the last day to do so is October 31, 2013. To order your Welcome Kit, please contact the Advanced Cert team at

We thank you for your commitment to Microsoft technologies.

So, there you have it - no more Master - bad times L

Comments (44)

  1. Too sad they made this decision. Quitting TechNet and now the Masters. I wonder what follows next….

    I just recently attended the beta rotation MCSM for Lync in April and now this.. Very sad seeing this long term community shut down.

    A sad Lync 2010 MCM …. 🙁

  2. Mike Crowley says:

    Dismantling of TechNet subscriptions, and now the crown of Microsoft's certification program?  Hard times ahead for Microsoft consultants.

  3. Charles Derber says:

    Its kind a heartache news – I struggled everyday to be there, doing home works.

    I still can't believe….Its kind of discouraging & demotivating 🙁

  4. Hi MCMs – we recorded a special episode of The UC Architects last night with a few MCMs and MCSMs from the community and the team. It's not a normal episode, the MVPs on the show take a complete back seat and let the Masters have their say on the matter:…/episode-27-of-the-uc-architectsthe-death-of-the-master

  5. Anonymous says:

    A month from now ??!!!


  6. Anonymous says:

    Shocking and confusing news.

    I planned taking the Lab Exam in the middle of November. I’m not sure whether I want to gamble $2,500 with taking the Lab Exam before 1st Oct.

    Sad and disappointing.

    By the way, Jen Stirrup opened a Connect item for this.

    If you think that the MCM certification should be kept alive, feel free signing in and vote there:…/please-dont-get-rid-of-the-mcm-and-mca-programs

    At the moment, it has 100 votes.

  7. Perhaps for those being active participants of the MCM community in the past years it was more or less clear that the program was going down south and it could be expected to end up sadly, but the way how recently changed leadership of Microsoft Learning did that is unprofessional and disrespectful to the community, to say the least. I have to agree with Steve Goodman's points that he formulated in his blog post:…/are-microsoft-losing-friends-and-alienating-it-pros.

  8. This is sad. I was preparing for it from last 1 year but MCSM Exchange was not available for us. This would have stand me next to my CCIE friends.

  9. Matt.Wade says:

    I was all set to take the rotation for Lync in November and now this.  I hope they plan to replace it with something better as this has put me in a foul mood.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is time to concentrate intellectual efforts on the premium certifications from VMware and Cisco now…

  11. Hugely, heartily disappointing, and a frightening sense of MS having lost the track.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I was all set for Lync Masters in November as well Matt. Knife in the heart 🙁

  13. Anonymous says:

    I started preparing for my MCM, but then when they started shaking it up again three or four years ago, I figured I'd be racing against the program's cancelation. My cynicism has turned out to be justified. I would like an elite cert, though.

  14. I am no less than furious and heartily worried on what to expect next off this mentally disordered strategy from MS, assuming there is one.

  15. bill crider says:

    just got my notice that my rotation is cancelled. what a bummer.

  16. Michael Musa says:

    I have worked very hard towards achieving this credential. Its such a shame that's its being truncated this way and it leaves me with alot of regrets. I really hope MS comes up with something to replace it with.

  17. Ibam really surprised! And didn't understand the reason of this decision especially that we all undertsand that MS technology is always changing and evolving, with the new products and also the certifications, and that's what they usually do for MSCE and MsCA programs. So why they will retire a such high level certification program ?.

    Moreover they are not of erring any replacement for these certifications, it is really disappointing.

  18. Fabian Williams says:

    So a certification that was actually Real and actually Identified Experts is gone, Major #FAIL

  19. Smart people - leave MS technologies! says:

    After spending almost one year of intense studying, preparation, lot of money and the time invested in perfecting my knowledge in Microsoft technologies, no MS says "sorry, that is cancelled".

    I got the message. No investment of high knowledge in Microsoft technologies is safe anymore. Look somewhere else if you are smart and want to invest your skills, knowledge, time and money.

  20. Matt says:

    I was always proud of being ranger-trained, yet not smart enough to pass the labs. Rotation 13 – last of the Bill Witten's. As MCS dies, so does the Ranger program. My last manager at MSFT was a TAM for 19 years who filled a diversity slot and thought she'd try out being a manager. Her first order of business was to read us the expense policies…..

    Tip of the hat to Per, Greg Dodge, Ashcraft, Steve Daigle, all those guys who defined MCS and technical excellence.

  21. Mchoirul says:

    Sad, disappointing. I'm aspiring MCM with no direction now. Cisco has CCIE , Redhat has RHCE. Come on MSL…

  22. John Terry says:

    Hello, wanted to share a new programming forum/community. It's a new community, still in Beta stages, some of the main topics covered are software development, game development, web development, web design. LINK:

    Feel free to join 🙂

  23. Boris Lokhvitsky says:

    This is extremely sad and disappointing news. As one of my buddies sarcastically said, "we can expect that the new CEO will start with executions".

    Microsoft Learning consistently and persistently was killing this program since it was taken off the hands of the product group, and unfortunately Microsoft Services leadership (Norm Judah) was supporting this position, so it was somewhat expected. Still it's very sad that it happened so soon and suddenly.

  24. Saber says:

    The "DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS" guy left the building

  25. Tommy Thomson says:

    Haha! Microsuck don't give a **** about you. There's a surprise… If you are so bothered why not start your own certification program? Be an adult and do stuff for yourselves. Jeez.

  26. mpet says:

    They probably don't want skilled professionals anymore now with their orientation to devices & services. It looks to me they just want common users subscribed on their cloud services. Still, they are shooting themselves in their own foot.

  27. Raj says:

    Nonsense like this makes me think that why would anyone invest their time and money on Microsoft technologies when the company itself is not at all confident about itself. This is just another blunder.

  28. Absolutely "knife in the heart", just as said here above, indeed. I was also all set for Lync rotation in November!

    And in original e-mail message… I see no any CLEARLY formulated reason why, do You see?

    Colleagues, ALL who has registered for Lync 2013 rota in November – let's somehow anyhow keep in touch??

    They should REPLACE it. But for now they are refunding money back as I understand…

  29. Rob says:

    Disgusting, very disappointed.  I spent months and months of studying to become an MCSM.  I passed the 2012 Knowledge Exam in July but MS have not released 2012 Lab so can't complete the certification before it is discontinued :-Z

  30. Henry Pei says:

    Microsoft's PR is really awful, if the replacement program is not yet there, why terminate it in the sense there's a better alternative?

  31. sandeep says:

    It was a great way of getting deep into Lync. It is disappointing that it is being taken off.

  32. Chuck says:

    Odd considering that just last month they announced that they were increasing the number of testing centers.…/you-asked-and-we-listened-increased-number-of-prometric-test-centers-for-mcm-mcsm-exams.aspx

  33. Uncle Robo says:

    This just makes the certification holders, less valuable, all their dedication and hard work, was unilaterally terminated. It also make Microsoft less appealing for professionals, why should I risk my money – around 15K, and my time on something that will probably not stay in the long term?

    This would be like getting a PHD and then the university, saying, we're cancelling Phds, all along, good luck, thanks.

    Commitment works both ways

  34. Kevin says:

    I'm truly upset by this…. Completing the MCM was a grueling challenge and a business expensive of up to $50,000.  (20k for the course, 2K for a qual lab retake, and 28k in lost billable).  Not to mention the total devastation to my social life from studying day in and day out for it.

    I didn't even get a year out of this before they nuked it.

    Sigh =/

  35. Hafizur Rahman says:

    This is really sad news. I planned to take my MCSM Data Platform knowledge exam in November, but now it's not available for us.

  36. Somenath Ghosh says:

    This is really sad. I was really preparing for the MCSM exchange 2013 exam.I had passed all the pre-req exams in exchange and windows server 2012. This is so disappointing. There goes my change to be an exchange Master…certified. 🙁

  37. John Sanders says:

    I was due to sit the Novemner Rotation , so mad and lost as to what to do next with MS Certifications, the only reason I did the MCSE exams was to work at the MCM… should I bother in the future

  38. Tracy Oliver says:

    You are alienating your army of evangelists for this product. What are you thinking??? This is indeed a sad day. I hold out hope that you will see the error of this.

  39. jay says:

    it is nice to have MCM or MCA but really it doesn't matter if you don't have one and still you can get better job without this certification.

    the classic e.g. will be having certification on networking from CISCO and having from Comptia, which one has more weight?

  40. Tom Perionas says:

    This sounds like Microsoft is running with Novell's playbook.  How long before attachmate buys MS?

  41. jmont says:

    yeah, sad news.. have to make new 5 year cert path plans now… maybe on my part I concentrate on Citrix certs then..

  42. Ayoub Umoru says:

    This is so wrong – really sad about it.

  43. Wes Geddes says:


  44. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from Whither MCA and MCM and why? – Certification Magazine

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