1. The Marriage of Microsoft and LinkedIn

It's been just over a year since Microsoft swallowed the career networking site LinkedIn. That's long enough to start asking: Was the $27 billion deal worth it?

Critics warned at the time of the deal that Microsoft was overpaying for a declining business. Others argued that Microsoft's largest-ever acquisition fit into a strategy of building up the company's Office suite of workplace productivity products and its cloud-computing business.

"I don't think we'll know for a couple years if this will really pay off, but the signs thus far are positive," said Jillian Ryan, an analyst for eMarketer.


Microsoft on Wednesday posted second-quarter revenue of $28.92 billion, a 12 per cent increase over the same quarter a year earlier. The company also reported a loss of $6.3 billion, tied to a $13.8 billion tax charge related to the new federal tax law signed in December.

LinkedIn's contribution to quarterly revenue was $1.3 billion, the highest it's been since the acquisition closed in December 2016, though it's still too early to compare year-over-year growth.

Still, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood and CEO Satya Nadella were effusive about the network's performance in a conference call with investors Wednesday.

Hood said the acquisition is "performing better than we expected, and I think today we would even say it's a more strategic asset than we even maybe thought a year ago." She referred to its power to add to the company's understanding of its customers and their connections with one another.

LinkedIn boasts of more than 530 million users on its professional network, most of whom use it for free. But the service also contributes to Microsoft's bottom line through its three business divisions. The biggest, dubbed "talent solutions," helps recruiters attract and find jobs for workers. It also makes money from advertisements on its platform and offers paid subscriptions for online courses and premium access on its network.

Among those buying into the platform are sales representatives using it as a tool for "social selling," or targeting prospective customers through their trusted social networks and connections.

Another of LinkedIn's co-founders and its first chief technology officer, Eric Ly, said in an interview Wednesday that this is "really just the beginning" of what LinkedIn could offer as Microsoft taps into the professional network's database of work histories and other detailed information that users share about themselves.


"There was a lot of value in the data alone," said Ly, who now runs a new company called Hub. "Microsoft's going to be able to recoup its investments and get a lot more back."

Nadella also says the integration fits into a larger strategy. In an autobiography published last year , he wrote that he has a "bias" for driving investment toward advancing services such as LinkedIn and Office that help people create and "become more productive rather than software that is simply entertaining -- memes for conspicuous consumption."

2. Microsoft rolls out new Windows 10

Microsoft has begun rolling out an update to its Windows 10 operating system, hoping to spark enthusiasm for its virtual- and augmented-reality ambitions.

The semi-annual update became available Tuesday. Along with virtual experiences, the Fall Creators Update brings new ways to share photos and video and work with 3-D imagery.

Several of Microsoft's partners -- Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo -- are simultaneously launching their first "Windows Mixed Reality" headsets Tuesday. Samsung is releasing one next month.

The road of engineers is not good. Many engineers are working overtime every day and night. Many people will think about it when they are busy in the middle of the night, so tired, what is it, when is it? Every time I think about it, I will tell myself to work harder. After all, no rich people can fight, so try to make our next generation have a fight!

Mixed in the enterprise, we often look down on someone, saying that he "does not understand anything, with so much money, and promotes the official!" This is the prevalent expression of the typical typical engineer. It is inevitable that people can go up and have the skills that you don't have. You think about it, the boss has been operating for so many years, is it not as good as your recruit? People may be good at management, good at understanding the boss's intentions, good at departmental coordination, and so on. Therefore, it is necessary to cultivate your own multi-faceted abilities, including management, affinity, ability to observe and observe, and ability to tackle problems. To become a master of comprehensive quality, the future is boundless, otherwise you can only hide in the corner to see the oscilloscope! Skills other than technology are the more important skills!

Not only must be able to do it, but also can say, can write, be good at using every opportunity to sell yourself, and establish your own brand image, it is necessary! To create conditions for others to understand themselves, or how does the boss know that you can do it? How do outside investors believe in you? If you sell yourself early, chances will come to you! It’s a good idea to get a personal homepage! ! In particular, to cultivate your own reputation in the industry, with fame, high-paying opportunities, and more importantly, opportunities for cooperation...

In fact, there are still too many things to communicate. In the eight-year career, there are a lot of ups and downs along the way. I hope that you can take less detours, recognize your status quo, and work harder.

3. Microsoft Certifications Overview Part I

Microsoft is best known for its Windows operating systems and Office software, but it has a much broader product portfolio that includes online services (Bing, MSN, advertising), gaming (Xbox 360), hardware (tablets, PCs, keyboards and mice) and more. The company also has a robust certification program that churns out qualified administrators and technicians to support its system and application products.

Microsoft Certification - Pass4itsure Program Overview

Currently, the Microsoft Certification Program is divided into seven main categories:

Cloud: This category encompasses business intelligence, Windows Server 2016, Microsoft Azure, machine learning, cloud data platform solutions, data analytics and big data, software-defined data centers, server infrastructures, private and hybrid clouds, DevOps and more. This is the “new mainstream” for Microsoft certification.

Mobility: This category is for end-user and desktop topics, including Windows 10, desktop and enterprise applications, working with System Center Configuration Manager and Intune, and planning for and managing devices in an enterprise setting.

Data: This arena now incorporates machine learning, business intelligence, business applications, and data management and analytics, along with Microsoft SQL Server 2016 and other Microsoft database technologies. Database development is also important, and includes working with Transact-SQL and developing SQL databases. Business applications include extensive coverage of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics AX. Data management and analytics covers a wide range of topics, including cloud data platform solutions, big data analytics solutions, database solutions, implementing data models and reports, and various aspects of business intelligence solutions.

Productivity: This category brings the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) credentials together with those related to Microsoft productivity offerings, such as Exchange Server, SharePoint Server and Skype for Business, as well as Office 365 identities, requirements and services.

App Builder: This is a development-oriented category that covers the ins and outs of using Microsoft solutions and platforms to build compatible software. Topics in this category include architecting, designing, testing and building solutions around Azure, SharePoint Server, Visual Studio Team Foundation, and managing development throughout the entire software lifecycle.

Business Applications: This category focuses on Microsoft Dynamics 365 platforms and technologies, including Dynamics 365 for Sales, Customer Service, Distribution and Trade (AX), Financials (AX), Finance and Operations, Retail, Field Service and other focused applications.

Certifications within the Microsoft Certification Program include the following credentials:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  • Microsoft Solutions Developer (MCSD)
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

After you pass your first qualifying Microsoft certification exam, you are deemed a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). MCP status provides access to a benefits and exams dashboard, with certificates and transcripts, downloadable certification logos, promotional offers and lots more. You also get the MCP designation on your Microsoft transcript. It's important to understand that only the MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE qualify as MCP certifications. Neither MTA nor MOS certifications qualify for MCP status, and none of those exams are prerequisites for MCSA, MCSE or MCSD certifications.

In addition to the certifications outlined above, Microsoft offers its MCT: Microsoft Certified Trainer and MCE: Microsoft Certified Educator credentials to those interested in teaching others about Microsoft technologies and products.

4. Microsoft Certifications Overview Part II

Microsoft is best known for its Windows operating systems and Office software, but it has a much broader product portfolio that includes online services (Bing, MSN, advertising), gaming (Xbox 360), hardware (tablets, PCs, keyboards and mice) and more. The company also has a robust certification program that churns out qualified administrators and technicians to support its system and application products.

Microsoft Cloud Certifications

The Microsoft Cloud certification track includes MTA, MCSA and MCSE credentials. Within the MTA program is one relevant certification — namely, IT Infrastructure. To obtain it, a candidate needs to pass one of five exams, which cover topics that include fundamentals for server administration, networking, security, mobility and devices, and cloud.

Microsoft SQL Server Certification Training Exam

On Udemy

The MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification requires one of the preceding MCSAs to qualify candidates, after which they must pass one of 15 exams to earn this credential. The list of exams includes numerous options, such as Azure, cloud data platform, big data analytics, Windows Server 2016, software-defined data center, server infrastructure, private and hybrid cloud, DevOps and more.

Microsoft Mobility Certifications

The Microsoft Mobility certification track includes MTA, MCSA and MCSE certifications. The MTA program has just one relevant certification — IT Infrastructure — just like the Cloud track. The MTA IT Infrastructure track is earned by passing one of five exams on Windows Server administration, networking, security, mobility and device fundamentals, or cloud.

MCSA: Windows 10 is the only MCSA Mobility track credential available. Earning the MCSA: Windows 10 requires passing two exams.

Microsoft Data Certifications

Microsoft's Data certification track includes the MTA, MCSA and MCSE. (To see the Data track, go to the Microsoft Certification page and click Data.) The MTA program requires one exam on database fundamentals. There are five certifications in the MCSA Data track at the moment – namely, Machine Learning, SQL 2016 BI Development, SQL 2016 Database Administration, SQL 2016 Database Development, and SQL Server 2012/2014. The first four of these items require two exams, while the fifth requires three (we expect it to retire in 2018 or 2019).

Microsoft Productivity Certifications

Certifications in the Microsoft Productivity category vary widely, from proving competency in using a single Office product to managing Office 365 services and user login credentials. This track is also fairly large; it includes an MCSA and MCSE certification as well as Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) offerings.

Microsoft App Builder Certifications

The Microsoft Developer certification path includes MTA, MCSA and MCSD certifications. The MTA program recognizes individuals who are entry-level software developers. The certification requires candidates to pass one of five exams. Possible topics include software development fundamentals, HTML5 app development fundamentals, and intro to programming using block-based languages, Python or JavaScript.

Microsoft Business Applications Certifications

The Microsoft Business Applications certifications include MCSA and MCSE certifications. There are two MCSA options: MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 and MCSA: Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations. Each requires passing two exams. The plain-vanilla Dynamics 365 certification draws from a list of two exams, both of which are needed to meet its requirements. One exam covers Dynamics 365 customer engagement online deployment, the other covers Dynamics 365 customization and configuration. The Dynamics 365 for Operations draws from a list of four exams. Topics covered include administering a Microsoft SQL database infrastructure, provisioning SQL databases, Microsoft Development AX development introduction, and development, extensions and deployment for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

Microsoft Trainer and Educator Certifications

MCT: Microsoft Certified Trainer

Folks who teach others about Microsoft technologies and products should consider (and are often required to have) the Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) certification. The MCT can be obtained by submitting an application to Microsoft that proves that you hold a current Microsoft certification, one year of instruction experience (supporting reference required), plus verifiable instructional skills in the form of an acceptable instructor certification (such as CompTIA CTT+, Microsoft Certified Trainer Instructional Skills Certification (MCT-ISC) or IAMCT Approved Technical Trainer).

MCE: Microsoft Certified Educator

The Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) credential is aimed at educators in academia, such as colleges, universities and training facilities. To become an MCE, you must demonstrate technology literacy by passing at least one exam.

The literacy competency is mapped to the UNESCO ITC Competency Framework for Teachers, Technology Literacy and includes education policy, curriculum and assessment, pedagogy, ICT/technology tools, organization and administration, and professional development.

Related Jobs and Careers

IT professionals who earn Microsoft certification often receive extra recognition from hiring and supervising managers, and enjoy improved on the job success and promotion opportunities. Companies that negotiate large volume purchase or subscription agreements with Microsoft (or its partner resellers) often include funding for official curriculum training and Microsoft certification exam vouchers as part of what's covered therein.

Training and Certification Preparation Materials

Microsoft offers training to candidates directly, both in the classroom and online. The company's Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a great place to start poking around: it offers a huge range of free training courses, many of them at least relevant to various certification topics if not directly focused on such topics.

There's also a huge aftermarket for Microsoft training, self-study and certification preparation. Pearson operates Microsoft Press on Microsoft's behalf, where you can find self-study guides for all the popular Microsoft cert exams (and many of the not-so-popular exams as well). Pearson's IT Certification imprint (online at PearsonITCertification.com) also offers study guides, exam crams (a series I invented), practice tests, video training materials and much more for Microsoft certification candidates. Wiley/Sybex and Osborne/McGraw-Hill also offer certification focused imprints, book series and generally provide good coverage of major cert topics as well, also including most popular Microsoft certifications and related exams..

There's a wealth of excellent material available to help candidates prepare. Look to online and peer reviews, study groups and ratings sites to separate the wheat from the chaff.

5. Microsoft Retired Exams

It’s very important for the candidates to have the latest news about the Microsoft certifications and exams. Which are retired? Which are changed and which are remain the same? In order to save your precious money and time and do not waste them on the outdated materials and trainings, please check the latest information before making your decision. Here are the recently retired Microsoft exam. To obtain more information, we suggest you to check that with your exam center.

Retiring on July 31, 2018    

70-398: Planning for and Managing Devices in the Enterprise


70-488: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions


70-489: Developing SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions


70-680: Windows 7, Configuring


70-685: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician


70-686: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator


74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center


Retiring on December 31, 2018

70-496: Administering Visual Studio Team Foundation Server


70-497: Software Testing with Visual Studio


70-498: Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio


Retiring on July 31, 2019    

74-343: Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013