Windows 7 Beta Exam

Registration for the “Configuring Windows 7″ beta exam will open next week:

Registration begins: April 27, 2009 


You are invited to take beta exam 71-680: TS: Windows 7, ConfiguringIf you pass the beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form. The 71-xxx identifier is used for registering for beta versions of MCP exams, when the exam is released in its final form the 70-xxx identifier is used for registration.

By participating in beta exams, you have the opportunity to provide the Microsoft Certification program with feedback about exam content, which is integral to development of exams in their released version. We depend on the contributions of experienced IT professionals and developers as we continually improve exam content and maintain the value of Microsoft certifications.


71-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring counts as credit towards the following certification(s).

·          MCTS: Windows 7, Configuration


Registration begins: April 27, 2009

Beta exam period runs: May 5, 2009– May 18, 2009


Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately! Beta exams have limited availability and are operated under a first-come-first-served basis. Once all beta slots are filled, no additional seats will be offered.

Testing is held at Prometric testing centers worldwide, although this exam may not be available in all countries (see Regional Restrictions).  All testing centers will have the capability to offer this exam in its live version.


Regional Restrictions: India, Pakistan, China

Registration Information

You must register at least 24 hours prior to taking the exam.
Please use the following promotional code when registering for the exam: WIN7J
Receiving this invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta; we recommend that you register immediately.

To register in North America, please call:

Prometric: (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926)

Outside the U.S./Canada, please contact:


Office 2007 SP2

The Microsoft Office team have released a great big list of fixes contained in Service Pack 2 for Office 2007 and some of them are great, and look like they’ll fix some issues I’m having :-) The full article can be found here and my pick of the fixes is below. (ps SP2 will be out 28th of April 2009-so next week!)

Excel: A chart object model has been added to Word and PowerPoint.

Groove: Synchronization reliability has been improved.


  • Performance in startup, shutdown, view rendering, and folder switch has been improved.
  • Calendar updates, search, and RSS are more reliable.
  • Powerpoint: Resaving of files is faster.

     Server side:

    Excel Services: Improved compatibility with Mozilla Firefox browsers.

    Props to Chris Parkes for his tweet on this :-)

    Windows 8

    Although we’re all caught up in the buzz waiting for Windows 7 to be released, MS have started looking forward to Windows 8!

    A job posting highlighted by CodeName Windows is looking for someone to work on Distributed File System Replication (DSFR) technology for Windows 8:

    “For the upcoming version of Windows, new critical features are being worked on including cluster support and support for one way replication. The core engine is also being reworked to provide dramatic performance improvements. We will also soon be starting major improvements for Windows 8 where we will be including innovative features which will revolutionize file access in branch offices.””

    That last point shows that the advanced made in Windows 7 and Win Svr 2008 R2 with Branch Cache are only the beginning of Microsoft’s plans to help companies with satellite offices.

    Windows Server 2011 (as I imagine it will be) gets in on the action too:

    In Windows Server 2008 R2 release, the Server UX Test team (under the File Server Management organization) is finalizing the MMC [Microsoft Management Console] based User eXperience (UX)/Interfaces for the File Server Role. Currently the team owns DFS [Distributed File System] Management, Share and Storage Management, FSRM [File Server Resource Manager] & Classification UI, Disk Management, SMFS. For Windows 8, the SSD organization is working on the next version of the file server.

    “As the team moved to Windows 8, you will have 2 main responsibilities – (i) put on the customer/design critique hat as we plan our next version file server management experience (i) participating in the architectural design, and development and driving automated testing for managing the next generation file server. Our current automation does not meet the multi-machine paradigm requirement and so you will contribute significantly in the development of test automation to validate setup/configuration of the new server, managing configuration changes, performing diagnostics and reporting using Power Shell, Command line, Object Model, UI.”

    Thanks to Mary Jo for the job descriptions.

    I know some people will think it’s weird that MS are working on another version of Windows while the newest version hasn’t been released yet, but that’s teh best way to ensure that the UX (User Experience) is very similar between the two aswell as keeping to the 3 year timeline.

    I’m very excited for Windows 7 but I can’t help wondering what awesome features will be in Windows 8…any ideas?! :-)