Microsoft's change of heart on its certified software engineer (MCSE) programme has left a number of companies still in the position of having to upgrade their certification or risk losing their certified partner (MCP) status.
Microsoft had announced its intention to de-certify software engineers who hadn't upgraded their MCSE from NT4 compliant to the new Windows 2000 standard, but reversed its position earlier this month, saying it would now allow engineers to keep their MCSE rating.
However, the new scheme only allows MCPs to keep their status as Microsoft partners if they upgrade their engineers' certification.
According to Microsoft's MCSE website, "The policy change does not affect the certification requirements for the 2002 Microsoft Certified Partner program. The list of eligible MCP exams were announced in May 2001 and did not include any Windows NT 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, or FrontPage exams. Customers ask for partners to be certified on the most current Microsoft technologies. The partner program requires the latest certifications on products, and Windows 2000 certifications meet this criterion."
Microsoft New Zealand director for sales and marketing, Ross Peat, says the situation depends on individual circumstances.
"To be eligible for the Microsoft Certified Partner program organisations need to have a minimum of two Microsoft Certified Professionals [people who have passed one current Microsoft certification exam]. If their current certified professionals are certified with Windows NT 4.0 then yes they will need to upgrade their certifications to Windows 2000 to qualify for the 2002 MS certified partner program."
But Peat says if the engineers have current certification in other products, such as Exchange, Visual Studio or SQL, then "no, they don't need to do any further upgrading".