Local reaction to Microsoft's change of heart over its MCSE (certified software engineer) de-certification plans has been swift and supportive.
Microsoft had planned to de-certify software engineers who hadn't upgraded their MCSE from NT4 to Windows 2000 platform by the end of December. Now engineers will be able to keep their ratings as long as NT4 exists in the marketplace.
"I see this as very positive step. It gives people time to work through the certification process to upgrade rather than having to try to rush to get it all done," says Auckland-based Auldhouse Computer training general manager Melanie Hobcroft. She says there are a number of engineers still using NT4, particularly in government departments, who don't need to be certified for Windows 2000 at the moment because they have no plans to migrate.
Ames Resource and Training's head of school George Marr also welcomes the reversal.
"Microsoft has finally made the right decision and come out in support of the industry." Marr says Microsoft "really put their foot in it" with an earlier decision to de-certify because there were a relatively large number of engineers who did not want to take the tests right now.
"They were quite happy with NT4 and saw no reason to upgrade to Windows 2000 or XP."
John Tolchard, general manager of marketing and alliances for Ceritas New Zealand, which owns systems integrator Computerland among others, says the decision "clearly makes sense".
"It protects the investment made by Microsoft's partners in their existing staff and frankly recognises that not all customers are going to transition to Windows 2000 in the time frame that Microsoft initially had planned."
Tolchard says customers who plan to stay on NT4 for the short to medium term would be pleased with the outcome.