Beta notification process update—and news about 71-669

Beta notification process update—and news about 71-669

Krista Wall (Microsoft)

No red telephone for me—Sniff!

Some of you may remember the Beta Drama, Red Telephones, and Silver Linings post from a few months ago. We did follow up with Prometric about whether they could move the registration start time from midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) to sometime when Prometric offices are open. Unfortunately they could not move the time because it would have affected all their other testing customers as well. Sadly, I didn’t get my red telephone either.

Now for something slightly different

However, for the soon-to-open Exam 71-669 beta, we’re going to try something slightly different. I hope that this solution will have the same benefit as the red telephone. We’re going to wait to send out the notifications containing the beta code until 9 am EST on registration day.

What does this mean to SMEs who have already submitted their profile?

Instead of getting the beta code a couple days ahead, you’ll receive it at 9 am the day of registration. You’ll get a notice a few days ahead telling you which day to expect it—just without the code in it.

71-669 beta registration opens 9 am EST next Monday!

What time is this in my region?

If you are interested in taking 71-669 TS: Windows Server® 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization, be sure to submit or update your SME profile by end of day Friday. Instead of midnight EST, you should be ready to register at 9 am Eastern Standard Time on March 1st. If your SME profile indicates that you have work experience with virtualization, you’ll receive a notification containing the beta code at the e-mail address indicated in your Microsoft Connect profile. If there are still seats left on March 3rd, we’ll post the beta code here on Born to Learn.

What do you think?

If you have an opinion about this change, put it in the comments here or send it straight to us at mslcd@microsoft.com. The idea is to make the process better, so if this isn’t an improvement, we’ll go back to what we were doing before. (And by the way, it’s not too late to wish me Happy Valentine’s Day.)

Comments
  • Anonymous
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    SMES are nice folks!
  • Anonymous
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    Yes very nice if you are a american. For other countries it is less nice
  • Anonymous
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    Wow, how totally stacked towards your US SME's. Not really that surprising as most of your learning offers are only valid for your US compatriots too. I'm really beginning to lose heart with Microsoft.
  • Anonymous
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    Not to be picky as the exams are free and first come first served, but I prefer the system of sending the code out beforehand in this case. I don't like the idea of relying on the email arriving as soon as possible after 9am (or midnight here) so I can book the exam. It seems whenever it is critical to receive an email, it doesn't come on time, and theres it becomes a bit of a lucky dip as to who's emails get sent before the system falls over, or who's mail systems work better.

    My most favoured message would be unique codes that can't be shared, but failing that I prefer the email in advance and a midnight release. My 2 cents anyway.
  • Anonymous
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    Just wanted to mention that I'm getting a lot of comments both here and in e-mail--and all are negative. I totally understand that the 9 hour change will impact some countries negatively (sorry Simon). But as a global program, no matter what time we choose, it will be inconvenient for some people. For people in my time zone, they now have to get up at 6 am. People in Europe, however, will be able to register during the workday a 2PM (why am I getting complaints from people in Europe? Can someone explain that to me?)
    The problem we were trying to solve here was that currently, Prometric cannot help out if something goes wrong with registration, because they are not open yet. We are not trying to make it more convenient for those in Europe or for those on the East Coast of North America. We are certainly not trying to make it less convenient for any area of the world.
    We obviously don't want to solve one problem by creating another. Let's try it this once and see how it goes.
    If anyone out there is actually in favor of this change, then you might want to speak up here. Otherwise we'll have to file this as "not one of my better ideas" and go back to what we were doing before--and just deal with the risk of the Prometric not being open if there's a problem.
  • Anonymous
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    I think this new method you've thought up might work just fine. Back in the days (well, actually, right up until Monday), I used to have to sign up for beta exams in the early morning, while eating breakfast and watching the 6 a.m. news. Shifting this to the afternoon is just fine--I think I'll still be awake enough at that time to push some buttons and sign up for the beta exam. I guess what many people might be concerned about is shifting the sign-up time into the workday. But then, until now, people in the U.S. would have had to stay up late; for some, that's nothing out of the ordinary, while others might have to go to bed earlier to make it to work early. Shift that time into the working day, and some people might have to dodge meetings or breakfast or other commitments. Yet for others, the shift might make it more convenient.

    There's no easy way to get around all this, but making sure some folks at Prometric are in fact available when a beta registration period goes live is the best you could do right now, especially after the 71-693 date when a lot of Europeans (myself included) were sweating acid trying to sign up and hearing that only Prometric's U.S. staff could pull the right strings to get the registration criteria fixed. Rather than work commitments, I'm more worried about e-mail delivery of the promo codes--once a receiving mail server uses blacklisting, there's no telling when a promo code might arrive at its destination. I've got MS Learning and MS Connect deliveries set up to a live.com e-mail address in the hopes that Live Mail might trust verifiable Microsoft senders enough to avoid any problems.

    It's easy to yell because a change might seem inconvenient. I'm willing to try this and start yelling--if needed--only on Monday afternoon Central European Time. ;)

    But, if there's any way to get this logistical feat done, individual promo or voucher codes might solve all problems. I'm just not sure I could suggest an easy way that doesn't require throwing lots of developers and money at it.
  • Anonymous
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    9:18 and no beta key.

    This is by far the biggest MS learning fail ever. When is microsoft going to fire the lot of you and hire people who know how to do their job properly?
  • Anonymous
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    Stop deleting my posts and let us know why you failed to get the key out for the past 21 minute.
  • Anonymous
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    I scheduled an appointment 30 minutes later hopping that I would receive the code by then. But it is 14:25 in England and still no emails.
  • Anonymous
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    I think the new proces is great. Oke, you have to rely on email, but it's more fair then the system where people post de beta code on their blog, days before subscription starts.
    Perfect would be personal, one time only, codes.

    By the way, it's 30 minutes past the deadline and I haven't received a code...
    I did receive it for the previous virtualization exams. And I did receive the mail from microsoft with subject "71-669 beta exam--registration will open March 1st?" to notify me of the changes.
    What's going on???
  • Anonymous
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    Looks you are new to MSL - it is not their biggest fail, just average MSL fail :) Expect nick ban for leaving negative comments.
  • Anonymous
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    I'm in Slovenia, Europe and am still waiting for the code for the last 34 minutes.
  • Anonymous
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    Glad that it came through eventually. All signed up ;-)
  • Anonymous
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    Where do you live? Here over at the Netherlands still no beta-code-e-mail!
  • Anonymous
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    I can explain that to you. The code has been e-mailed to some people....but strangely enough we're still NOT able to register for the exam...
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