An Update on the Plan for Revising Books based on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 from MS Press

An Update on the Plan for Revising Books based on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 from MS Press

Liberty Munson (Microsoft)

Do you remember when I asked you what questions you have about how the upcoming changes related to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 releases will impact exams, associated courseware, and books? We got a great list of questions, and Super Sigma and Psychomagician are actively investigating them (stay tuned!). During this investigation, Psychomagician reached out to MS Press to find out the plan for updating books. During that investigation, Anne Hamilton, who leads this team, asked that I post the following blog on her behalf. Here's the answer to "When and how will books be updated to reflect the changes that are coming?"...

Hi folks,

I’m Anne Hamilton, the publisher for Microsoft Press.  I wanted to share our certification title plans to help you prepare for your exams.

First off, in the Windows Server 2012 R2 MCSA track, we are planning to have the following titles available within 30 days of the exam. Highlighted titles are currently available for Windows Server 2012, and will be updated for R2.  The remaining titles will be new for R2.

  • Exam Ref 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server® 2012 R2
  • Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server® 2012 R2
  • Exam Ref 70-411: Administering Windows Server® 2012 R2
  • Training Guide: Administering Windows Server® 2012 R2
  • Exam Ref 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server® 2012 R2 Services
  • Training Guide: Configuring Advanced Windows Server® 2012 R2 Services

 This slightly longer Exam Ref will be available about a month later.

  • Exam Ref 70-417: Upgrading from Windows Server® 2008 to Windows Server® 2012 R2

For the Windows 8.1 MCSA track, we are planning to have the following titles available within 30 days of the exam. Highlighted titles are currently available for Windows 8, and will be updated for Windows 8.1.  The remaining titles will be new for Windows 8.1.

  • Exam Ref 70-687: Configuring Windows® 8.1
  • Exam Ref 70-688: Managing and Maintaining Windows® 8.1

 For the Windows Server 2012 R2 MCSE track, we are planning to have the following titles available within 60 days of the exam:

  • Exam Ref 70-413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure for Windows Server® 2012 R2
  • Exam Ref 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure for Windows Server® 2012 R2

 Several of these titles are yet to be announced, but will show up here shortly. Check back every few weeks as the titles are added, and once there, you can pre-order them.  Stay tuned for more info! 

 If you’ve used a Training Guide or an Exam Ref to study for an exam, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the series. Let us know what you think.

Comments
  • Jason Krause
    |

    Any MSPress updates on MCSE: PC materials, or has that certification been abandoned?

  • ImmoRhys
    |

    Current ETA for 70-414 exam to be updated to R2 is April 2014:

    MCSE: Server Infrastructure - Exams 413 and 414 will be updated to include Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 content

    60 days after this would put the 70-414 Exam Ref ETA to June 2014, or 18 months after the 70-414 exam came out?

    18 months for an Exam Ref? It didn't take that long to write Server 2012 R2? Just cancel MCSE already, its a worthless title.

  • Renato Massone
    |

    I used "Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012" to prepare for the 70-410 exam and it's by far the worst book I've ever used. I found it really full of errors and, to some extent, inconsistencies. The exam ref actually filled the gaps, but even together they are so distant from the 2008 version.

    I found particularly annoying the way samples and labs were proposed on the Training Guide, with no connections between them, random names, confusing configurations, while the 2008 titles actually introduced a consistent lab environment at the very beginning of the books, and – if I'm not wrong – it used no more than 5 computers with well defined roles and features.

    Furthermore the Training Guide left untouched some topics actually found in the exam.

    Sadly, as I used to say to other colleagues trying the same exam, if you pass the exam it's not thanks this book, and if you only rely on this book you probably won't pass the exam.

  • pdiamond
    |

    @Renato - "if you only rely on this book you probably won't pass the exam."  As it should be.  The exams and the certifications are designed around having hands on experience working with the products. The book should guide you by explaining concepts and helping with features of the product you may not use on a day to day basis.  If all you do is read the book you should NOT be able to pass. There is no substitute for hands on time with the product.

  • Liberty Munson (Microsoft)
    |

    Hi Jason,

    I'm not sure which certification you're referring to? Can you provide more details?

  • Jason Krause
    |

    PC = Private Cloud.

    I am specifically requesting ExamRefs for 246 and 247. Microsoft put the certification out there, but does not appear to be support or promoting it.

  • Kim Spilker (Microsoft)
    |

    MCSE: Public Cloud: there are no plans to publish an Exam Ref at this time.

  • Jason Krause
    |

    @Kim, it is Private Cloud: www.microsoft.com/.../private-cloud-certification.aspx

    It is a shame that MS is not backing this certification. Can we expect it to be retired soon?

  • 3steveco33
    |

    There is much utility to be found here...Thank You.

  • ImmoRhys
    |

    blogs.msdn.com/.../microsoft-press-announcement.aspx

    KimSpilker

    30 Sep 2013 11:35 AM

    Microsoft Press has recently decided to take back all English language editorial and publishing functions for the business. O’Reilly Media will no longer be producing titles on behalf of Microsoft Press. However, they remain our marketing, sales and distribution partner.

  • Bojan Janevski
    |

    @Renato - I totally agree with you! The new books are not even close as the training kits that were available for Windows 2008 MCITP/MCSA study. They actually offered a lot of comprehensive and expanded quality study material.

    I recommend them strongly to anyone who is a beginner and wants to learn step by step - something that you won't be able to do much with the new training guide for 2012.

    The 2008 training kits helped me a lot into getting certified AND YES with proper study materials, lab exercise, practice tests, dedication and time investment, people with less experience can train very well for the exam and not just those who are already IT pro with years of experience.

  • Erik Bredevangen
    |

    Hi

    Do you have a release date for the Exam Ref 70-410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server® 2012 R2 ?

  • Matt Teichrob
    |

    According to the official O'Reilly Media Publication Schedule at oreilly.com/.../PubSchedule.xls -- "Exam Ref 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012 R2" is scheduled for release on 6/15/2014 and "Exam Ref 70-411: Administering Windows Server 2012 R2" has been cancelled.

    Why are these books so far behind schedule, especially given that the 2012 R2 exams were released in January?  These are the official Microsoft recommended/published books for these Microsoft certification exams.  Not having the books available makes it much more difficult to study.  TechNet articles are good but often provide much more detailed information than required, thus increasing the overall study-time burden.  And the 2012 (non-R2) books are no longer sufficient to cover all of the exam objectives.

    Please get these books out more quickly, or delay the introduction of R2 material on the certification exams.

  • Kim Spilker (Microsoft)
    |

    @Matt Teichrob - Hello, this is Kim from Press books marketing. I understand your frustration. We've had some editorial delays on these books and we're working hard to release them as soon as possible.

  • windowsquery.hotmail.com
    |

    Does this also include the Cert Prep Pack: MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2 by Ian McLean and Jason Kellington? I had preordered the book but cancelled after a month because Amazon wasn't sure when it was going to be available.

    I did my MCSE 2003 with MS press cert prep kit. The four books in the kit were awesome. It had labs, case studies, answers to the case studies, and the theories.

    The TechNet articles jump all over the place and doesn't compare to the mcse 2003/2008 kit pack. Its a good resource for reference but will nauseate the reader by jumping all over the place if one tries to follow a guideline for the certification.

    Is there something similar to the MCSE (2003 & 2008) training kit for windows 2012 r2? One that has labs, case studies with answers, end of the chapter questions with answers, and covers all the theories required for the test. With the product in the market for a while now it is surprising that no good books or training kit has been published so far.

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