Configuring Windows 8
Its that time again. Once every few years we need to look forward to a new collection of Microsoft certifications based from a whole new operating system. Today I am going to look at the first new Windows 8 examination.
Configuring Windows 8 Exam number 70-687 has a current release date of Sept 17th 2012 and is currently in development, it will count as a credit toward the MCSA: Windows 8.
Currently (at time of writing) there is no Microsoft press books available for this course, only overviews of the contents of the examination. There is an instructor lead MOC course available under course code 20687A. Yet this level 200 course I have yet to see on offer from the main training providers even on a pre order basis. Windows 8 has had alot of bad press from the enterprise wich may have something to do with the current lack of interest. I am sure that in the coming 12 months the demand will start to show as people slowly start to get their hands on the OS and play with it on a daily basis.
As a base client side OS certification the level of technical expertise to pass the certification should stay around the same level as the Windows 7 client examinations. If you already have the Windows 7 certification set the same rules apply as from Vista to 7 and XP to Vista. Most of the content included at this level is a lot of base knowledge as well as specific Windows 8 features. Extract what you need, discard the rest.
After taking a look at the concepts coverd in the 70-687 examination below I have included a list of some of the main topics.
VHD's and Hyper-V
Microsoft tried to push VHD's onto the client side for a number of reasons in Windows 7, including the deployment of the operating system and to help support the use of Virtual PC in the OS for Windows XP mode and backward compatibility. In Windows 8 we get to use VHD's in the way they were intended with the inclusion of Hyper-v on the client OS for the first time. Make sure you have a good grounding in both these technologies, especially how to boot natively from a VHD.
Expect IPv6 to play more of a leading role in this certification than it did with the Windows 7 certs. If you have been avoiding v6 over the past few years now is the time to start looking into this technology: Take a look at this small overview from techrepublic
Cloud and online authentication
Windows 8 is pushing into the 'Cloud' Space and online integration space with OS integration of things like Twitter and LinkedIn to pull contacts. A true mail app that you are going to want to use with a push toward online mail services from GMail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com and others. Skydrive with free online storage from Microsoft is also going to play a big role in the OS. This comes at the price of having to configure a Live account to access these services and Windows 8 services don't play nice without one. Make sure you have the knowledge in place to lock this kind of usage down in the enterprise environment.
Most people I have encountered in the Windows administration and support space have been shying away from Powershell, well more burying heads in the sand. This is going to be pushed more and more by Microsoft of the coming years Exchange 2010 was just the beginning. Windows 8 should be no exemption to this, Powershell is going to play a large role on the client and the server side of this new generation of operating systems. Its time to put away the mouse and the nice fancy GUI and its time to get back to the shell. Microsoft have some great guides for Powershell on both MSDN and TechNet. Dont get left behind!
For the full rundown follow the link to the Microsoft Learning site