At last, a Vista exam title that you can get out of your mouth out loud without having to stop halfway through to draw breath! That said, this Technology Specialist exam is not without some interesting twists and turns, and includes coverage of Windows Home Server as well as numerous aspects of Windows Vista. Candidates typically come from the ranks of retail support operations who can recommend, implement, and (most important) troubleshoot connected solutions based on Windows Vista. Some experience in installing Vista, managing Vista security, and troubleshooting Vista networking issues is also required, with a minimum of six to twelve months in harness as a retail support technician.
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The only preparation tools available for this exam come from a handful of e-learning offerings:
- Collection 7038: Microsoft Consumer Technology Solutions Sales and Technical Training
- Course 7040: Designing and Building a Consumer Technology Network
- Course 7041: Setting up Windows Vista for a Consumer Technology Solution
- Course 7043: Configuring and Troubleshooting Networking in a Consumer Technology Solution
- Course 7044: Setting Up Windows Home Server for a Consumer Technology Solution
To follow one list with another, here’s a rundown on the skills measured table from the Exam Page:
- Installing or upgrading Windows Vista:
prepare a system for clean install or upgrade, deploy Vista from upgrade or clean install, perform post-install tasks, and troubleshoot deployment issues.
- Configuring connected solutions:
Configure Windows Media Connect and Media Sharing, Configure MS Xbox 360 and Media Center Extender v1 for Media Sharing, and Configure Media Center Extender v2.
- Managing and maintaining Windows Vista systems:
Configure an troubleshoot security for IE7, troubleshoot Windows Firewall and Defender issues, apply software updates, set up user accounts and parental controls, and troubleshoot issues using Reliability and Performance Monitor.
- Configuring Windows Home Server (WHS):
Set up WHS, add users and media to WHS, set up PC backup within a WHS network, restore PCs within a WHS network, and troubleshoot issues with WHS or networking.
It’s interesting to note that the total count for those who’ve taken this exam and earned the TS: Windows Home Integrator credential stands at a relatively miniscule 235 as of 10/27/2008. The exam went live in August, so that shows less than 100 people passing this test per month, on average. Interesting exam but perhaps not as commercially viable a focus as Microsoft might like it to be? Only time will tell, and it will be equally interesting to see if the run rate climbs, holds steady, or falls in the months ahead. I’m not sure if there are enough people working at the intersection of Windows Vista and Windows Media technologies to make this credential truly popular, but we’ll be finding out!