Microsoft's plans to adjust the prices of its exams in the summer have divided opinion among its partners.
Microsoft announced on Monday that it plans to modify prices of certain exams on a global basis in July, stopping short of giving specific details on how much prices will change.
The adjustment will affect commercial and academic Microsoft Certified Professional exams and Microsoft Technology Associate exams, including those taken online. It also applies to exams purchased from Pearson VUE and Courseware Marketplace, but does not apply to academic exams purchased through volume licensing.
Andy Trish, managing director of Microsoft partner NCI Technologies, said: "The reality is, the cost of Microsoft exams are already quite high. The value of the exams nowadays are lessening, so it is difficult to say how it would actually translate to us as a threat or as an advantage.
"I don't know what Microsoft are doing nowadays, to be honest. They seem to be a law unto themselves and are just putting prices up on everything."
IT support reseller TSG is heavily accredited with Microsoft, according to its chief operating officer, Steve Cox, who said the firm could be significantly affected by the price change.
"We have our own Microsoft trainer; we run the Microsoft official courses internally and then pay for our staff to do the exams," he explained.
"If there is an increase in price, it could be quite a costly experience at recertification time for our Gold competencies."
He added: "I think it is something we will carry on with because we see the value in differentiating ourselves from the competition; it has all the benefits for us. Which is ironic if the price goes up. I do think there needs to be some reasonable thinking around what the pricing should be."
But not all partners are sceptical about the news.
Microsoft reseller ITVET's training co-ordinator Stuart Fordham said: "Despite price rises, Microsoft exams are very valuable to us as a company. Not only do they provide ongoing professional development for our staff, but they also enable us to achieve enhanced Microsoft partnership status, providing us with an excellent marketing tool and access to licences and resources which otherwise may not be accessible."
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