I've just taken, and passed, the 74-139 exam. Woo-Hoo!! The exam itself was straightforward enough - basically it required you to know the Business Desktop Deployment Accelerator Standard Edition. The exam probed for understanding of the adapted MSF methodology, knowledge of how BDD SA installs (i.e. what goes where), some experience with the tools involved (including WinPE) and some practice with BDD .
This was the first Partner Competency exams I've taken. The idea, of these exams, says Microsoft, is to "validate that individuals in a partner environment are efficient and capable of deploying multifaceted IT solutions to their customer with skills across multiple Microsoft products and technologies. Interestingly enough it would appear that although charged the same, these exams do "not qualify an individual as a Microsoft Certified Professional. Shame really - somehow the concepts of MCP and Partner competency seem to overlap greatly.
So partner competency exams are here. And this is a good thing, it's a way of demonstrating competency. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these exams. I'd just like some more joined up thinking from Microsoft around the exams.