Thursday, September 27, 2007

Download details: Office Communications Server 2007 Software Update Service

 One neat aspect of the new Microsoft OCS related handset (the Tanjay phone) is that it can get updates via WUS. This download: Office Communications Server 2007 Software Update Service helps to provide the updates.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Prometric: Testing and Assessment Blog

As many of you will know, Microsoft has gone single-vendor for its certification testing. MSL kept this a secret until they announced over the summer that Prometric had won the single vendor contract. Sadly, for most of people I know, VUE lost out big time. Over the years, VUE customer service was consistently better, VUE testing sites consistently better, and the VUE web site better. Overall, almost every person I know preferred VUE to Prometric - at least in my experience of 14 years of MCP testing. But that did not seem to matter. All that seemed to matter was that Prometric made a good proposal (which is also secret so).  And in a pretty cynical bit of communication, the change was announced just as everyone was headed away for a US bank holiday.

Naturally, when this change was announced there was a great outcry - which MSL seemed to be somewhat surprised about, but they promised to listen and to fix the problems.  Chris Pirie, in a recent blog entry, claims MSL really is listening. Sadly, it appears that  nothing is actually being achieved and the promises appear somewhat empty.

In early July, I had the chance to put some of my concerns to key Prometric management. I was promised big changes and in response to that I was happy to wait and see. Well, 2 months later and from everything I hear, there are still problems. MSL is doing its best to keep these quiet by insisting that any feedback come via mail - they are not addressing the issues in any public forum that I can see.

One important update that I found quite amusing - Prometric has now put up a marketing "blog": Testing and Assessment which trumpets their successes in testing and certification. The amusing bit for me is that the "blog" does not allow user comments. While this may be safer for Prometric, it means the authentic voice of the customer continues to be not heard. I deeply distrust any site that claims to be a blog but provides no way of enabling legitimate reader feedback.

I am not excited. :-(