Microsoft adds inactive date to transcripts and certificates

I have to admit sometimes Microsoft changes things seemingly just for the hell of it and these changes are sometimes plain wrong and illogical.

Today Microsoft proudly announces its going to add the words inactive to peoples certificates if they are in a technology which Microsoft no longer supports.  It seems a pointless thing to do and not really related to the certification.  In my mind people who are certified in a technology which is no longer supported by microsoft might well be more in demand rather than inactive.

you can read more about this on the born to learn blog here, its worth going to the blog to read the comments from angry certification holders, below is the relevant information

3.       Inactive Date – This is a big change: many of our certifications now feature an “inactive date” which signifies either that your certification is no longer in mainstream demand, that Microsoft no longer supports the product on which the certification is based, or that you have not met recertification requirements (if any). You won’t always see this field on your transcript—only if and when we’ve determined an inactive date for that certification. For affected certifications, you’ll start seeing inactive dates show up in June. (You can find more information on inactive dateshere.)

here is some more information about the certification lifespan

Certification Lifespan

The lifespan of a certification varies, based on certification track and certification technology. Some certifications will provide a recertification path to allow you to continuously hold the certification until the certification has been deemed inactive.

Note Certification policies vary by program and may change at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

View all answers


Today, most of our Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certifications retire when Microsoft discontinues mainstream support for the related technology. The certification will still appear on your transcript but will be listed in an inactive section with an expiration date. In most cases, an upgrade path, which allows candidates to earn the certification with fewer exams (usually one), will be available for individuals who hold the certification on the previous version of the technology.

The legacy Microsoft certifications, such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), currently do not expire, but some may no longer be awarded because all exams are retired or because Microsoft has ended extended support for the technology. In most cases, individuals who hold the certification on the previous version of the technology can earn the certification on the next version of the technology with one upgrade exam.

To maintain the relevance and value of our certifications and ensure that candidates possess up-to-date skills on technologies that are constantly changing, recertification may be necessary for some certifications. In these cases, the certification will remain valid as long as the candidate continues to recertify at appropriate intervals.

Note that Microsoft reserves the right to change these policies at any time.


A certification is deemed inactive for one of the following reasons:

  • The certification has been retired due to the technology being out of mainstream or extended support
  • The certification has been retired because there are two newer versions of the technology in the market
  • The certification has expired due to the recertification requirements not being met
    • Not all certifications require recertification, and recertification dates may vary by certification

  • Microsoft has determined that this certification is no longer relevant in the marketplace

    We evaluate each certification based on all of these reasons and determine the best inactive date for each certification. If the inactive date is based on the Microsoft technology mainstream or extended support date, the dates may change to reflect the most current date found in the Microsoft lifecycle website.


For those certifications you have achieved, you will see the inactive date on your transcript. If an inactive date does not exist, review the preceding table to learn about the general policy for the certification track. In the case where the certification is due to retire based on technology support end dates, you can view the latest dates on the Microsoft lifecycle site.

Any changes to these policies or certifications that do not follow the preceding guidelines will be updated on this website.

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