70-681 (Windows 7/Office 2010 Deployment) Exam Preparation

I’ve been asked several times during the last week about how to prepare for 70-681, the exam on deploying Windows 7 and Office 2010, so I thought it was worthy of a blog post.  The issue is that there is no guidance from Microsoft on how to prepare for it in terms of materials.  And that is because it pulls in information from all over the place.  Think about it; Windows 7 deployment can include:

  • MAP
  • ACT
  • WAIK/ImageX
  • WDS
  • MDT
  • ConfigMgr OSD/Zero Touch

That’s 6 different products.  By the way, we cover all that in Mastering Windows 7 Deployment.  And that’s just Windows.  This exam also covers Office 2010.  They typically go hand in hand, which is why the exam includes both topics.  And this certification will be mandatory from May 2012 for the Microsoft partner Desktop competency (new and renewing partners).

If you want blogs/websites to read for preparation then check out:

From time to time, Microsoft is known to run classes for partners on training.  Your registered partner contacts in your company should be getting email announcements from the local MSFT partner team with any such information.  These courses are usually anywhere from free to very economic.  This is just a starting point to get the attendees on the ladder.  A course cannot be a complete exam prep.  And folks like Rhonda Layfield (USA) and Johan Arwidmark (in Europe but also USA) are known to run their own deployment training classes which can be attended by the public (for a fee).

In the end, most of the OS deployment stuff centres on a few things like WinPE, WSIM, SysPrep, and drivers.  I did the Vista/O2007 exam and Office deployment questions asked about evaluation/migration stuff.  To be honest, nothing prepares you for this exam like doing a lot of work in a lab.  That’s where your MSDN/TechNet licensing and a virtualisation host come in really handy.  You can get a little prep work done also in the TechNet Labs for Windows 7.

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