Unfortunately, it was going to cost more then $20,000 and I would have to be at Redmond for several weeks to focus and study, which was a hard sell for my wife and our young children. More recently, Microsoft dropped the onsite training requirement, so you could test without the training -- but I wanted the training, and I doubt I could have passed without it.
Ultimately what does all of this mean? If you're a Ranger, your credential remains valid and does not need to be renewed -- once a Ranger, always a Ranger at this point. For those who were trying to obtain the certification, they have until Jan. 1, 2014, to do so. (Microsoft initially offered a deadline of Oct. 1, but relented on that rapidly approaching date.)
Microsoft will ponder what might make sense for a future "pinnacle" certification to replace the Masters programs, one that might be sustainable and more reasonable in cost, and thus more attractive. Where that may lead, who knows?
Yes, some people are bitterly disappointed. But times change. Microsoft is reorganizing, and in fact changing the kind of business it wants to be. Leaders are being shifted, CEO Steve Ballmer is stepping down soon, TechNet is being discontinued, the Masters program is ending, and so may be the Microsoft Management Summit, though that's not yet confirmed.
But some of them come back, such as the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) after a decade's absence. Whatever new programs, certifications, and so forth Microsoft may create, I hope they will build on the existing legacy of what came before it. To quote John Lennon: "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
This story, "Why the Microsoft Certified Master program had to end," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.