Is there any possibility that current Windows NT 4.0 MCSE's can go directly to Windows XP MCSE certification instead of going to Win2K and then studying again for Windows XP?
Not unless you want to wait at least another 12-18 months to get started. That means your existing MCSE will become invalid at the end of the year 2001. You wouldn't be re-instated as an MCSE for XP until some time late in 2002 or early in 2003, depending on how long you take to re-certify. I don't know if I would recommend this strategy or not. It all depends on whether or not you must remain certified to meet conditions of employment.
If not, you could wait; however, timing gives you no choice but to pursue and obtain the Windows 2000 MCSE. That said, you won't even see ANY Windows XP exams until September or October of this year (and that will be only the Windows XP Professional exam). All the other exams won't even hit until some time next year (At least that is what I'm hearing right now due to XP running way behind schedule. I just got beta 2 on Friday, and it was supposed to be ready in late February). I also hear that Microsoft is planning on letting MCSEs mix and match electives on any Windows platform. They do not intend to retire Windows 2000 exams any time soon; however, candidates will have to pick the platform for their core exams (only Windows 2000, only Windows XP, and so forth) and stick to that religiously.
This was first published in April 2001