MS-900 Course Extras

MS-900 or Microsoft 365 Fundamentals is one of the series of Fundamentals certifications from Microsoft covering their Cloud technologies and aimed at giving foundational knowledge of the technology, its features, licensing and implementation.   

Generally, the Fundamentals qualifications can be classified as looking at what not how.  So, for example, with Microsoft 365 Fundamentals you need to know what options are available for hybrid identity (log on accounts) but not how to implement it.  Therefore these qualifications are often targeted at those in business management and sales roles.  If you have a technical role or mindset, the challenge with the fundamentals certifications can be that we tend to want to know how something works in order to understand what it can do and therefore end up overcomplicating things and going too deep.

The materials I’ve linked in this guide are often the starting page of the technical guidance, you do not need to go deeper for this qualification.  If you are in a technical role and are intending to go on to the Associate level qualifications then these pages are a good starting point, but not yet!

This style of page isn’t new.   These are a few but here one I like from Microsoft MVP, Chris Hoard

Microsoft 365: Fundamentals (MS-900) Exam Prep Guide – @Microsoft365Pro

General References

Taking a Microsoft Professional Exam

There are a number of blogs about taking MCP exams.  My personal favourites are:

Pre-study References

Before attending an MS-900 course you should have a basic understanding of what Cloud Computing and Microsoft 365 is.  These resources can help.

Microsoft Learn Learning Paths (MS-900)

References by Exam Objectives

Based on exam objectives from January 28, 2022

Describe cloud concepts (10-15%)

This section is covered by Discuss Azure fundamental concepts – Learn | Microsoft Docs

Describe the different types of cloud services available

  • describe Microsoft’s IaaS, and PaaS offerings
  • describe where Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365 fit in to the Microsoft ecosystem
    • Azure underpins Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 services, they both run on Azure.  As at January 2021 there were some exceptions as identified in this article. In the exam you will often be asked for the “best” answer.  Sometimes you need to think “what do Microsoft say about this” to determine the ‘best’ answer.  In this case the best answer is that Azure runs all Microsoft Cloud services and offers IAAS, and PAAS solutions with some SAAS services too; Microsoft 365 is the productivity cloud suite from Microsoft and runs on Azure; Dynamics 365 is a portfolio of cloud based business applications from Microsoft including ERP, CRM and others, which run on Azure.
  • cloud-based productivity solutions

Describe the benefits of and considerations for using a cloud service instead of on premises services

  • describe public, private, and hybrid scenarios
    • Private Cloud refers to computing resources used by one organisation, can be on-prem or hosted.  Public Cloud consists of services and resources accessed over the internet and availalbe to anyone who want to sign up and hosted by a supplier.  Hybrid cloud is an environment which combines public & private clouds.
  • identify scenarios when usage of cloud-based services is more beneficial than on premises services
    • Cloud based services offer many benefits.  For smaller or new organisation the fast setup, low initial outlay and enterprise grade features are often the most attractive benefits of cloud computing solutions.  For larger more complex organisations the flexibility and elasticity as well as agility and global reach are likely to be more attractive.  Each organisation is different so it’s each case will be different.  Another benefit, attractive to all sizes of organisation is disaster recovery.  By virtue of the design of the data centers and the number of datacenters, Microsoft 365 is highly resilient.
  • compare costs of cloud-based services with on-premises services
    • Cloud computing is often cheaper, however this point is targeted at the shift from capital expenditure (CapEx) with traditional on-prem computing (up front outlay on equipment) to operating expenditure (OpEx) with cloud.  Cloud computing is charged based on consumption, the more you use the more it costs.  CapEx and OpEx are handled differently for profit & loss calculations and as such this may be the biggest cost implication for organisations moving to the cloud.
  • identify factors that drive organizations to move to the cloud
    • The benefits of cloud are what drive people to the cloud.  These could be the extra features of cloud, the rapid update cadence, ability to take advantage of features which would be out of reach without (especially for newer/smaller organisations) and so on.  Just do a search for “Why Microsoft 365” and you will find lots of articles on the benefits e.g. why microsoft 365 – Bing


Describe Core Microsoft 365 Services and Concepts (30-35%)

Identify core Microsoft 365 capabilities

Describe options for deploying and supporting Windows and Office

Describe analytics capabilities in Microsoft 365

Describe Microsoft 365 collaboration solutions

Explain Security, Compliance, Privacy, and Trust in Microsoft 365 (30-35%)

Explain zero-trust security principles for Microsoft 365

This topic is covered by Zero Trust Security Model and Framework | Microsoft Security

  • identify key components that need to be protected within an organization’s cloud and on-premises infrastructure
  • describe key security pillars of protection, including identity, documents, network, and devices

Explain unified endpoint management concepts

Explain identity and access management concepts

Explain Threat Protection in Microsoft 365

Describe the Service Trust portal, Microsoft 365 security center, and Compliance Manager

This article Microsoft security portals and admin centers | Microsoft Docs covers a lot of this module and links to other articles

  • identify differences between the Service Trust portal, Security center, and Compliance Manager
  • explain the trust relationship between Microsoft and service locations
  • describe data protection options including data segregation
  • describe how compliance scores are generated and how they can be used
  • describe scenarios where knowing the compliance score benefits an organization
  • describe the value and capabilities of the Service Trust portal
  • explain insider risk management capabilities in the compliance score
  • identify eDiscovery use cases and scenarios
  • explain why privacy matters to Microsoft
  • demonstrate the Security Center and Secure Score benefits and capabilities

Describe information protection and governance solutions

This article Information Protection and Governance | Microsoft 365 covers a lot of this module and links to other articles

  • explain information protection and governance
  • identify the types of sensitivity labels and when to use each type

Describe Microsoft 365 Pricing and Support (20-25%)

Plan, predict, and compare pricing

  • describe the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) pricing model for Windows and Microsoft  cloud services
  • explain available billing and bill management options including billing frequency and methods of payment
  • optimize costs based on licensing options

Identify licensing options available in Microsoft 365

Describe the service lifecycle in Microsoft 365

This section is covered by Describe the service life cycle in Microsoft 365 – Learn | Microsoft Docs, you should also review Overview – Product end of support – Microsoft Lifecycle | Microsoft Docs, Modern Lifecycle Policy – Microsoft Lifecycle | Microsoft Docs and also review the Microsoft 365 Roadmap – See What’s Coming | Microsoft 365

  • describe private, public preview, and General Availability (GA) options
  • describe the correlation between lifecycle options and pricing
    • Be aware that when services and features are in preview they are typically free of charge and become subject to licencing costs when they reach general availability.
  • describe use cases and capabilities for the Microsoft 365 Roadmap portal

Describe support offerings for Microsoft 365 services

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