If you've ever been part of a study group, in high school, college, or even in relation to technology certifications, you know how valuable the experience can be. Studying on your own is a lot about memorization, but studying in a group allows you to be challenged so that the content becomes more real and better engrained.
Microsoft has rolled out a similar concept called the Early Experts. Microsoft Early Experts is an online study group program specifically designed for those IT Pros wanting to boost their knowledge of Hyper-V, System Center, and Microsoft Azure. The content comes in a variety of formats including videos, study materials, and virtualized environments for interacting with the actual products.
To track your advancement Microsoft offers badges and an entry into a monthly prize. Right now, the prizes offered are Microsoft Surfaces, Windows to Go sticks, and vouchers for real exams.
Sign-up and participation is free: Microsoft Early Experts