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edxMicrosoft partnered with online learning site EdX to offer people a new jumping-off point into the worlds of software development and IT administration. The Redmond-based company will begin offering 7 new massive open online courses (MOOCs) through EdX that will let users earn certifications to show that they have completed coursework.

The courses comer topics like development in C#, an introduction to building cloud apps on Microsoft Azure, using the Office 365 API and fundamentals of using Windows PowerShell. Students can audit the courses for free, or pay an additional fee to get a certificate upon their successful completion of the coursework that will prove to employers and other interested parties that they know the material.

Students can register for the courses on EdX today, and work will begin at the end of March.

It’s part of an ongoing collaboration between Microsoft and EdX. Previously, Microsoft created a tool that allows EdX instructors to embed content from Office Mix into their lectures.

The courses could help Microsoft build a new generation of programmers and IT administrators familiar with its tools at a time when the company is trying to draw more developers to Windows and its Azure cloud platform.

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