Does this mean that Microsoft will end the free documentation?
No. The MVA will be replaced by Microsoft Learn.
Microsoft Learn uses the docs.com domain that was used by a Microsoft service competing with Slideshare. But Microsoft deactivated it on December 15, 2017 and forced users to move all their documents to other platforms. The statement is still available and can be found here.
Microsoft Learn is the new platform where you can learn about various Microsoft products.
Some advantages and disadvantages of Learn.
I'll start with some disadvantages:
- Exam Preparation Documentation is not available in Learn. You must use Channel9 or official channels on YouTube like Ignite.
- For those who like slides, Learn does not provide slides.
- If you find any errors in the documentation or it is out of date, you can edit. This is possible because the documentation is in GitHUB which allows anyone to collaborate. All changes are not changed immediately, it is passed through several validations before being published. More information here.
- Cost reduction. For example in some areas like Azure, you do not need to use your own subscription. Temporary access is provided so you can trial settings, and more.
What about EdX?
EdX is not from Microsoft, it is an open, non-profit online course platform. They partner with organizations and universities. You can even use their platform to create your online courses.
Microsoft has its own 'channel' in https://www.edx.org/school/microsoft.
However not all courses are available but there is Microsoft Learning Partners (training company) that has its own private EdX platform and they are the ones that define the courses to be made available and prices. All costs are borne by the training company.
- Who wins with this? Everyone.
- If the partner defines that the courses are free the trainee has access to all information for free.
- If the partner defines that the course is paid, to have access it is necessary to acquire.
How can I find the training companies that offer these types of courses?
There is no public list. You will need to use Internet search engines. I will not mention any of them either. It would benefit some and hurt others.