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Microsoft ending TechNet subscription activations effective august 2013

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Bad news for legitimate users of TechNet.

This from ArsTechnica (link to article here):

Microsoft killing off TechNet subscriptions
Time-limited trials will have to suffice.
by Peter Bright - Jul 1, 2013 7:10 pm UTC

Microsoft is set to end its TechNet subscription scheme. Started in 1998, TechNet subscriptions gave IT professionals perpetual licenses to Windows client and server operating systems. Though these licenses were technically only authorized for evaluation purposes, many used them as cheap Windows licenses for personal machines.

First reported by Ed Bott, Microsoft today e-mailed TechNet subscribers to inform them of the changes. Both new subscriptions and renewals will remain on sale until August 31, 2013, with activation of subscriptions supported until September 30, 2013. With most subscriptions lasting one year, TechNet subscriber downloads will cease to work on September 30, 2014.

For volume license customers, TechNet subscription benefits will be available for the duration of the volume license agreement.

In addition to illicit production use, there have been reports of TechNet license keys being sold without disclosing their evaluation nature, leaving their buyers unwittingly exposed in the case of a software audit.

To justify the change, Microsoft said that users wanting evaluation copies of its software had shifted to freely available time-limited trial copies. That caused a decline in usage of these paid evaluation licenses.

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Microsoft's official announcement along with additional information regarding MAPS, MSDN, and other subscriptions can be found here.

Microsoft is retiring the TechNet Subscriptions service to focus on growing its free offerings, including evaluation resources through the TechNet Evaluation Center, expert-led learning through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and community-moderated technical support through the TechNet Forums to better meet the needs of the growing IT professional community.

The last day to purchase a TechNet Subscription through the TechNet Subscriptions website is August 31, 2013. Subscribers may activate purchased subscriptions through September 30, 2013.

Microsoft will continue to honor all existing TechNet Subscriptions. Subscribers with active accounts may continue to access program benefits until their current subscription period concludes.

The FAQs below includes additional information for all subscribers, including those that receive subscription benefits through Microsoft programs such as Not-For-Resale (NFR), Volume Licensing (VL), IT Academy (ITA), MAPS, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).
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So it goes...


ADDENDUM:  Trevor Pott over at The Register doesn't take this bit of news quite so clamly. Read his editorial take on what this is really all about here.

Here's a brief excerpt:

Take that, sysadmins!

The cancellation of TechNet subscriptions isn't merely a Windows 8.1-style slap in the face or an incomprehensible XBone-class failure to read the market. This is a deliberate, planned, carefully considered shot to the vital bits from on high.

The message is crystal clear: if you want to test Microsoft software on anything excepting disposable short-term "free evals", then you will do it in the cloud and you'll pay for the privilege. Can't afford to subscribe to the cloud for a test lab? MSDN a little too pricy, or the restriction to development use too severe? Too bad.

You and I – we dregs of the IT industry – are not Microsoft's target market. Microsoft has moved beyond the SME, the hobbyist, and the power user. Where once we were the foundations of the empire – the hearts and hands upon which Microsoft built and projected its global mindshare – we have become too "low margin" to maintain as customers.  <more>
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... and that's why we can't have nice things.

That still leaves MSDN, however, right?  Or are they removing it from my ultimate subscription too?  It doesn't appear so...

ok...the linux dark side is calling stronger and stronger to me.  I've managed to resist for so long.  I don't want to go there, but dammit.  Once I go down that road, I know I'm not coming back.

(Cue I'm Not Worthy) Who's the picture of?

Stoic Joker:
... and that's why we can't have nice things.

That still leaves MSDN, however, right?  Or are they removing it from my ultimate subscription too?  It doesn't appear so...
-wraith808 (July 01, 2013, 08:50 PM)
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This bit does make it sound safe for now..:
In addition, MSDN Subscriptions remain available for purchase and provide access to current and prior software versions for evaluation, development and testing. MSDN Subscriptions also provide priority support in forums, access to eLearning courses, and complimentary support incidents as part of the paid subscription.
--- End quote ---

...But it certainly has shaved all the hair off my warm fuzzy feeling.

I bet their download servers are getting hammered as people race to "stock up" before the end.


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