Thursday, 25 July 2013

Last chance! TechNet subscription service shutting down


Microsoft is retiring its top software deals subscription. It was announced yesterday that in just 1 month it will shut down its TechNet subscriptions after the 15 year service. Microsoft has other, similar programs, but none as generous as TechNet.
The online Technet blogs and customer support forums will still be live, but a letter was sent to subscribers by Microsoft today announcing plans to retire the TechNet subscriptions service. New subscriptions will no longer be available after August 31, 2013, and the subscription service will shut down as current subscribers' contracts end.

From 1998, TechNet offered its subscriptions massive packets of CDs, and evolved into download options as broadband connections became common. The services have historically been one of the best deals around for IT professionals.

For an annual subscription fee of just a few hundred pounds, subscribers get the right to download virtually all of the desktop and server software Microsoft sells, with multiple product keys. The software itself is licensed for evaluation purposes only, that restriction however is part of the license agreement and is not enforced in the software itself.

The TechNet subscription was so popular because of this loophole; enthusiasts would use the platform to access cheap software then use the multiple product keys to activate rather than following the “evaluation only” rule.

This aspect was very popular in software piracy where subscribers would sell on the product keys with counterfeit software at “discount prices”. Despite Microsoft seeking to crack down on piracy through the platform in 2010 and 2012, you need only search Google or any ‘respecting’ torrent site to find these product keys in their thousands.

Last chance
Many have been left disappointed as a result of these changes. So with just 37 days to go, ensure you make the most of this offer for the final time by renewing or purchasing your subscription before the cut-off date - August 31, 2013.

More information on Subscriptions Retirement
You can check out Microsoft’s Subscriptions Retirement FAQ, with some of the main points below:

  • New subscribers have until August 31, 2013, to purchase an annual subscription.
  • Newly purchased subscriptions must be activated by September 30, 2013.
  • Current subscribers will continue to receive their benefits until their contract ends which for most retail purchases is limited to a year.
  • Existing subscribers with an end date before September 30, 2013, may renew for an additional year as long as they purchase prior to the August 31, 2013, cut-off.
  •  Subscribers with an active Microsoft Certified Training account will continue to access their program benefits until March 31, 2014.
  • MVP’s will still receive a free copy of Visual Studio Premium through an MSDN subscription.
  • The MSDN subscription will remain unchanged.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.