Microsoft Announces The End of TechNet Subscriptions

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News Posted: Mon, Jul 1 2013 5:46 PM

Sheesh, when is it going to end? As if it wasn't enough that Microsoft annoyed millions of Windows fans with its latest OS (which it is now trying to correct), or that it seemed to care little about its loyal Xbox fanbase during the entire Xbone debacle - now, the company's decided to shutter one of its most popular services: TechNet.

TechNet was the perfect solution for those who wanted to evaluate Microsoft's impressive software portfolio without having to commit to an outright purchase. "Evaluate" is a loose term here, however, as the licenses given were in fact full-fledged. Many who required multiple licenses of Windows, for example, took advantage of TechNet because it proved cheaper for them over the long-run. Plus - apart from Windows, licenses for Office and Microsoft's other popular software could be had as well.

Microsoft TechNet

Microsoft's reasoning for this closure is as follows: "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 bold above is mine, because it highlights the ultimate reason for Microsoft's decision. However, despite that, it's leaving a lot of users out on the street. While Office has a free trial available, it doesn't last too long, and the same could be said about the company's other software, especially Visual Studio. 30 days may be suitable for a home user, but for a business owner looking to the future, it'll fly by quick. Plus, there's just no substitute to being able to evaluate a bunch of different software without having to deal with activation nag screens.

Unfortunately, no great solution exists for those who enjoyed a TechNet subscription. While pricing for the Standard TechNet subscription (lacks enterprise software) is $199/yr, MSDN, which also offers all of Microsoft's software, begins at $700 for the first year and $500 for each one after, and that's only for the operating systems. If you want access to all of Microsoft's software through an MSDN subscription, you'll be paying thousands annually - it's no longer for the home user, ultimately.

A sad day, to be sure, and yet another not-so-wise move by Microsoft to add to the list.

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Marco C replied on Mon, Jul 1 2013 6:07 PM

I don't think any other company tries harder to annoy existing customer than Microsoft. Maybe the cable TV companies, but it's a tough call.

Marco Chiappetta
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MS sure is pushing it.

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why does it feel like microsoft is committing suicide?

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AStroup replied on Mon, Jul 1 2013 9:03 PM

I'm posting a comment so i can win a contest, contests that require me to actually do something are a pain. I'm annoying you all by this post because of the contest rules, don't blame me for taking up your time, blame this site.

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I loved your answer Astroup. I like the honesty.

I don't think Microsoft is committing suicide, I do think it's going to push more customers away from Microsoft and those people will find other alternatives.

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There are other alternatives to much of their software, but it's not usually as good.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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MS does annoy its customers a lot. I just read last week that support for Win XP ends April of next year. My wife uses a Win XP Dell mini and she loves it. Win XP is also suitable and not power hungry on those netbooks. My handyman also brought home his desktop for me to fix it for him and even he has Win XP installed. Some people like to stick to the way things are and MS should try to understand that. They are adamant on so many levels but still at the end of the day I like some of their products and services. I have both Windows 7 and 8 and I can't complain.

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As someone who has had a Technet subscription for the last decade or so this year when it came up I didn't bother to renew. Why well for one the free licenses I don't get as much use of anymore and the beta access everyone on the planet gets anyway.

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