Microsoft Retires TechNet Paid Subscriptions for IT Deployers
July 1, 2013 8:08 PM
comment(s) - last by
Focus will now be on paid MSDN subscriptions and free TechNet services
Microsoft Corp. (
) has for some time now maintained
two separate subscription services
to support deployments of Windows,
, Sharepoint, and various
other Microsoft products
in the information technology (IT) community. IT folks could get some basic support and resources with free trials, but for serious help they had to buy a subscription.
The first service was called
and its purpose was to allow "hands-on IT Professionals to evaluate Microsoft software and plan deployments". By contrast the
Microsoft Developer Network
(MSDN) subscription offered support for "evaluation, development, and testing purposes."
While a bit different in practice, those goals increasingly became as overlapping as they sound, hence it perhaps is unsurprising that Microsoft at last decided to phase out paid subscriptions to TechNet.
In a post on TechNet it
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
[MVA], and community-moderated technical support through the
to better meet the needs of the growing IT professional community.
The last day to purchase a TechNet Subscription through the
TechNet Subscriptions website
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.
As to why it decided to switch, Microsoft cites the high usage of free trials, commenting, "As IT trends and business dynamics have evolved, so has Microsoft’s set of offerings for IT professionals who are looking to learn, evaluate and deploy Microsoft technologies and services. In recent years, we have seen a usage shift from paid to free evaluation experiences and resources."
It says it announced the retirement before the final shuttering of paid services so as "to provide valued customers with ample time to plan for their evaluation needs and to make the necessary adjustments so that this change does not impact their ability to manage their business."
There's a lot of finer details to the shift, so business will want to read the fine print carefully, but at the end of the day this appears to be a streamlining move on Microsoft's part, shuffling the responsibilities of TechNet onto MSDN, MVA, and other similar free or paid support services.
Microsoft is in the midst of
a major leadership shakeup
. The head of the Interactive Entertainment Division (which includes the Xbox unit), Don Mattrick
already jumped ship
(or was fired, depending on who you ask), landing at Zynga Inc. (
). The phaseout of TechNet may somehow be tied to this broader internal restructuring, as well.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
7/2/2013 9:52:07 AM
Except the entire MS model is moving to subscriptions.
MS allows 180 day trials of most of their non consumer based software (Windows Server, SQL Server, etc..), while their consumer products like Windows and Office are moving to subscription models where product activation keys are becoming irrelevant. Even Visual Studio will likely move to a subscription based model, since going forward releases will likely be synced to Windows releases (for example VS2013 is the next version of Visual Studio, and what is needed to develop against Windows 8.1)
I think this is the real reason for getting rid of technet. MSDN probably isn't too far away, but for now, developers need access to test on a variety of platforms. Eventually MS will probably have virtualized installations to test against, perhaps on Windows Azure.
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