Microsoft has announced that until 30 Septemper 2013, you will be able to renew your TechNet subscription, download all your licences, and back up your license keys. After the 30 September cut-off, the subscription service that professionals have been relying on for years will be shut down. There will be no alternatives offered.
Microsoft doesn’t offer an official reason for downing the service. While they say no single factor was responsible, they do say that over the years they’ve “seen a usage shift from paid to free evaluation experiences and resources” and that the TechNet service in particular has suffered from “piracy and license misuse in the past.”
They now recommend that private professionals who use the service to run their own networks at home for private use or program validation and testing will be welcome to use the MSDN subscription, which currently costs a little over US $700 (±R7,000). The company also says that they will continue to improve their free software offerings and evaluation licenses to accommodate for the change.
Volume licence owners and current subscribers will be able to use the service and download pages until 30 September 2014, or the end term of their current agreement, whichever comes first. You have until 30 August 2013 to purchase your last subscription and will be required to activate it before 30 September 2013. MAPS subscribers and anyone else using software benefits extended from the Technet service will be likewise impacted.
TechNet was a cheaper solution for network professionals who needed access to everything that the MSDN subscribers got, but didn’t pay the extra money for support they didn’t need. You received access to a gamut of Microsoft software, ranging from Windows XP and Office 2003 all the way to the modern Server 2012 and Office 2013, including other specialised software like Office Sharepoint.
Dropping it creates an issue for those professionals who used the service because evaluation licences just don’t last that long. They now have to pay double for the same software under the MSDN licence, or make do with evaluation licenses.