UIU Blog

What's Really Going on with TechNet?

There's been plenty of buzz, and buzz-kill circulating lately with respect to the future of TechNet. We were curious ourselves, so we did some digging to find out the skinny.

Will we lose access to the helpful TechNet articles that we've been accustomed to finding troubleshooting tips and solutions?  No.

It would appear that although TechNet subscriptions will cease to be available after August 31, 2013, downloads will continue to be available through the end of 2013, (under various circumstances). So begin your planning for an alternative software evaluation source if you haven't already. All your base are belong to us; make your time…

Here's a super confusing description of Microsoft's efforts to move away from TechNet Subscriptions:



What is Microsoft thinking?

Microsoft, I would surmise, seeks to curtail the egregious use of software available at the extremely low cost of a TechNet subscription as the software had no means of restricting use. The subscription service was undoubtedly abused by naive consumers and malevolent pirates alike. Alas­­, even when the subscription expired, the associated license keys did not. Furthermore, I'd surmise that with the introduction and promulgation of Windows 8.1/Azure/Office365, Microsoft is steadfastly moving toward a continual update, subscription model, eventually to be heavily focused on web-based services.


So, where do I get inexpensive Microsoft products to evaluate in my environment?

MSDN and MAPS (Microsoft Partnership required) programs will continue to be offered. Although more expensive than a TechNet Subscription used to be, these options will allow for long-term evaluations and discounted software, respectively.



Another alternative is the TechNet Evaluation Center which touts Full-featured evaluations at no cost. Note that these evaluation versions will expire, (60 days for productivity software, 90 days for OS and 180 days for server level software).



Where do I get helpful troubleshooting information and solutions to known issues?

Never fear, the ubiquitous TechNet Forums will remain and continue to provide valuable advice and solutions.



Where do I get Microsoft Product training?

The Microsoft Virtual Academy provides substantial materials to enhance your knowledge of Microsoft Products and a variety of topics at no cost. Enjoy.



What's the take-away?

The full range of Microsoft software, training and troubleshooting services are still available and you're going to pay more for evaluation software.

Is there any other information you've heard that we missed?

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