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  1. #1
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    R.I.P. TechNet the sad end of an MS institution




    TOP STORY

    R.I.P. TechNet the sad end of an MS institution


    By Woody Leonhard

    For years technology consultants, researchers, and journalists have relied on Microsoft's inexpensive TechNet subscription service to test and evaluate the company's offerings.

    Last week, Microsoft announced it would end TechNet subscriptions, effective Aug. 31. Here's why that decision is to put it kindly lamentable.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/r-i-p-technet-the-sad-end-of-an-ms-institution/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2013-07-17 at 18:23.

  2. #2
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    Petitioning Microsoft Corporation
    Continue TechNet Or Create An Affordable Alternative To MSDN.

    Petition by
    Cody Skidmore
    Concord, NH

    http://www.change.org/petitions/cont...native-to-msdn

  3. #3
    Lounger Will Fastie's Avatar
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    The problem is that Microsoft has a bunch of programs designed for IT pros, from expensive MSDN subscriptions at the top to cheap or free "action pack" subscriptions at the bottom. It also has a very messy partner program; messy, that is, for anyone serving the SMB or VSB markets.

    I believe Microsoft may try to fix its partner program because that's where I've seen activity lately. For example, any partner at any level can join the Cloud Essentials program, which provides an Office 365 subscription at no cost. Maybe that's where the missing Office 365 benefit from TechNet went. Assuming there's some logic there and following it, I could see other items from
    TechNet or Action Packs or other programs moving in the same direction.

    It probably makes sense to Microsoft. It is gaining traction with Office 365 and other cloud services, so clearly it would want to migrate its programs to encourage that growth. The cloud services are harder to pirate because once a subscription is activated, Microsoft can prevent a second activation. And Microsoft recently lowered the number of accounts available in Cloud Essentials from 25 to 5, making it less attractive to those who would attempt to sell those accounts to others. The lowering of the number of accounts may also mean that Microsoft doesn't have to make the freebie as attractive as it did at first.

    Maybe the death of TechNet is lamentable. But it was inevitable.

  4. #4
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    Why do TechNet subscribers need to "evaluate" software for more than a year?

    If software is required for their business, they should pay for the tools needed.

    Bruce

  5. #5
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    An Partner Action Pack costs about $350 a year. One has to "qualify" by periodically completing a simple testing process. This gives one access to virtually all MS software with 10 licenses. True, they are only valid so long as the subscription is active. I believe that's a a reasonable deal, however; there are no upgrade fees.

  6. #6
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    Just remember the OS/2 vs Windows war of years ago between IBM and MS... You had to pay big money for OS/2 doc while MS was nearly giving away all documentations... Guess what OS win? If MS products are not easily available for testing anymore (not talking about big corp), guess where those testers will go?

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Now let me get this straight: I, as the sole IT guy for my small business with multiple Windows PCs and a server and two LANs on ZyXel routers with a VPN between them, and full responsibility for buying all equipment, software, setting it up and maintaining it - a legitimate IT candidate, I should think - could have paid $199/$149 a year and had access to Licenses for all Microsoft products? Not for my business to use, I understand, but for me to use and evaluate and work out my setups and stuff before I "deploy" (a ridiculous term)? And those are full licenses that don't expire? Damn, I sure am sorry I missed out on that! I can see why Microsoft would want to terminate that kind of program.

    So I am building my next development system. Yeah, it's also going to be my day-to-day user system, that's how the real world works. So can I still sign up, pay the $199, get the licenses, setup my system and have software which will continue to be fully functional until I am ready to upgrade it (and pay, since this deal is being "retired".) I've been looking very seriously at Linux for our future growth, but such a deal would certainly tend to anchor me with Windows for a while, because in addition to being the CTO I am also the CFO, COO, and whatever other kind of hoity toity titles you would like to bestow upon the person who does everything except for buying and selling. If I can procrastinate on a decision and the ensuing development, I can spend time doing something else that's also urgent.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Why do TechNet subscribers need to "evaluate" software for more than a year?

    If software is required for their business, they should pay for the tools needed.

    Bruce
    Many people keep test setups where they can try every new software, running on multiple OSes and where multiple scenarios can be tested. So quite often means keeping different OSes based on VMs where you run each new version of the multiple software apps MS runs. It's simply not practical to keep them for limited time and then having to rebuild them again and again.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Many people keep test setups where they can try every new software, running on multiple OSes and where multiple scenarios can be tested. So quite often means keeping different OSes based on VMs where you run each new version of the multiple software apps MS runs. It's simply not practical to keep them for limited time and then having to rebuild them again and again.
    That sounds like a staging environment which is specifically prohibited by the terms of a TechNet subscription.

    Bruce

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    That's not correct at all. The Technet license prohibits production use. You could use any license for testing. Many IT pros did it, quite a few being even MVPs. If you couldn't test a given setup and keep it for testing, doing nothing more than testing, the Technet license would be good for nothing.
    Rui
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  11. #11
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    Sad news, after reading this column I renewed my subscription however MS have just cancelled the renewal

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gray View Post
    Sad news, after reading this column I renewed my subscription however MS have just cancelled the renewal
    Yeah, you would need to do it before September, I think. They are extending all subs by 90 days. How nice of MS.
    Rui
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Yeah, you would need to do it before September.
    Actually I renewed in July although they say they only discontinued sales 31 August they have rejected my renewal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gray View Post
    Actually I renewed in July although they say they only discontinued sales 31 August they have rejected my renewal
    Well, they seem keen to drop some of the people who have been some of their most effective advocates. Not sure if they care much about it, to be honest.
    Rui
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