Microsoft to Retire TechNet Subscription Service
Microsoft has announced the retirement of its most popular TechNet Subscriptions service from August 31, 2013. However, customers can purchase new subscriptions till August 31, 2013 and activate them (new and renew) before September 30, 2013. Moreover, existing subscribers will be able to access program benefits and download products till the date of the expiry of their subscriptions.
Industry experts feel that the move by Microsoft to retire TechNet is largely due to the fact that other people including few software pirates also enjoyed the product keys and other benefits the subscription provided.
While TechNet Standard package cost USD 199, you have to pay USD 599 for a TechNet Professional with Media subscription where you get software products in DVD format as well. All subscription packages include e-learning course collections which will help you to update the knowledge. Moreover, Microsoft also provides professional support through discussion forums with priority and online chat.
Microsoft refused to disclose any further clarification when InfoQ reached out to its official spokesperson with several questions regarding the above development. However the following statement was provided officially.
In an effort to better meet customers needs, Microsoft has decided to retire the TechNet Subscription service, and focus on growing its free offerings, including cloud-based evaluation experiences through the TechNet Evaluation Center, expert-led learning through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and community-moderated technical support through the TechNet Forums. Also, please see the TechNet homepage and Retirement FAQ for further details on this transition, and insight into free alternative resources for IT professionals.
As you can infer from the above discussion, TechNet is lot cheaper than its full blown Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscription package. As an alternative to TechNet, Microsoft intend to provide free services that will include a new TechNet evaluation center offering free evaluation software for limited periods of 90 to 180 days. Microsoft is planning to phase out TechNet service completely by September 30, 2014.