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Monday, July 01, 2013
Microsoft to Retire TechNet Subscription Service

After 15 years, one best software deals around is about to be retired. Microsoft will shut down its TechNet subscriptions service in 60 days, forcing its clients to similar programs the company offers.

Microsoft sent letters to its TechNet subscribers today, announcing its plans to retire its TechNet subscriptions service. New subscriptions will no longer be available after August 31, 2013, and the subscription service will shut down as current subscribers' contracts end.

Microsoft promises that you?ll still be able to take advantage of your subscription throughout your current subscription period. If you want to start a new subscription (or renew an existing one), you have until August 31, 2013 to make your purchase, and until September 30, 2013 to activate it.

Below you see a grid mapping TechNet Subscription Benefits to alternative sources, compiled by Microsoft:

Software Evaluation

TechNet Evaluation Center: Free evaluation software with no feature limits, available for 30-180 days.

TechNet Virtual Labs:  Free online testing environments, designed to be completed in 90 minutes or less, without the need to install evaluation bits locally.

MSDN Subscriptions: Paid offerings providing access to evaluation software for the duration of the subscription.

Learning Microsoft Virtual Academy: Over 200 free, expert-led technical training courses across more than 15 Microsoft technologies.
Forums TechNet Forums: Ask technical questions and receive responses from members of the community for free.

TechNet Support: Resources for IT professionals, including knowledge base articles, forums, and links to Microsoft partner support.

Microsoft Support: Access how-to articles, one-click diagnosis & repair for many issues, and step-by-step self-help instructions.

Microsoft Services: Assistance with deploying IT solutions, aligning business and IT strategy, support for IT systems, and more.

Microsoft TechNet subscriptions have been one of the best deals around for IT professionals and PC enthusiasts. For an annual subscription fee, subscribers get the right to download virtually all of the desktop and server software Microsoft sells, with multiple product keys. Enthusiasts used TechNet as a way to get Windows client and server upgrades and licenses. Of course, the deal was also a boon for software pirates, who figured out long ago that they could subscribe to TechNet and sell the keys via the web.

According to Microsoft, "The service is being retired so that Microsoft can focus on bettering our free experiences for IT professionals through TechNet including the TechNet Evaluation Center, Microsoft Virtual Academy and TechNet Forums."

Microsoft MSDN Subscriptions will continue to be offered, but MSDN prices are higher than those for TechNet.

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