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 PostPost subject: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:37 am 
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The online Technet blogs and customer support forums will live on, but Microsoft announced today in a letter to subscribers that it plans to retire its venerable 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 has offered TechNet subscriptions for most of the modern Windows era, debuting in 1998 as a massive packet of CDs, and evolving into a download option as broadband connections became common.

The services have historically been one of the best deals around for frugal IT professionals and PC enthusiasts. For an annual subscription fee of a few hundred dollars, subscribers get the right to download virtually all of the desktop and server software Microsoft sells, with multiple product keys. The software is licensed for evaluation purposes only, but that restriction is part of the license agreement and not enforced in the software itself.

As a result, a lot of enthusiasts used TechNet as a way to get cut-rate Windows client and server upgrades and licenses. Those product keys would up activating Windows on PCs deployed for everyday use instead of hewing to the “evaluation only” restriction.

To make matters worse, that smoking deal was also a boon for software pirates, who figured out long ago that they could subscribe to TechNet and sell the keys (sometimes along with counterfeit media) via the web, at prices that were too good to be true.

Over the years, Microsoft has tried to clamp down on piracy, cutting the number of product keys available to TechNet subscribers in 2010 and again a year ago, in 2012. It also changed the terms so that usage rights expired when the subscription did (although product keys continued to work).

But as the farewell letter notes, “IT trends and business dynamics have evolved,” and TechNet has outlived its original purpose.

Given its history, today’s announcement shouldn’t be a surprise. Here are the details:

New subscriptions won’t be accepted after August 31, 2013. Newly purchased subscriptions must be activated by September 30, 2013.
Current subscribers will still receive subscription benefits until their current contract ends. For most retail customers,subscribers are limited to a single year.
Existing subscriptions that expire on or before September 30, 2013 may be renewed for one year. Renewals may be purchased until August 31, 2013.
Subscribers with active Microsoft Certified Trainer accounts may continue to access their program benefits until March 31, 2014.
MVPs will continue to receive the option for a free Visual Studio Premium with MSDN subscription.
In practice, that means TechNet downloads will continue until sometime near the end of 2013, as those one-time renewals expire.

Microsoft has posted an FAQ here that also subscription benefits through Microsoft programs such as Not-For-Resale (NFR), Volume Licensing (VL), IT Academy (ITA), MAPS, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)..

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.”

Those programs typically offer time-limited versions of software that function just like fully licensed versions until they hit an expiration date. For Windows 8, Microsoft offers a 90-day evaluation version of its Enterprise edition only. (Enterprise editions are available as volume licenses only, not at retail.) That’s a far cry from what TechNet subscribers get today: three Windows 8 Pro product keys, each with multiple activations permitted, as well as a perpetual license for Windows 8 Enterprise.

Microsoft typically offers Windows Server for longer trial periods, such as the 180-day Windows Server 2012 Essentials trial.

Product keys downloaded as part of a TechNet subscription won’t expire, although license rights for products downloaded as part of a current subscription will cease when the subscription ends.

Microsoft’s developer-focused offering, MSDN Subscriptions, will continue to be offered. MSDN prices are significantly higher than those for TechNet. For IT professionals who genuinely need Windows client and server releases for long-term evaluation, the MSDN Operating Systems package is probably the best deal. It costs $699 for the first year, with renewals running $499. That’s a steep jump from the $199 and $299 annual costs (renewals $149 and $249) for TechNet Standard and Professional, respectively.

The MSDN OS offering includes virtually all editions of Windows, even unsupported ones, as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2012 Essentials. Microsoft Office is included only with the two priciest levels, starting at more than $6119 for the first year and $2569 a year for renewals.

Microsoft did not announce any changes in its Action Pack program, which offers discounted software to registered partners.



Before being blasted, this is still TECHNICALLY beta news. Technet offers betas. ;)

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:29 am 
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Such a shame. R.I.P Technet </3

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Is it possible that someone (such as mrpijey) could archive the entire TechNet site, or at least the builds that are not available elsewhere?

Also, as someone who has been in the scene for quite a long time now, I must say that I'm really sorry to hear that Microsoft has decided to shut down TechNet. I mean, from what I've seen, they were an excellent resource for collecting operating systems and applications, including pre-release versions that otherwise weren't available elsewhere. Infact, at least two of my Whistler CD-ROMs (Build 2462 Server and Advanced Server, both already available here) came on TechNet versions rather than traditional pre-release CD-ROMs, and the others were from MSDN.

Personally, though, I think that they are going too far, I mean, it's too much to sacrifice in my opinion. However, I still understand that there comes a time when every service will shut down, including operating system and beta collection sites, and unfortunately, TechNet just happens to be one of them.

Still, though, I hope that their entire collections eventually get archived by someone such as mrpijey, especially the pre-release software. We are, after all, a site for preservation of software when it becomes unavailable, and that includes releases from other sites that may be shutting down.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:48 pm 
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Its all part of microsofts big change in their attitude. First its the whole "Like it or lump it" attitude with Windows 8, then its the whole greed and cocky attitude with the Xbox One, now this.

Kinda wondering who is *really* running the company...

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Well, there are tons of Technet CDs out there we need to get our hands on, so anyone with those please get in touch with me so we can arrange some kind of upload system, borrow the discs etc so we can save them. As for the online contents, from what I know more or less everything on TechNet is also available on MSDN... or am I wrong? I've saved all Windows and Office content from MSDN (not the rest) so we should have most of that from Technet as well.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:42 pm 
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everything that is on technet is on msdn ... I have a subscription to both i guess i can be added to the list of users that is willing to upload everything. lol... i had technet direct so i have most of the original iso's in physical form.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:57 pm 
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I had no idea about people selling keys to others from Technet. That's pretty sad that they're going to use that as one of the reasons to shut down the site, but I guess people do worse.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:26 am 
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Is TechNet available to MSDN subscribers?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:16 am 
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HAHAHA, Luckily I have a MSDN Ultimate Subscription for 3 YEARS :D

By the way what's the differents of MSDN subscriptions and Technet Subscriptions ?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:35 am 
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TechNet is cheaper... I guess.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Dmaster101 wrote:
HAHAHA, Luckily I have a MSDN Ultimate Subscription for 3 YEARS :D

By the way what's the differents of MSDN subscriptions and Technet Subscriptions ?


MSDN = Developers and Enthusiasts
TechNet = IT Pros

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:57 pm 
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Terra854 wrote:
TechNet is cheaper... I guess.


I know, it's true.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:17 pm 
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I hate to bump this, but I've seen this also and I think it's awful.

Dmaster101 wrote:
HAHAHA, Luckily I have a MSDN Ultimate Subscription for 3 YEARS :D

By the way what's the differents of MSDN subscriptions and Technet Subscriptions ?


MSDN is for programmers and the software that you get from it can only be used for development purposes, with the exception of MS Office and the copy of Visual Studio that's bundled with the subscription (duh). TechNet is for IT professionals and the software that is included can only be used for evaluation purposes (but the software from TechNet subscriptions is not time-limited). It does not include Visual Studio and (presumably) several other programming titles and is much cheaper. Both come in retail and volume license editions (the VL edition has extra features not available in retail).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Whistler wrote:
I hate to bump this, but I've seen this also and I think it's awful.


6 days is hardly a bump...

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:33 am 
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Wheatley wrote:
Whistler wrote:
I hate to bump this, but I've seen this also and I think it's awful.


6 days is hardly a bump...


Unless it is 90 days then it is considered a bump.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:50 am 
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It's not a bump because he's not the author of the topic, and there are others' posts in the topic as well... According to the rules. The term "bumping" is used way too generally these days...

Besides, your posts hardly makes any sense...


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:23 am 
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R.I.P Technet :'(

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:26 am 
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To say I got most of my stuff from technet it will be sad to see it go. :(


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:14 pm 
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Windows Enthusiast1 wrote:
To say I got most of my stuff from technet it will be sad to see it go. :(


It was also sad when TechNet changed the licensing agreement (July 2012) to only 1 year & if the membership was not renewed that software license would expire.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:01 pm 
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This is definitely a huge loss for the community. Fingers crossed that someone will be able to archive the contents of Technet before it goes away.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:31 pm 
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Very pity for Technet, but we have MSDN.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Call me ignorant, what's the difference between Technet and MSDN in terms of what's available?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Bertie Bott wrote:
Call me ignorant, what's the difference between Technet and MSDN in terms of what's available?

Well , TechNet is mainly focused on OS's , and offers you Free OS's(for eveluation purposes only ,, however , it does not enforce it).
MSDN , is more expensive and (for the top 2 versions) includes Office. It also includes Visual Studio.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:38 pm 
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i will grab every file and store it somewhere when i get a chance... im pretty sure the same files that are on msdn are also on technet... however i will start a backup and see where it goes lol..... should be interesting.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Microsoft shutting down Technet        Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:43 pm 
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surely files on Technet and MSDN are the same. Only difference is the price for access and how much you get for the money.

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