Full of I.T.

Kevin Remde's IT Pro WebLog

BREAKING NEWS: Buh-Bye TechNet Subscriptions

Evaluation Software

“Don’t you mean, ‘Buy TechNet Subscriptions’, Kevin?”

Nope.  The TechNet Subscription is no more.  Today Microsoft announced that, as of August 31, 2013 we will no longer be selling the TechNet Subscription, in favor of better free trials and evaluations (such as those found at https://aka.ms/evals)

Full details of this news are being e-mailed to all current subscribers even as this post goes live, and can be found at the TechNet site.  Also, please check out the updated TechNet Subscription FAQ: https://aka.ms/TNSFAQ)

“What happens to my current subscription?”

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 ‘til August 31, 2013 to make your purchase, and until September 30, 2013 to activate it.

“So.. where do I go to get similar features or support?”

In an e-mail I received on the subject, the author included a pretty useful grid mapping TechNet Subscription Benefits to alternative sources:



Microsoft Software Evaluation

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

Professional Support Calls

  • 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.

So in summary – don’t be discouraged.  Evaluations are being made available to everyone.  E-Learning resources are free (thanks to the MVA).  Heck, you can even install the latest evaluation software on cloud-based hardware using a free Windows Azure trial
(HINT: Wanna build a test network of Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview servers?  Build them in the cloud!)