Working at Microsoft, I often have friends ask if I can pick them up a copy of this or that Microsoft application. Why? Not because they are running a business, but because they want to be able to play with the software to learn it. If you are an up-and-coming IT Pro, how can you learn Exchange Server or Windows Server or Small Business Server or SQL Server if you don't have the software to play with it? The expense for these programs is justifiable to businesses that run the application in their environment, but aspiring Server Admins are left with the proverbial chicken-and-the egg problem. No money to buy the software, but can't get a job if you don't know the app. Good Times!
- Microsoft software licensed for evaluation purposes: Evaluate full-version commercial products--without time limits or feature limits, including Windows Vista™ Microsoft Office System and Exchange Server 2007. With full-version software, IT Professionals can make informed decisions about new technologies and deployments at their own pace.
- Beta software: Automatically receive pre-release versions of Microsoft operating systems, servers and business applications.
- Exclusive tools: Get access to exclusive tools not available to the general public such as System Center Capacity Planner. System Center Capacity Planner helps size and plan deployments of Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Operations Manager. It provides you with the tools and guidance to deploy efficiently, while planning for the future by allowing for "what-if" analyses.
- Professional Support incidents: For the toughest technical questions, a TechNet Plus subscription also comes with two complimentary Professional Support incidents**. Subscribers can talk to a Microsoft Support Professional to quickly resolve their mission-critical technical issues fast.
- Unlimited Managed Newsgroup support: TechNet Plus provides access to over 100 Managed Newsgroups. Subscribers can exchange ideas with other IT Professionals and get expert answers to their technical questions within the next business day — guaranteed.
- Technical resources for Microsoft products: Subscribers also get the TechNet Library containing the Microsoft Knowledge Base, security updates, service packs, resource kits, utilities, technical training, and product documentation to keep their systems and IT skills up to date.
- Microsoft E-Learning courses: To prepare them for certification or simply to help them build their technical skills, TechNet Plus includes a selection of Microsoft E-Learning courses for free each quarter.
- Online Concierge Chat: Subscribers can chat with a Microsoft Search Assistant online for help finding the technical resources they need or for assistance with non-technical questions.
- Free subscription to TechNet Magazine:†† Subscribers also receive a free subscription to TechNet Magazine. TechNet Magazine provides hands-on information to help IT Professionals maximize their system’s security, reliability, scalability and interoperability.
That is a KILLER deal. I could not come close to buying all of that software, even at the Microsoft Store, for that price. And... if you've made it to the bottom of this post, my buddy Keith (that's him in the picture) has a deal for you. $100 off the subscription price. What are you waiting for? The professional incidents ALONE cost $249 apiece, you get access to betas, full licenses to our enterprise apps, and a subscription to the best Tech Magazine out there.