Microsoft has announced that it is shutting down TechNet, the subscription service that allowed IT professionals and hobbyists to get early access to Microsoft software. Instead, those who want info on upcoming Microsoft products will either need to rely on Microsoft's free offerings or join MSDN, which is considerably more expensive than TechNet.
PCMag's Chloe Albanesius reported, "Microsoft will retire its TechNet subscription service in favor of growing its free offerings, the company announced today. IT professionals can purchase TechNet subscriptions until Aug. 31 and have until Sept. 30 to activate those accounts. 'Microsoft will continue to honor all existing TechNet Subscriptions. Subscribers with active accounts may continue to access program benefits until their current subscription period concludes,' the company said."
Computerworld's Joab Jackson explained, "For over a decade, Microsoft has run the TechNet site and service to provide forums, tutorials, evaluation copies of software, news and other helpful aids for IT professionals who need to become more knowledgeable about Microsoft software. The subscription service component of TechNet allowed subscribers to install and run full-featured copies of Microsoft's latest software for limited periods of time and offered prioritized telephone support."
SlashGear's Craig Lloyd observed, "MSDN is staying open, but while that service also offers early access to new Microsoft software at a discounted subscription price, it’s certainly not as good of a deal as TechNet. As a result, we could see a lot of TechNet subscribers find refuge at MSDN, but many may just give up for good. MSDN costs $699 for the first year, with renewals running at $499. That’s a steep jump from the $199 (renewals at $149) for TechNet Standard subscriptions, so we wouldn’t be surprised if many users didn’t jump ship."
The Register's Trevor Pott commented, "The message is crystal clear: if you want to test Microsoft software on anything excepting disposable short-term 'free evals,' then you will do it in the cloud and you'll pay for the privilege. Can't afford to subscribe to the cloud for a test lab? MSDN a little too pricy, or the restriction to development use too severe? Too bad. You and I – we dregs of the IT industry – are not Microsoft's target market. Microsoft has moved beyond the SME, the hobbyist, and the power user. Where once we were the foundations of the empire – the hearts and hands upon which Microsoft built and projected its global mindshare – we have become too 'low margin' to maintain as customers."