kimvette writes "Yesterday Microsoft was offering download-only Technet subscriptions for free (https://om2.one.microsoft.com/offer/technet_na.aspx) to be used "for testing purposes only" not production. However apparently they under-estimated how quickly the news would spread and just how many people would take advantage of the offer. After years of paying for MSDN subscriptions and quitting after the price just got too obscene I decided to drop my two subscriptions, waiting for a special to come along. This appeared too good to be true but it was a legitimate offer. I took advantage of it however today I started reading reports of the accounts being shut down. I checked mine early this afternoon and the account was still valid and I still had access to my downloads and my keys. Just now I checked and sure enough, I can see the list of downloads but cannot actually download anything nor can I view my keys.
Now here is the question: Is it not reasonable to expect Microsoft to honor a contract where they offered a product for an advertised price, where I accepted that offer and took advantage of it, and they in turn validated that offer by not only accepting THEIR ADVERTISED PRICE in their online ordering system, but proceeding to send me not only a confirmation email, but activation keys, which I in turn used upon receipt to redeem for my legally-purchased software?
Can they legally rescind this offer after my acceptance of their contract offer without any notification? With the oh-so-clearly-worded "for testing purposes only" licensing, which is more restricted than MSDN, is it not reasonable to expect that this offer from Microsoft is anything other than legitimate? I'm fully aware of software licensing costs, I've subscribed to MSDN ultimate three times, the newer equivalent once, and the equivalent of MSDN Professional twice. So, I am fully aware of the "perceived value" of their software. However I am also aware of the duplication and distribution costs, as well as the licensing restrictions, so "free" for "testing purposes only" does not strike me as something that would be unreasonable for one to expect Microsoft to honor the contract on.
What do you all think? Should Microsoft be expected to honor the offer that they have rescinded without notice?"