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Microsoft To Shut Down TechNet Subscription Service 280

otaku244 writes "Since 1998, Microsoft TechNet has been a mainstay for all system developers attached to the Microsoft platform, given the ease of access to almost every product the company has produced. Unfortunately, the days of a cheap, unlimited Microsoft development stack are coming to an end."
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Microsoft To Shut Down TechNet Subscription Service

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  • by JustANormalGuy ( 2969843 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @04:43PM (#44158811)
    Visual Studio and other products have free versions now, so TechNet subscription is mostly outdated service. Visual Studio Express is the same great product that the full version of Visual Studio is, but is great for beginners. Visual Studio as a whole is a great product too. And, MSDN subscription is there too.

    Combine that with subscription based Office and you have little reason to get TechNet.
  • by Vrtigo1 ( 1303147 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @04:59PM (#44159037)
    Technet was very reasonably priced at a couple hundred bucks a year and that got you access to almost everything Microsoft makes. Of course, you couldn't use it for production, but for testing, etc it was great. As a sysadmin, I don't want to pay 5-10x as much for an MSDN subscription because I just want the software, I could care less about the development stuff.

    So at the end of the day, what Microsoft will see is less money from me when I turn to other sources to get the MS software I need for testing purposes. I know guys at other companies with MSDN universal subscriptions and they're happy to share their login info.
  • by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @05:00PM (#44159049)

    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.

    Could it be they're trying to cut pirating / abuse as a business entity to raise license sales? Nah, it's a conspiracy to spite the users.. ya that's it.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday July 01, 2013 @05:42PM (#44159489) Homepage Journal

    This has got be the third dumbest idea Microsoft has had in the last decade

    Hey, as someone who competes against proprietary solutions (including Microsoft) with Free Software solutions, I wholeheartedly endorse this change!

    What I frequently see is businesses that hire a developer to code a solution, and that developer has Technet, so he chooses whatever technology he thinks is best on there, and then when the customer gets ready to deploy it, they find a chain of Microsoft dependencies that all need licensing and CAL's, and often get roped into a software maintenance agreement for 5+digits over their initial cost estimate. Often it gets big enough to require new hardware and a virtualization solution too.

    I get "second-opinion" work from them, but it's often too late to do anything else. I've heard of some (that I don't work with) who 'just get Technet' too.

    If there's a silver lining, it's that I often get first-crack at the next project. But either way, this is a great decision on Microsoft's part as far as I'm concerned!

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @05:43PM (#44159495)

    It is a way to turn a quick buck and show the shareholders that MS can make money with something other than XBox. Let us look at the long list of garbage shareholders are dealing with at MS.

    Windows Phone is a dud, Windows 8 was simply horrible and I'm not sure if they can make it work. They keep pumping money into advertising, and people keep pulling out the old MAC vs. PC commercial telling them how stupid that tactic was and still is.

    Server is still losing market share to Linux and Desktops are losing market share to tablets, phones, and MAC computers. It was never a boom town, but Exchange and Outlook was cheaper than Lotus Notes so people went that route.

    IIS never saw huge adoption, but the reduced server footprint means that more webapp servers are moving to something other than MS products. Office and other productivity software has been stagnant for over a decade.

    Bing is still a joke, and as with Windows 8 they keep paying people to tell you how good it is when we all see what the search engine market looks like.

    So this is a way of them screwing people in order to turn a quick buck. Even if it shoots their own foot off, they don't care. I have two words for people thinking that they do care, which is "Windows 8".

    All in all, I believe that this is a good thing! While it has taken a long time for justice to happen, and the failure of the US Justice system to make happen, Capitalism is killing off a monopoly all on it's own. It's going to be a slow and painful death, but a well deserved one. It also shows that a corrupt justice system just makes things worse! If they would have done their job in the first place and chunked them up like AT&T, they might still be thriving as several separate companies. (I emphasize the "might" there because it is a rhetorical fallacy to make a claim.)

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @05:43PM (#44159503)

    They're doing something similar with MSDN, now to get a couple of new toys you need to get the Premium edition (which is 5x the cost of Professional). eg. To get TFS, you can have Professional... but to get all the features like the code review stuff they've been heavily plugging, you need Premium.

    I think its just a ploy to squeeze more revenue out of us all, without us noticing until its too late.

  • by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @05:45PM (#44159515) Homepage

    Rod Trent over at [] speculates on the TechNet shutdown that " a Cloud world, this makes a lot of sense. Those wanting to test new software can simply spin-up a Microsoft Azure-hosted VM, completely configured for the application they want to try-out or through the use of TechNet Virtual Labs. These days, using Microsoft Azure, a testing lab can be setup and running in minutes with just a mouse click."

    Plausible, but risky if/when devs don't like it.

  • by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @10:41PM (#44161581)

    Microsoft doesn't want to be bothered with the OS or the language platform anymore. Not enough long term profit in it. They want to be a sort of Cloud/HP/Apple. They want to be a smartphone/tablet and internet based business services vendor and that's it. There's apparently just not enough profit in the OS or supporting application developers.

    It's clear that this is what Ballmer is thinking (he's recently on record as saying that he wants MS to become a "device and services company"), but it really doesn't make any damn sense.

    When it comes to cloud services and portable devices, MS is actually pretty late to the game, with nothing particularly special to offer. And their brand name is actually a negative – even people who like MS products often don't like their business practices, and many people only use MS because they more or less have to.

    I use Windows at home because it's what I am used to (I've been using it since Win95), and because some of the software I want to run is only available for Windows. My workplace uses Windows, Office, and a variety of other MS technologies in part because it's an industry standard, but also largely because of legacy lock-in: much of the third-party software we use is Windows-only, we have to work with existing Office documents all the time, and all our existing processes and procedures are based around Windows/Office.

    The desktop (and associated IT functions related to the desktop) is the one area where Microsoft has a real competitive advantage that will be very hard for anyone else to erode. Yet they seem blithely willing to ignore it, throw it away, in favor of moving to new lines of business where existing competition is fierce and they don't bring anything new to the table. It doesn't make any damn sense, and if the stockholders cared about the long-term viability of the company, they'd pitch Ballmer (and his chair) out the window right now.

  • All done now (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bravoc ( 771258 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @10:49PM (#44161623) Journal
    As an MCT, I get the TechNet subscription as part of my annual fees. Probably the most valuable benifit of the MCT program. Since I'm not really doing much with MSFT training these days, having much more fun with Linux and Open Source stuff, I've been debating weather or not to keep my MSFT certifications going. I stopped doing all the Novell certification crap back in the '90s as they became less and less relevant. I'm thinking this is just more MSFT not being able to figure out how to play in today's environment. I guess I'm done with Microsoft now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:45AM (#44162179)

    but actually learning in a structured, tested way is how professionals learn things.

    Working with, breaking and fixing real hands-on problems is how professionals learn.

    Sitting in a classroom listening to how things are meant to work teaches nothing.

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.