Microsoft Slashing TechNet Subscription Product Keys, Again

Microsoft TechNet is a resource site and service that is aimed at IT professionals and developers. Some of the information on the site are publicly accessible, while others only for subscribers.

Subscribers get for instance access to beta and development releases that may not be released to the general public at all. They on top of that get access to full-version software for the time of subscription and other benefits.

Microsoft distinguishes between a standard and professional subscription. Both share the following features:

  • Access full-version software for 12 months with no time or feature limits (including Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows versions)
  • Microsoft E-Learning access
  • 24/7 online chat
  • Priority support in TechNet forums

The professional version on top of that gets access to Microsoft infrastructure products (including Enterprise software), and two complimentary support calls.

Here are the current subscription fees

  • TechNet Standard: $199 for one year, $149 renewal
  • TechNet Professional: $349 for one year, $249 renewal
  • TechNet Professional with Media: $599 for one year, $449 renewal

technet subscriptions

Before September 2010, TechNet Professional subscribers received 10 product keys for every version of Windows, Office and other Microsoft products they were eligible for. This got slashed to five product keys in that month, and has now been slashed again to three product keys according to ZDnet.

Beginning in mid-March 2012, subscribers to TechNet Subscriptions (excluding TechNet Standard which are entitled to 2 keys per product) may access a maximum allocation of three (3) product keys for Microsoft Office and Windows Client products in connection with their subscription. The allotted keys may only be used for software evaluation purposes. Once the maximum keys have been activated, no more keys will be made available. Additional product keys may be acquired through the purchase of an additional subscription.

The system has been abused in the past, as some subscribers (maliciously) began to sell some of the product keys off. With ten licenses for every Microsoft operating system and Office product available (think windows 7 Pro, Ultimate and Home Premium, plus Office 2010 and other products) for the price of a single $349 subscription, they were bound to make a huge profit with every subscription they signed up for.

As of mid-March, TechNet Professional subscribers get three product keys for Microsoft products that are offered to subscribers. According to Microsoft, additional subscriptions need to be made if additional keys are needed.

Are you a TechNet subscriber? If so, what’s your opinion on this?

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