Couple of days back I received an email from Microsoft with a subject “TechNet Subscriptions retirement” and following are its contents.
“As IT trends and business dynamics have evolved, so has Microsoft’s set of offerings for IT professionals who are looking to learn, evaluate and deploy Microsoft technologies and services. In recent years, we have seen a usage shift from paid to free evaluation experiences and resources. As a result, Microsoft has decided to retire the TechNet Subscriptions service and will discontinue sales on August 31, 2013.”
I was shocked with the decision taken by Microsoft, is it a right decision? The question now arises is how are they going to provide testing environments for small time developers? Usually 90-180 day evaluation won’t give much flexibility. Well time will tell how it’s going to impact the IT professionals. Currently most of the IT professionals are not happy with this move of Microsoft.
Though Microsoft are reassuring the IT professionals with the following message
“Subscribers with active accounts may continue to access program benefits until their current subscription period concludes.
We are committed to helping customers through this transition phase and will remain focused on providing IT professionals with free access to a broad set of TechNet assets that support the needs of IT professionals around the world.
Improved Free Offerings for IT Professionals Include:
- TechNet Evaluation Center: Free evaluation software with no feature limits, available for 30-180 days. Includes rich evaluation resources and TechNet Virtual Labs, which enable you to evaluate software without the need to install bits locally.
- Microsoft Virtual Academy: Free online learning site, with over 200 expert-led technical training courses across more than 15 Microsoft technologies with more added weekly.
- TechNet Forums: Free online forums where IT professionals can ask technical questions and receive rapid responses from members of the community.
Please note, MSDN Subscriptions provide a paid set of offerings that are also available for those who require access to evaluation software beyond what the above free offerings provide.”
I strongly believe that Microsoft could have reduced the type of services they were offering through TechNet subscriptions rather than stopping it completely.