Microsoft Significantly Devalues TechNet Subscriptions
Microsoft is making some big changes to its popular TechNet yearly software subscription, where for one relatively small fee, the subscriber can legally obtain thousands of dollars worth of full retail Microsoft software for their own evaluation use. Microsoft is making these changes to "help protect the integrity of the subscription from unsupported use", as it's intended for IT professionals. In other words, to try and stamp out what they see as piracy in the form of users giving away product keys to friends and family, along with those less scrupulous who actually sell them on to strangers for a handsome profit.
In practice, this means much more restrictive terms, with every change being something that Microsoft has taken away. This greatly devalues the benefit of such a subscription, making it frankly not worth it to swathes of ordinary people. No doubt, this will sharply reduce the number of TechNet subscriptions taken out, which Microsoft hopes will be made up for by people purchasing individual full-price product licenses. The biggest change hits the length of use of the software: out goes the perpetual license use, which allowed the software to be used forever, even after the subscription had long lapsed. Instead, the software will now only available for use within the yearly subscription period, making it very temporary and therefore far less useful. We surmise that this will be enforced by making product activation fail for TechNet product keys once the subscription has lapsed and holding the hapless user to ransom, for payment.
Other changes include reducing the length and complexity of the new agreement, which is currently in preview and can be viewed at the link below, removing redundant instances of products, removing products not intended for us by IT professionals, such as XP Home and removing products that are no longer covered by extended support through the Microsoft Support Lifecycle. Finally, Microsoft are standardizing the number of product keys that can be claimed in a 24-hour period to 10. All these changes apply equally to new and renewing subscribers. Ouch, this isn't the kind of thing a prospective customer likes to see, as normally product offers tend to improve with time, not get drastically cut back like this, making the product much less attractive. If you were considering such a subscription, then we recommend getting it now, before the changes come into effect.
Make Microsoft software use and other subscription benefits available only during the 12-month subscription period.
Posted by | Wed, Jul 11, 2012 - 07:04 PM