Microsoft to begin to kill off TechNet Plus subscriptions in August

The news came in on Monday that Microsoft would discontinue its TechNet Plus subscription service after something like 15 years.

No one reason was given but some minor ones.

Some suggest it could be because of piracy issues but to help combat that over the years, Microsoft reduced the number of licenses given out to the major software such as operating systems.

First a bit of background.

TechNet Plus was a yearly paid subscription [there are 3 levels]. The subscription granted the user to install just about any non-developer software on multiple systems as long as the user owned them [i.e. you couldn’t give or sell the licenses to someone else]. Depending on the subscription level, you were granted from 2 to 5 licenses for most software.

Every year, the user is required to renew your subscription or else you can’t use the software installed. But [to my knowledge] cutting off the license from someone who didn’t renew but still using the software hasn’t happened [or at least not publicized].

So which brings me to the announcement. As of the end of August, there will be no more purchases or renewals. This means that the last subscriptions will expire at the end of August 2014.

The TechNet Plus site will still be up but not indefinitely.

The big question is what happens to the currently installed software. Does the copy of Windows 7 Professional and Office 2010 Professional Plus that a user installed 3 years ago will expire one day? Will there be any notice. We can assume so but Microsoft hasn’t mentioned anything as yet for either questions.

Another question [although not as major] is if the number of installations that will be affected. For licensed software, you can install the software up to five times as longs as the license is always on a single system [i.e. you can’t use the same license on two systems]. So will the [former] subscriber be allowed to remove it from one system and install on another after the end dates? [This assumes the licenses will continue after the end date.]

Of course if Microsoft would have one hell of a storm if they cut off the former subscription users with little or no notice.

Microsoft can only hope to offer TechNet Plus subscribers with some type of special discount for a MSDN subscription [on their own way expensive]. Either that or very cheap prices for the former subscribers to keep their license indefinitely.

[Update 2013/07/08:] It’s also worth noting here that if you had a TechNet subscription before July 2012, the terms of your agreement provided perpetual use rights. If you previously set up an evaluation server or a test PC or a virtual machine using TechNet software, the license rights for that installation are perpetual and do not expire when the agreement ends or the service is discontinued. Of course, Microsoft could change this.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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