As you might have already read by now, TechNet subscriptions are going to disappear. For more info take a look at this blog post and the Subscriptions retirement FAQ.
The most important stuff:
- TechNet Subscription are sold through the TechNet Subscriptions website until August 31, 2013.
- Subscribers may activate purchased subscriptions through September 30, 2013.
- The TechNet benefits portal and the subscriber downloads page will remain available for non-Volume Licensing subscribers through September 30, 2014.
- Alternatives mentioned by Microsoft are:
- MSDN subscriptions
- Windows Azure.
- Technet Evaluations (time limited).
- Technet Virtual Labs.
I personally think this is not a good way to go because the TechNet software is used by many people to increase their skills (often even for a large part in their own time). Because of this, Microsoft products can add even more valuable for companies. Making it harder to get the required software and to keep it running for a longer time will probably scare people away or it will steer them towards hacked/cracked versions.
Basically if you want to have access to non time limited versions of enterprise products of Exchange, Lync, Sharepoint, System Center, etc. you need to take a $6000+ MSDN subscription. Currently I’m paying for TechNet Pro myself which costs 375 euro and I will take a Technet Subscription for this last year. I hope that Microsoft will have come to its senses by then and has provided a proper alternative. For now I would like to ask everyone that feels the same to sign the petition to get a decent TechNet alternative.