Software enthusiasts and IT professionals alike have been googly-eyed over Microsoft‘s TechNet subscription service for years, but after 15 years of providing early access to new software for subscribers, Microsoft has decided to shut down the service. The company will no longer take new susbcribers or renewals after August 31, and they plan to shut it all down entirely on September 30, 2014.
For an annual subscription fee of a few hundred dollars, subscribers get to download almost all of Microsoft’s desktop and server software before the general public gets their hands on it. Of course, the software in TechNet is licensed for evaluation purposes only, but users pretty much get the same software experience that the general public gets, just at a lower cost and before everyone else.
The reason for the shutdown is simply because “IT trends and business dynamics have evolved,” meaning that TechNet has become obsolete. Whether or not the majority of subscribers believe that is irrelevant, as it seems Microsoft is firm on their decision to close the TechNet program. Furthermore, Microsoft also says that they’re shutting down TechNet to “focus on bettering free experiences for IT professionals through TechNet including the TechNet Evaluation Center, Microsoft Virtual Academy and TechNet Forums.”
However MSDN is staying open, but while that service also offers early access to new Microsoft software at a discounted subscription price, it’s certainly not as good of a deal as TechNet. As a result, we could see a lot of TechNet subscribers find refuge at MSDN, but many may just give up for good. MSDN costs $699 for the first year, with renewals running at $499. That’s a steep jump from the $199 (renewals at $149) for TechNet Standard subscriptions, so we wouldn’t be surprised if many users didn’t jump ship.