Microsoft waves bye-bye to TechNet customers

On the heels of the death of Google Reader, Microsoft chooses to make cuts of its own, though which will weigh heavier on customers remains to be seen. Microsoft operates a pair of subscription services designed to help out developers and system administrators, but today announces one will be joining its version of the Google Graveyard.

Today, emails began rolling out to TechNet subscribers announcing the death of the service. The message informs users of impending doom arriving on August 31 of this year.

Thanks to tipster Pedro MacDowell Innecco "I was wondering about TechNet's future for a while. It is hard to sum it up here, but I believe that with all the changes that are happening in Microsoft, they would like to eventually have people to pay for software as a service. The TechNet isn't compatible with this model because once you get a key from there, there is no control on whether people are using the software in production (not allowed as per the TechNet license) or only for trial purposes".

The company has pushed out a Question and Answer site to help customers through what it terms a "transition" -- a polite way of saying "it's over. Deal with it". Where have we heard that before?

The company, however, promises MSDN subscriptions shall continue on as before and that "free evaluation software with no feature limits" will be "available for 30-180 days". In other words, this is being painted in the best possible light, though I doubt subscribers will see it that way.

"Microsoft is retiring the TechNet Subscriptions service to focus on growing its free offerings, including evaluation resources through the TechNet Evaluation Center, expert-led learning through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and community-moderated technical support through the TechNet Forums to better meet the needs of the growing IT professional community", the post starts out.

There is much more information available on the Q&A site. None of it, I am afraid, is particularly good news. Are you a subscriber? Did you get your notice yet? Let us know in the comments.

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