Microsoft TechNet/MSDN keys will expire at end of subscription period


Microsoft, in an attempt to fight piracy, has tightened the terms for MSDN and TechNet subscribers once again. Back in March we reported that Microsoft reduced the number of keys that TechNet and MSDN subscribers received with their subscription from ten to 3. Today ZDNet reports that the company has revised its policies again to fight piracy.

Subscribers up until recently received ten product keys for nearly every Microsoft client and server product available, including Microsoft Windows and the company’s Office suite. Counterfeit businesses took the keys and resold them to customers who often were not aware that they did receive keys that were not intended for retail channels.

For a single annual subscription fee of a few hundred Dollars, subscribers would get keys that they could resell for a multitude. Even with three keys, it can still a profitable business due to the sheer size of products Microsoft is making available.

microsoft technet subscriptions

The new subscription terms impact subscribers in several ways:

  • MSDN subscribers only get five keys for current versions of Windows and Office, and only three for older versions of the operating systems. TechNet subscribers will maintain their three product keys per version ratio.
  • The numbers of keys that MSDN or TechNet subscribers can claim per day is reduced from 100 to around 10.
  • Unsupported software, like Windows 95 or Office 97 will no longer be available under the new terms.
  • Subscribers get time-based rights to use the products during the subscription period only.

Previously, subscribers were allowed to keep using the products that they had installed on systems. With the change this is no longer the case.

The subscription provides you with access to software and associated benefits. When your subscription concludes, you will no longer have access to the software or any associated benefits and must discontinue your use of the software.

While it is technically still possible to continue using the products after a subscription has expired, it is now explicitly prohibited to do so.

Existing keys will not be affected by the change, which means that MSDN subscribers who use more than five or three keys respectively can continue to use those after the terms change. Microsoft notes that subscribers can request additional keys if needed, and that it has improved support to deal with additional support requests caused by the change in terms.

A TechNet Standard license is available for $199 ($149 renewal) and includes most Microsoft commercial software expect for Enterprise and Microsoft Dynamics software.

Are you affected by the terms changes?

Microsoft TechNet/MSDN keys will expire at end of subscription period
Martin Brinkmann
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 06:50:09 GMT


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