Well, this was a bit sudden. Redmond has just announced that its will be pulling the plug off of its TechNet subscription service, and it will be officially retired on August 31.

And customers who purchase (or renew) their subscription by this date have until September 30 to activate them. Microsoft will, however, honor all existing TechNet subscriptions.

The long running TechNet service has been used by Microsoft to provide early access to its newest products and developer tools (including Windows and Office) to paying customers. And while piracy is the first thing that comes to mind for this retirement, the company says this is not the real reason.

Redmond detailed this decision, saying:

“In recent years, we have seen a usage shift from paid to free evaluation experiences and resources. Although the TechNet Subscriptions service has experienced piracy and license misuse in the past, there was no single factor in the decision to retire the TechNet Subscriptions service.”

So there you have it, straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth.

TechNet has been rather popular among technology enthusiasts over the year but everything that has a begging has an end. All accounts will, obviously, remain active until their expiration date, but as mentioned above, no new subscription will be accepted after August 31.

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  • Bill Prehl

    I don’t like the proverbial horse’s mouth. I don’t like the idea of not having OS and Office and other products available to test/play/learn. I really thought it was the best deal for those in the IT industry to stay current. It absolutely drove my family crazy as I would use the software at home forcing us all to learn the new (and better?). I hope they have something else in the future that might be a lot more cost effective than MSDN subscription. The free/eval doesn’t work for those of us trying to learn by immersion (usually at home but also at work).