The Benefits Of A Technet Subscription (Part 2)

1/24/2013 9:23:58 AM

Although the word ‘evaluation’ sticks in the throats of many a reader, consider this: if you were to buy Windows 8 Pro, along with Office 2010 for your computer, then the overall cost to you would be in the region of $480. Should that package then turn out to be the wrong choice, it would be money ill-spent (although you can refund it), but the time taken to install configure and test would have been wasted as well.

Description: Along with Windows 3.11!

Along with Windows 3.11!

Bear in mind also, that the terminology of Microsoft’s licensing can be taken in a couple of ways. For one, you can adhere to the guidelines and use the software as per the terms. And two, and this is where the grey area of licensing comes in, you can use the TechNet software in a home environment, providing you are not using it for business purposes. Naturally, there’s a very fine line, but as Microsoft avoid any such conversations I am limited to a conversation I had with an MS tech support, in which he stated that ‘Products from TechNet can be used on anywhere you want. As long as those products are used for one person’s test, evaluation purpose in non-production environment.’

This also tallies with a conversation a TechNet subscriber had with a Microsoft representative, who stated that ‘the use of TechNet software for a single individual across multiple machines in a home environment for testing purposes was not a violation of the license agreement and would not be considered a problem in the event that you were ever audited by Microsoft. He said as long as you aren’t running, supporting, operating a business with the TechNet software, you are within your legal rights to use and evaluate the software “however you see fit and for as long as necessary.”

Description: Technet subscribers get instant access to all the latest beta and RC releases, including full versions of software and product keys.  Current TechNet subscriptions will still have access to all the software available.

Technet subscribers get instant access to all the latest beta and RC releases, including full versions of software and product keys.  Current TechNet subscriptions will still have access to all the software available.

You can take the above to mean whatever you fancy, but the fact of the matter, or rather the crux of the license is, don’t use the TechNet software in a business environment, and it’s for testing use only. Whether Microsoft constitutes day-to-day use, or playing games on as non-evaluation is shady at best. Either way, be on the safe side and consider using TechNet purely as the test and evaluation scenario that it is.

It’s not all darkened corners of legal mumbo jumbo though. Also consider that by being a TechNet subscriber, if you were thinking of purchasing Server 2008, along with Exchange 2012 and SQL Server 2012 for your company, then the cost would be in the region of $3,200. Which, if it didn’t work out as a viable package, would make you very unpopular indeed. So for the evaluation price of $212, compared to the all-out price of $3,200, TechNet represents a very worthy alternative, plus, you are 100% legal, and without fear of downloading anything remotely dodgy.

Your Benefits

To enlarge upon the benefits to you, the individual, and recap on the accessing of otherwise inaccessible software, TechNet can offer you a great start to your skills in the IT profession. The number of times we have seen experience of a particular piece of software win over a qualification are quite significant, in fact, purchasing a TechNet subscription, if only for a single twelve month period, can represent a better investment than buying one of the many well-advertised courses.

In terms of looking at certain scenarios, take for example someone who is trying to start off in the IT industry. They have little-to-no experience of Microsoft software other than their home PCs, and they have a few qualifications - a scenario that most of us will know only too well. The job market is jam packed full to begin with, so having an ace up ones sleeve is an opportunity you shouldn’t ignore.

Description:  TechNet Subscription Benefits –

 TechNet Subscription Benefits

With the added, aforementioned, experience of TechNet evaluations of server level operating systems, creating domains, DNS, SQL servers and so on, could tip the scales in the favour of the applicant who has a subscription. In addition it also tells the prospective employer that the person in front of them is someone who is willing to keep their skills up to date, and can hit the ground running when it comes to starting fresh on a Monday morning.

For the enthusiast, a TechNet subscription for $212 means we can get our hands on the latest Microsoft offerings, long before they are released to the general public, to test, evaluate and play with before making any recommendations to friends or family. Moreover, it keeps our brains ticking over and, if used in a virtual environment, doesn’t require anymore expense other than the initial subscription.

Final Thoughts

A TechNet subscription has many benefits to those of us who love our technology and testing it out; it may very well be a niche benefit, but in terms of what it could represent it is, in my humble opinion, well worth the $212 initial outlay.

Granted, almost everything Microsoft develop can be had via the open source channels, but since Microsoft operate in ninety-odd percent of the businesses in the UK, then the $212 isn’t such as bad pay-off for the chance of gaining employment, and there’s the added bonus of being one of the first to say you have used, and tested a particular product.

Regardless of whether you see Microsoft as the all-encompassing evil machine or not, TechNet subscriptions are a decent enough investment for the IT all-rounder, obviously we can’t tell you what to spend your money on, but with Microsoft increasing their suite of software at a rate of knots these days, now may be as good a time as any to consider purchasing the base subscription and seeing how it will affect your chances of employment, enjoyment and whether it will satisfy that need all us tinkerers of toys have: to fiddle with software and see what it can do.

TechNet Software List

The list of Microsoft software that TechNet houses is extensive, and updated regularly, but here is a brief list of what’s available to the TechNet Standard subscriber:

·         .NET Framework Redistributable 3.0

·         Accounting Express

·         Antigen Service Pack

·         Application Virtualization for Terminal Services

·         Application Virtualization Hosting For Desktops

·         Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0.1

·         BizTalk Server 2009 Standard

·         Capacity Planner Service Pack

·         Commerce Server 2009 Enterprise

·         Commerce Server 2009 R2

·         Compute Cluster Pack

·         Configuration Manager

·         Connected Services Framework Service Pack

·         Content Management Server 2002 Standard

·         Customer Care Framework 2009

·         Data Analyzer 2002

·         Desktop Player

·         Data Protection Manager

·         Essentials 2010

·         Exchange Server 2010 Standard

·         Forefront Client Security

·         Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010

·         Front Page

·         Groove Server 2010

·         Host Integration Server 2006

·         Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

·         Interconnect 2007

·         Live Communications Server 2005 Standard

·         Log Parser

·         Lync 2010

·         Mobile Device Manager

·         MS-DOS

·         MSXML 4.0 Service Pack

·         Office 2003 Professional Enterprise

·         Office 2007 Enterprise

·         Office 2010 Proofing Tools

·         Office for Mac 2011 Home And Business

·         Office Professional Plus 2010

·         Office Standard 2010

·         Office Web Apps

·         Office XP Professional

·         Operations Manager 2005

·         Patterns & Practices

·         PerformancePoint Server

·         PowerPivot 2010

·         Project Server 2010

·         Project Standard 2010

·         Reporting Manager 2006

·         Search Server 2010

·         Service Manager

·         SharePoint Server 2010 Standard

·         Solomon 7.0

·         SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition

·         System Center 2012 Standard

·         System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008

·         TechNet Technical Library

·         Virtual PC 2007

·         Virtual PC for Mac 7.0

·         Virtual Server 2005 R2 Standard

·         Visio 2010 Professional

·         Windows 3.1

·         Windows 3.11

·         Windows 3.11 for Workgroups

·         Windows 7 Professional

·         Windows 8 Pro

·         Windows Home Server 2011

·         Windows Server 2003

·         Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard

·         Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

·         Windows Storage Server 2008 Embedded Basic

·         Windows Storage Server 2008 iSCSI

·         Windows Virtual PC

·         Windows Vista Business

·         Windows XP Media Center

·         Windows XP Professional


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