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RIP Technet

July 1, 2013

So sad to see the demise of Technet today.  It was an excellent collection of software (and licences) and has certainly been a big help to my IT career.

To most people Technet was about having the ability to run the systems you run at work, at home in your test lab.  This gave you a great resource for learning and also testing out upgrades and evaluating software not only from Microsoft but other vendors as well.

Now sure, we will all be able to download 60 day evals of software.  But what if you want to install a Hyper-V lab with some Systems Centre and check out what it can do against SQL, Exchange and SharePoint?  Your going to have to work quickly to get all of that in during 60 days.

A Technet subscription gave you the ability to take your time with your learning.  To build your lab up over time and build on the skills you learnt gradually.  If something happened in your life where study/learning wasn’t a priority you could just switch off your lab and then pick it all up later on when you wanted to.

Now all we have are 60 day evals and the sound of a ticking clock.  Don’t we get enough pressure in our day job already?  We don’t need more pressure at home.  Our labs have always been a safe haven from the pressures of the outside world.

Oh and when something has gone wrong with some Microsoft software and we have cancelled an evening with our spouse, or upset our child because we didn’t get home to read a bedtime story we have taken it on the chin.  At least we have our lab, we thought, there is some consolation there.

And now it is gone.  The big machine that is Microsoft will continue to hum and will remain deaf to our objections.  They will loose money of course from pulling the subscription, and will gain some money from reduced piracy.  And some time in the future some bean counter in Microsoft will put a slide in a PowerPoint presentation stating how the decision was the right thing to do though nobody will ever be able to prove it either way.

And we all lost the convenience of our home labs.  We lost our little empires of tech.  We lost our toys.  I guess we will get over it but it will never be quite the same.

One thing I know we won’t do is pay Microsoft any more money than we have to.  Those 60 day evals will have to do.  MSDN subscription?  No way.  I wonder how many Technet subscribers there are in the world and how much money this brought in for MS.

It struck me as odd at the time, but the last time I renewed my subscription for Technet Microsoft called me a couple of times.  They actually sounded a little desperate to get my money.  Perhaps they knew then that it was going to be the last time we would ever have that conversation.

RIP Technet.

C

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