Feeds

Microsoft tightens squeeze on TechNet parasites

Oi cheapskates, just buy the bloody software

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft is restricting the software available on IT-pro hangout TechNet to thwart illegal use of its gear.

The company is removing software not intended for use in an "IT professional managed business environment" – such as the Home Edition of Windows XP – while products no longer covered by its extended support cycle have also vanished.

Also gone are "redundant or multiple instances" of products – for example, standalone versions of apps such as Outlook will be cut but the full Office suite will remain.

Among other changes, Microsoft is restricting use of all software available to the 12-month period of a TechNet subscription. All the changes are due to come into effect "in the coming weeks".

Microsoft said here it's changing the rules of TechNet in order to: "[b]etter reflect the intent of the program – aiding IT professionals in evaluating current Microsoft software and to help protect the integrity of the subscription from unsupported use."

Translation: cut down on abuse by those who install the software on PCs or servers for work purposes or play time, or who let others borrow their subscription. The rules of TechNet are clear: you can only use software for testing and evaluating with accounts only being used by the named subscriber.

In March, Microsoft cut back on the number of product activation keys it hands out to TechNet subscribers, to members of the Microsoft Developer Network and Software Assurance programme and as part of its marketing giveaways because of piracy.

Microsoft said pirates were using the keys to obtain free or lower-cost products that they were selling at "significant" profit margins.

Suspensions for abusing the terms of TechNet, meanwhile, are not uncommon.

In June 2011, a Reg reader contacted us to say his TechNet account had been suspended, with the reason given by Microsoft that he'd "abused the terms" of his membership.

He denied abusing his account, and said the problem might have been that he had 'fessed up to using a Linux computer.

A spokesperson for Microsoft told us at the time that TechNet subscriptions are reviewed regularly to determine if product usage meets the programme's subscription's licence terms.

Thanks to Reg reader Tom for the tip on the TechNet rules change. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.