Microsoft tightens squeeze on TechNet parasites
Oi cheapskates, just buy the bloody software
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. ®
fessed up to using a Linux computer.
LMAO fessed up! You guys owe me a new keyboard, that was funnier than intended!
"Mum, dad... I have something important to tell you... I use Linux!"
"It's okay son, we always suspected anyway, the beard is a bit of a give-away!"
Shooting themselves in the foot ?
I have a TechNet subscription simply to have access to software which I sporadically need to set stuff and I think they're making a huge mistake.
Professional users don't need XP Home? So what about when I'm testing a software product which is said to give problems on a Home edition of XP? I don't run Home (be it XP, Win7, etc), so how exactly am I suppose to perform these tests under the new license?
Removing products which "are no longer covered by extended support" ? Just because MS doesn't support these products any longer doesn't mean I can't come across them in the open.
And then I do I rely on TechNet to "have my back" by providing access to all that arcane stuff so that I can help my customers best as possible. Sure; I'll also tell them that it might be a better idea to upgrade their stuff (hopefully by purchasing stuff from me) IF applicable.
But before they'll listen to such arguments I think actually helping them out with their problems is a key issue here. How am I going to do that in the upcoming future?
Instead of taking it out on their subscribers MS should take more action against violators. For example, while I could be mistaken I think only the upcoming new agreement clearly states that you can no longer use their software when your subscription runs out. Yeah, DUH!!
I'm honestly troubled by all this. One of the cool things about TechNet is having access to all sorts of software, even arcane stuff such a DOS and Windows 9x. Heck; I'm even careful enough to /always/ re-use serials when I need them instead of going "Mwa, I have 2 so I'll just go along and see what happens".
Yet I'm the one they're going after, not those idiots who abuse their service it seems. Doesn't feel right.
Re: Microsoft is restricting the software available on IT-pro hangout TechNet
Both aspects are wrong, here.
TechNet was never a freebie, though it does come as part of the Action Pack. Both are paid annual subscriptions. What is "free," however, is the multiple uses of various software allowed for internal use only. What's happening a lot is TechNet and MAPS subscribers are using the software to install at customer sites or on computers which are outside their company purview, and some are charging the customer full retail value. I admit that I have installed some of my MAPS software on my parents' machines as they work VERY well as a real-world test bed -- if I can fix what my dad screws up, I can pretty much fix anything.
But the supermarket "freebies," I'm hoping that was a joke. If it was, you've used the incorrect icon. Those aren't freebies. The free food samples on Friday afternoons and weekends are the freebies. Sometimes the vendor pays for them, but most of the time it's a treat from the actual store. And, yes, I've found that when a particular store or chain starts having problems those freebies tend to wane. What you're talking about is flat-out theft, which would relate if Microsoft starting putting the kibosh on pirates.
Re: fessed up to using a Linux computer.
Happened to me too.
I've had about enough of Microsoft's increasingly hostile attitude to IT professionals who might want to use their kit. As an IT architect, I've finally thrown in the towel and started migrating all new systems to Red Hat, except in cases where I need to continue to support things like Exchange.
The point is...
Microsoft are just stuffing the people who are vaguely loyal to them.
The people who subscribe to Technet are at least prepared to give Microsoft SOME money for their software. Any good techie knows of other sources for this stuff if they prefer to pay nothing.