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So if you haven’t been aware, as of August 31st 2013 Microsoft has officially shutdown the Technet Downloads.   They will exist no longer.   A Great furor arose from the people. 

IT Pros are fuming.   Over 10,000 signatures on a petition, www.savetechnet.com came out of this from Community members and finally some of us emailed Mr. Ballmer directly.

So far the final answer is “Technet downloads are Dead” but some good did come out of it.

Microsoft has updated the Technet Website with new information for IT Professionals.  I am taking the liberty of copying it here verbatim.   Please note the details.  If you want an accurate copy, please go directly to http://www.technet.com/subscriptions

Suffice it to say, we tried.  we REALLY tried (Trust me on just how High I climbed up the ladder and DID get a response) – And note, Microsoft *IS* listening.   What you see below is a result of Community Feedback.   Most of this came about within the last two weeks.

See below the updated information from Microsoft regarding Technet Subscriptions.   The original can be (and SHOULD be) accessed from http://www.technet.com/subscriptions

 

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TechNet Subscriptions

Microsoft is providing active subscribers with a free, one-time, 90 day extension

In response to customer feedback, we’re giving active subscribers additional time to prepare for the TechNet Subscriptions retirement with a free, one-time, 90 day subscription extension. Eligible subscribers may continue to access product downloads, use professional support calls*, and get priority support in TechNet Forums through their updated expiration date, which can be found on the My Account page of the TechNet Subscriptions benefits portal.

The free, 90 day subscription extension is available for customers whose TechNet Subscriptions:

  1. Were active as of September 1, 2013
  2. Expire on or before September 30, 2014
  3. Have not been granted through the Volume Licensing program

NOTE: The TechNet subscriptions team will extend eligible MAPS customers’ subscriptions in the coming weeks and will notify all eligible subscribers via email, once their subscriptions have been extended.

NOTE: The TechNet Subscriptions team will extend eligible subscriptions for customers in the Asia Pacific region in the coming weeks and will notify all eligible subscribers via email, once their subscriptions have been extended.

Please refer to the TechNet Subscriptions FAQ for additional information.

* The professional support calls benefit is only available to TechNet Subscription Professional subscribers.

Prior versions of Microsoft software are now available through the TechNet Evaluation Center

As TechNet Subscriptions customers begin to transition to the free evaluation resources Microsoft provides, we’re improving the TechNet Evaluation Center by making prior versions of products available for trial. Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and others are available now. We will add additional products over time.

Visit the TechNet Evaluation Center for free access to download and evaluate Microsoft products with no feature limits.

Microsoft is retiring the TechNet Subscription service

On July 1, Microsoft announced the retirement of the TechNet Subscriptions service to focus on growing its free offerings, including evaluation resources through the TechNet Evaluation Center, expert-led learning through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and community-moderated technical support through the TechNet Forums to better meet the needs of the growing IT professional community. Effective September 1, 2013, TechNet Subscriptions are no longer available for purchase through the TechNet Subscriptions website. Subscribers may activate purchased subscriptions through September 30, 2013.

Microsoft will continue to honor all existing TechNet Subscriptions. Subscribers with active accounts may continue to access program benefits until their current subscription period concludes.

We are committed to helping customers through the TechNet Subscriptions retirement and will remain focused on providing IT professionals with free access to a broad set of TechNet assets that support the needs of IT professionals around the world.

To learn more about free and paid technology evaluation resources Microsoft makes available to IT professionals, students, startups, consultants, partners, and more, see the chart below.

In addition, the TechNet Subscriptions FAQ includes additional information, links to alternative resources, and support contacts for all subscribers—including those that receive subscription benefits through Microsoft programs such as Not-For-Resale (NFR), Volume Licensing (VL), IT Academy (ITA), MAPS, Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). If you have questions about your benefits as a member of one of these programs, please contact the appropriate team through the links on the FAQ page.

Thank you for your understanding as we increase focus on growing and investing in our free offerings to better meet the needs of the IT professional community.

Customer Needs
Microsoft Resources Available Today

IT professionals evaluating Microsoft software
TechNet Evaluation Center: Free access to download and evaluate the latest Microsoft products with no feature limits. Based on customer feedback, the program also provides access to some prior versions of Microsoft software, including Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and others. Evaluation time limits vary by product and are based on typical customer needs, with server trials lasting 180 days.
TechNet Virtual Labs: Free online testing environments, designed to be completed in fewer than 2 hours, without the need to install evaluation bits locally.
MSDN Subscriptions: Paid subscriptions provide access to current and prior software versions for evaluation, development and testing. MSDN Subscriptions also provide priority support in MSDN forums, access to eLearning courses, and complimentary support incidents.
Microsoft Action Pack Development and Design Subscription (MAPS): Microsoft partners can leverage the Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions to complement their technology investments. Increase your readiness capacity with exclusive benefits that include: software licenses, access to technical communities, and comprehensive marketing tools. Review eligibility criteria.

Organizations evaluating Microsoft software
Volume Licensing Customers: Many mid-size and large Volume Licensing customers are eligible for limited evaluation rights to Microsoft software available in the Volume Licensing Service Center. Customers should review the terms of their license agreement for details about evaluation rights.
Software Assurance customers also have access to a variety of benefits, including Microsoft eLearning, 24/7 Support, and Professional Support Incidents.

Students, Startups, and Consultants needing Microsoft software for learning, training & business needs
DreamSpark software for students: Supports technical education by providing students with access to Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes at no cost. Review eligibility criteria.
BizSpark software for startups: Provides technology, support, visibility, and community to promising startups and entrepreneurs at no charge. Review eligibility criteria.
Microsoft Partner Network (MPN):Technical professionals whose primary business can be categorized as “Training Services” can enroll in MPN to leverage invaluable IT community, training, and marketing resources aligned with their business needs. An additional, exclusive benefit, is access to the latest Microsoft software. Subscribe to Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions (MAPS) to increase the value of your technology investments, improve your readiness, and drive deeper engagements with your customers. Review eligibility criteria.

Developers, IT professionals and others needing Microsoft software for testing and/or development
MSDN Subscriptions: Paid subscriptions provide access to current and prior software versions for evaluation, development and testing. MSDN Subscriptions also provide priority support in MSDN forums, access to eLearning courses, and complimentary support incidents.

Learning / Training
Microsoft Virtual Academy training: Over 200 free, expert-led technical training courses across more than 15 Microsoft technologies.
Microsoft Partner Network (MPN): Technical professionals whose primary business can be categorized as “Training Services” can enroll in MPN to leverage invaluable IT community resources, training & resources aligned with their business needs, and the latest Microsoft software. Subscribe to Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions (MAPS) to increase the value of your technology investments, improve your readiness, and drive deeper engagements with your customers. Review eligibility criteria.
Microsoft Labs Online for Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs): MCTs can use this Internet-based lab hosting service that provides compliant, secure, and cost-effective access to a selection of labs in the Microsoft Official Courseware catalogue, reducing the need for personal hardware and offering you a consistent experience no matter which Learning Partner you collaborate with. Note: Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) may continue to access TechNet Subscriptions benefits through March 31, 2014. See below for more information specific to MCTs.