This is last week’s news but I was a little occupied and, to be honest, a refresher isn’t a bad thing. Last week, Microsoft sent out notifications to TechNet subscribers that the subscription service was coming to an end:
TechNet Subscription is a service where you can get just about every Microsoft install products (minus the dev ones) for evaluation purposes. IT Pros have used TechNet as a means for evaluating, testing, and learning Microsoft products over the years. At a modest fee of a few hundred, it was a great value service. Without TechNet Subscription I could never have become an MVP. I could have run home labs, I couldn’t have done demos in presentations. Before that, I leaned on TechNet to run a lab to learn Server, AD, Virtual Server (when you had to pay for it), etc. What I learned what transferred to the production network.
Now IT Pros are to seek alternatives:
- Evaluation Center: Get time-limited trials. Sorry, but we IT Pros are kind of busy. We can’t be rebuilding labs from scratch every 90-180 days. Are you trying to make like more difficult? I had an interesting chat with a MOC trainer (a very large international company) a few weeks ago. He was driven insane by the need to redeploy entire training environments every 3 months because of activation limitations.
- Virtual Academy: Seriously?!?!? Level 100/200 training? That’s supposed to prepare an IT Pro?
- Virtual Labs: Canned, limited, virtual only labs. Sorry. That’s a joke.
- Forums: You’re having a laugh right?
- MSDN: The equivalent subscription is 3-4 times more expensive because it is aimed at developers, and includes rights to use Visual Studio with the included s/w for development and testing purposes, not just evaluation.
I’ve said this in private, had it ignored, and now I’ll say this publicly. This is a stupid move. This stinks of start menu obstinacy. Even the start menu caused a divide. The entire IT Pro audience is furious about this. Somewhere a bean counter has looked at the bottom line and forgotten that hybrid cloud only works if the private cloud part is implemented. Who exactly is going to implement that? A person who has seen 5 minute videos on Virtual Academy? Get a grip!
Right now, a person is reading this and saying “hey you MVPs aren’t affected”. Yes, correct. One of our benefits is an MSDN subscription so my access to materials is not affected. I’m not angry for myself; I’m angry for the community, the people I represent as an MVP. Where are the next generation of MVPs going to come from? Are they going to be dumb retweeters for MSFT marketing? Are they going to learn just level 100 content from online labs? How are customers/consultants going to learn how to implement private cloud? BTW, the usage rights for MSFT partners to MSDN are limited to just a few people. Good luck with hybrid cloud without private cloud expertise.
This is an opportunity for Microsoft to listen to feedback and reverse course before it is too late. Don’t wait a year to apologise after you’ve alienated a market … see Windows 8.
As for you the reader, I do not want to hear a peep from you unless you’ve signed this petition. There’s too many sheep out there. Don’t bother tweeting, linking, commenting, or anything else unless you have signed the petition.