If you love to tinker with Microsoft software, you really should have a TechNet Plus subscription. For $349 ($249 to renew), you get a year-long subscription that gives you the right to download, install, and activate just about every piece of software that Microsoft makes: every edition of Windows Vista (including Ultimate and Enterprise), Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, every member of the Windows Server family, nearly every member of the Office family, and a slew of tools.
You can get more details on this TechNet Plus overview page, but what you won’t find there is this $100 off coupon, which I found courtesy of Kevin Remde. Enter the coupon code TMSAM08 when you place your order, and that $349 first-year price tag shrinks to $249. (Sorry, this offer is good only in the U.S., and it expires in May 2008, so don’t wait too long.)
A few more details:
- The software is licensed for evaluation only, but it has no time bombs, so even if you choose not to renew, you can continue to use it. (Want more details about licensing? Read this FAQ.)
- You also get access to beta software, such as Windows Server 2008.
- Each annual subscription includes two complimentary Professional Support incidents, which would normally cost $59 each.
- You get access to managed newsgroups, where you’re guaranteed an answer within one business day.
I’ve been a TechNet subscriber for three years, and it’s really a fabulous deal. In fact, for the work I do it’s indispensable. More questions? Hit the comments and ask away.