A lot of people out there will be disappointed to here that Microsoft will be wrapping up its TechNet program which allows users to evaluate full version software for an annual fee. It was a more affordable version compared to MSDN which remains the realm of businesses or hardcore developers. It is a great way to try out the various versions of Windows, Office and some of the other major pieces of software such as SQL Server.
My initial reaction is that this is not a very wise move on the part of Microsoft.
Anyway, as subscriptions wind up people may look at downloading a stack of software from TechNet and claiming all of their license keys as a way of stockpiling whilst the going is good. That said, there are subscription options available for the latest version of Office which may be more affordable and given how cheap Windows 8 was at launch there may be a lot of spare copies out there to snap up.
I can only hope that Microsoft fills in this gap with some decent options as this could drive prospective developers away to other platforms which seems counterproductive to Microsoft’s platform unification strategy.
Microsoft works in strange and mysterious ways (although some may say Microsoft just doesn’t work at all).