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Microsoft halves number of available TechNet keys

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Microsoft has quietly changed the terms of its TechNet subscription service by reducing the number of product keys made available for download to its users, The Register has learned.

On 15 September Redmond lowered the number of product keys dished out to TechNet subscribers from 10 to a maximum of five, in Microsoft?s latest effort to stamp out software piracy.

However, MS made the switcheroo without first informing its subscribers of the tweak to its TechNet small print. Product keys are used by Microsoft and other software vendors to certify that a user's copy of a particular program is genuine, and they typically require online activation.

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I can't imagine many people being happy about that :crazy:

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How many activations does each key allow? I thought one key can be used 10 times?

Although it does suck to have the activation amounts lowered from 100 to 50...

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You can always request more from MS if you too.

Why do people always need to ruin a good thing?!?!? ****ing pirates.

MS was pretty generous with the keys.

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Reasons are moot - should they REALLY be doing this without informing customers first?

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The system does get thoroughly and blatantly abused. I see these things for sale on Craigslist pretty much every day (valid product keys for every edition of Windows, 30$ each, etc). I suspect that people who can prove a legitimate need for keys will still be able to access them by contacting Microsoft.

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I've never come close to using all of my activations, but an email describing the change would have been nice. I wonder if they will cut the price for this? :)

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As a member, I must say this blows. At least tell us or offer some kind of partial refund.

But in the grand scope of things, 10 really is kind of overkill.

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yea im kinda ****ed i just got my account and 1 day i seen 10 keys the next day i logged in and BOOM 2 on some things and 5 on others im kinda ****ED

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You can always request more from MS if you too.

Why do people always need to ruin a good thing?!?!? ****ing pirates.

MS was pretty generous with the keys.

Remember the golden rule: piracy is never to blame for anything. It's always the greedy corporations or DRM or something else, never piracy :rolleyes:

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Blame isn't the issue here. I assume people used to pirate these all the time? I am not a member of TechNet nor do I pirate my OS, so I cann't really comment on that.

However they seem to have done this without talking to existing customers first. That is very poor.

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However they seem to have done this without talking to existing customers first. That is very poor.

Not unless there's anything in the contract.

Somewhere between 99.5 and 99.9987% of Neowin users with TechNet subscriptions are already violating the terms anyway and so should simply shut up and be happy they're allowed to do so at all.

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Not unless there's anything in the contract.

Somewhere between 99.5 and 99.9987% of Neowin users with TechNet subscriptions are already violating the terms anyway and so should simply shut up and be happy they're allowed to do so at all.

how so and where is your proof ?

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how so and where is your proof ?

People here are using software from TechNet in a production environment, when TechNet actually only gives you limited evaluation licenses. You are not allowed to download, say, Windows 7 and put it on your PC for everyday use. If you've been here a while, it's blatantly obvious that this is what most on Neowin do.

Obviously there are also legitimate users here, but they are a minority.

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Somewhere between 99.5 and 99.9987% of Neowin users with TechNet subscriptions are already violating the terms anyway and so should simply shut up and be happy they're allowed to do so at all.

Ignorant generalisation is ignorant.

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To counter piracy? Huh...

Piracy is basically about either cracking software to treat invalid product keys as legit, or making keygens.

How will dishing out less keys help there?

I think the honest reason is a less popular one, but much more straightforward:

They simply don't want TechNet subscribers to get as much for their money, in order to sell more. Period.

If this was truly about piracy, it would imply lowered subscription prices to go along with their added restrictions.

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capturekty.jpg

So the limit came in after I generated my keys, that means all 10 will still activate right? But new products will only allow me to generate 5 in the future ?

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Piracy is basically about either cracking software treat invalid product keys as legit, or making keygens.

Not at all. Selling product keys online is big business. When you see someone selling product keys for Microsoft products, they are committing fraud, and are most likely selling keys that are either stolen or come from TechNet.

I think the honest reason is a less popular one, but much more straightforward:

They simply don't want TechNet subscribers to get as much for their money, in order to sell more. Period.

If it isn't at least part of the reason, it should be. TechNet is so unbelievably abused as a way for people to get cheap software. People treat it as a subscription service for software, and often for their entire families and even friends.

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Technet deserves to be taken for everything they got considering the pricing of retail MS products

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Technet deserves to be taken for everything they got considering the pricing of retail MS products

Maybe when you grow up a little you'll be able to afford it. Microsoft's software is not that expensive.

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Maybe when you grow up a little you'll be able to afford it. Microsoft's software is not that expensive.

I hope you are joking because yes, it is expensive.

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I hope you are joking because yes, it is expensive.

A 'System Builder' license of Windows 7 Home Premium costs 87.90 ? here. Hardly what I'd call expensive.

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I hope you are joking because yes, it is expensive.

For something that you'll use for years, no it isn't. Plus you don't have to buy it; if you're so poor you can't afford it (how did you afford a computer?) go use Linux or something. Saying things like "Technet should be ripped off" sounds like something a bratty little kid would say. Whatever the cost is it's no excuse for piracy.

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I hope you are joking because yes, it is expensive.

Compared to what? OS X? I guess it is expensive compared to Ubuntu.

But something like Office is pretty dirt cheap for what you're getting.

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A 'System Builder' license of Windows 7 Home Premium costs 87.90 ? here. Hardly what I'd call expensive.

For something that you'll use for years, no it isn't. Plus you don't have to buy it; if you're so poor you can't afford it (how did you afford a computer?) go use Linux or something. Saying things like "Technet should be ripped off" sounds like something a bratty little kid would say. Whatever the cost is it's no excuse for piracy.

I'm talking about retail pricing, as OEM deals aren't available everywhere. I did purchase the OEM license for Windows 7 for my home PC's.

But talking to almost everyone else I know, I am one of the only people to actually have a legal license for Windows. They all have said if the FULL version (not upgrade) was around $150, they would consider it.

Anyhow ... back on topic ... this is a crap move by Microsoft, just the fact they have not told anyone before they would be doing this, and even after people purchased memberships.

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Like I said, when you consider that you'll be using that copy of Windows for many years even the retail price is nothing.

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