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Microsoft halves number of available TechNet keys


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#1 vanx

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:46

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:


#2 Bioran

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:48

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...

#3 ahhell

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:49

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.

#4 +Nik L

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:53

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

#5 zhangm

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 10:58

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.

#6 Travelar

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:09

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? :)

#7 homeboyrocketshoulders

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:11

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.

#8 (Spork)

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:33

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

#9 7Dash8

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:34

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:

#10 +Nik L

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:39

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.

#11 hdood

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:48

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.

#12 (Spork)

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:51

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 ?

#13 hdood

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:56

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.

#14 +Nik L

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:57

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.

#15 Northgrove

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 12:01

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.