Microsoft offering free TechNet Plus subscription [Updated]

TechNet Plus is a Microsoft service which offers full, legitimate versions of software to IT professionals (or whoever wants to pay for it). The subscription usually saps your wallet for $349 US, if you only want downloads, or $599 if you'd like disc versions too. However, as you can see, this is pretty pricey... the good news is, if you live in the US, the UK or Canada, our friendly Redmond-based software company has you covered.

If you live in the US, you can go here to get it sorted, or here for Canadians, and if you're in the UK, this will have you up and running. According to our pals at Ars Technica, you will need the following information: First name, last lame, street address, city/town, state, postal code, email, and contact phone number. You'll obviously need a valid address if you wish to get CD/DVD media, but otherwise you can use any for the direct software downloads.

Once that's all well and done, you'll need to do a few more things before you have a wealth of freebies within your grasps:

1. Sign In: Visit the TechNet Subscriptions Benefits Portal (you may be prompted to re-sign in using your Windows Live ID).
2. Register: You will be required to enter your first name, last name, e-mail address (exactly as they appear in your "Ship to" information) and Benefit Access Number: XXXXXXXXXX and accept the license terms.
3. Access Benefits: Once you have completed the registration, you will be able to access your online benefits, including Subscriber Downloads from the TechNet Subscriptions Management page. Each time you visit you will sign in using your Windows Live ID.

For those in other countries, it seems you're out of luck, but no doubt there are ways around these limitations. Let us know how it goes!

[Update]: Ars Technica is reporting that this offer may not be for one year as first thought, but only three months. Never-the-less, it's best to get in early and make the most of this while you can.

[Update 2]: It appears as though there are errors in requesting keys and we are hearing that this offer may have been limited to a select few rather than public. Microsoft has not officially responded to requests for comment.

[Update 3]: We are getting reports from members that many who had been successfully added to the subscription have now been removed. It seems that this was all an error on Microsoft's part.

View: Free TechNet (US)
View: Free TechNet (UK)
View: Free TechNet (Canada)

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