If you are a subscriber to Microsoft's MSDN and TechNet programs, get ready to be hit with more restrictions. Microsoft has announced plans to launch new policies on how users can access these two services. MSDN and TechNet are supposed to allow select business customers and software developers access to past and present Microsoft software product keys for an annual subscription fee.
ZDNet.com is reporting that these changes are being made in response to the influx of MSDN and TechNet product keys that are later resold to outsiders, along with pirated discs. One of the new restrictions will cut the number of product keys for current versions of Windows and Microsoft Office that MSDN subscribers can receive in half, from 10 to just five. MSDN subscribers will only get three product keys for older software versions.
MSDN and TechNet subscribers will also see the number of keys they will be able to claim per day cut down from 55 to 10. In addition, the new terms will eliminate access to all stand alone programs in the Microsoft Office suite, along with taking away access to older versions of Office. They will still be able to access the entire current Microsoft Office suite.
Finally, TechNet subscribers will no longer be able to use any programs from Microsoft if they decide not to renew their subscription. Previously, they were able to continue to use Microsoft programs they downloaded and used even if they stopped being a TechNet subscriber.
The new terms and policies are supposed to go into effect for current MSDN and TechNet users in a couple of weeks, according to the article.
Update: Microsoft has sent us a note saying that ZDNet.com's article was incorrect in terms of the number of keys MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able to claim per day. We have changed the article to reflect the correct numbers.