Microsoft to wind down TechNet subscription service from August 31st

Many IT managers and early adopters cherish their TechNet subscriptions -- for a modest annual fee, they get advance access to a treasure trove of Microsoft apps. Unfortunately, that too-good-to-be-true deal is coming to an end, as Microsoft plans to phase out TechNet subscriptions in the months ahead. The company will stop taking new customers and renewals after August 31st, while Microsoft Certified Trainers will lose their perks after March 31st. Outside of volume licensing, TechNet downloads will stop entirely after September 30th, 2014. MSDN subscriptions will remain, but their steeper prices will likely rule them out for most enthusiasts. If you're not a professional, you'll just have to buy software as it reaches the public -- you know, like the rest of us.