Legit Reviews noticed Microsoft is making big changes to TechNet, its yearly software subcription service that for a small fee gives developers access to thousands of dollars worth of full retail Microsoft software for their own evaluation use. The software gaint says it will increase the integrity of the subscription, the changes are aimed at reducing piracy and will make Microsoft software use and other subscription benefits available only during the 12-month subscription period.
Microsoft is making these changes to "help protect the integrity of the subscription from unsupported use", as it's intended for IT professionals. In other words, to try and stamp out what they see as piracy in the form of users giving away product keys to friends and family, along with those less scrupulous who actually sell them on to strangers for a handsome profit.
In practice, this means much more restrictive terms, with every change being something that Microsoft has taken away. This greatly devalues the benefit of such a subscription, making it frankly not worth it to swathes of ordinary people. No doubt, this will sharply reduce the number of TechNet subscriptions taken out, which Microsoft hopes will be made up for by people purchasing individual full-price product licenses. The biggest change hits the length of use of the software: out goes the perpetual license use, which allowed the software to be used forever, even after the subscription had long lapsed. Instead, the software will now only available for use within the yearly subscription period, making it very temporary and therefore far less useful. We surmise that this will be enforced by making product activation fail for TechNet product keys once the subscription has lapsed and holding the hapless user to ransom, for payment.