Save Money on Multiple Windows 7 Installs with a TechNet Plus Subscription


Nibiru2012

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This is a little old by about 7 days, but last time I checked the 25% off discount was still valid. :)

From: Paul Thurrott's SuperSite For Windows

Tip date: April 9, 2010
Tipster: Jeff Sprouse

If you're looking to upgrade multiple PCs in your home to Windows 7, there are various ways to save money. If you acted quickly enough last year, you could have purchased the Windows 7 Family Pack, getting three copies of Home Premium edition for just $150, but that deal is now over. If you already have Windows 7, you can save a bit of money by using the integrated Windows Anytime Upgrade feature to electronically upgrade to a higher-end product edition. But that only works if you're already on Windows 7, of course.

So what about those households that need multiple Windows 7 copies? With an average retail price of $150 for the Upgrade version of Windows 7 Home Premium, buying two, three, or more copies can really add up. Is there a cheaper way?
Of course there is. You just need to know where to look. And in this case, that place is somewhere that is hidden to average consumers. It's called TechNet Plus.


TechNet Plus is a subscription service that Microsoft aims at IT pros. There are various versions of the service at various price levels, but the one you should consider is called TechNet Plus Direct. It costs $349 for a year ($249 for renewals), and includes online access to downloadable ISO files for various Microsoft operating systems and applications, including full versions of Windows 7, Vista and XP, Windows Server 2008/R2 and 2003, Microsoft Office and standalone Office apps, and more. That's a lot of stuff. But it gets better.

Consider the following:
It's forever. Even though the subscription lasts only a year, the product keys for the products you have access to won't stop working after a year. So while you will lose download access to those ISOs after a year, as long as you saved copies of them, you can reinstall over and over again. The product keys are forever.

It's for multiple installs.
Each product key can be used to install up to 10 versions of the OS or application, for the most part. (I believe the Windows Server installs are limited to one or two installs.) But that's actually 100 (yes, 100) installs for each Windows 7 product edition, because you can activate each key 10 times. So you get 100 installs of Windows 7 Ultimate, 100 installs of Windows 7 Professional, 100 installs of Windows 7 Home Premium, and so on. That's an incredible value, though it should be noted that this program is designed for a single person. You can't share the product keys with others. What you're getting, essentially, as an individual is multiple, unlimited installs of the products that are included with the subscription ... for yourself.

They're full product versions.
These are not time-limited products, and they're not upgrade versions. TechNet Plus supplies full product versions.



It's for non-commercial use only.
While TechNet Plus is aimed at IT pros for testing purposes only, it's only real legal limitation is that these products cannot be used in production environments for commercial purposes. So you can't run your company's web site on a version of Windows Server you got from TechNet Plus. But there's no reason you can't run them on your home computers. In fact, Microsoft specifically says in its TechNet licensing FAQ that "the license grants installation and use rights to one user only, for evaluation purposes, on any of the user’s devices, this may include devices at home."

You get free software updates.
If you subscribe to TechNet Plus now and Microsoft releases, say, Office 2010 during the time when your subscription is active, you'll get access to Office 2010 in addition to the previously available version, Office 2007.

It's inexpensive.
If you want three or more copies of Windows 7 Home Premium, TechNet Plus is already less expensive than going the retail route, and by a wide margin. In fact, it's no contest.

The trick? You just need to understand that it exists.

Bonus tip: Save 25 percent!
Thanks also to David Sherman for pointing out that you can get a 25 percent discount on TechNet Plus if you use the code TNITQ406 when ordering your new subscription. Here are the details.

That drops the price to: $261.75 :rock: :congrats:

With an annual subscription, you can evaluate over 70+ full-version Microsoft software titles like Windows 7 and Office 2010 without time or feature limits.

But hurry! Offer ends 6/30/10.


--Paul Thurrott
April 9, 2010
 
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catilley1092

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So does this mean that when Windows 8 is released (assuming that's the name for it) it's ours for 100% free, except for the membership, of course? And can you get older Windows versions (Win 2K, Win 98 and so on) w/their product keys also? One last thing, when the next Windows beta is released, does having a membership guarantees you a download for the beta? It looks good, but if you have to pay anything in addition to the yearly fee for your OS's, I'd have to back away. It would be pricey to have to pay anything over and above the membership cost to obtain any Windows product. And being that I'm the only computer user in my home, is the price worth it? After all, the thread began as a way to save FAMILIES money.
 
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Thrax

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Yes to all of your questions, but when you receive the beta will depend on your TechNet subscriber level. For example, the very expensive Gold level will get you access to almost every build.
 

catilley1092

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I noticed when I clicked onto the site that there were two levels of membership. Is the lower priced one a watered down version of the far more expensive (gold) membership? I can see a possible savings (once again, I'm a single user here), on the regular version. But I still would want the real deal, even if I have to wait a little longer for the RC of the next Windows. This does look good, and I'll have to give this program serious consideration, I've read other articles regarding this program, and the feedback was excellent. I can understand where the "gold" members comes first, they lay out more cash, and should receive the best. But as long as I'll receive the same, only at a slower pace, I think I could live with that.
 

Thrax

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On the "regular" TechNet membership, you'll only receive regular betas like Windows 7 build 7000 or RC build 7100, but you'll get them weeks before other people. TechNet subscribers got the Win 7 RTM about 4 months before the public.
 

Nibiru2012

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I noticed when I clicked onto the site that there were two levels of membership. Is the lower priced one a watered down version of the far more expensive (gold) membership?
The higher priced membership also ships the DVDs to the member.

The lower priced membership provides downloads only.



After all, the thread began as a way to save FAMILIES money.
Actually my intent was to provide everyone an opportunity to become a member of the Microsoft TechNet Community.

Since the retail price of Windows 7 Ultimate Full version is: $284.99 and the retail price of Windows 7 Professional Full Version is: $268.99 I thought that some members would rather just become a TechNet member and save their hard earned dollars. [Prices are from the Newegg website as of 4-16-2010]
 
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catilley1092

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This is a fantastic thread and is very informative. Being that I have no "cap" on my internet use, downloads are fine with me. Nibiru, I mentioned families because you brought up a scenario where several members of a family could save HUGE by having this program. The "gold" package is out of reach for me, but the "regular" or basic membership is not a chump change program. It's as good in many ways. By receiving the downloads a little later, some of the bugs most likely have been worked out of the beta products. Which is what I'd prefer. Looks like I'll be getting a much larger internal hard drive for my desktop, as you have access to all kinds of programs with this program. I recently read about a program called Microsoft Forefront security (I hope that I got the name right). If I'm going to have a program of this nature, I'm taking full advantage of what it offers. I'll probably need at least a 750GB drive for these things. But like RAM, drives cost less than ever. I can use the one in my desktop now for a second backup drive. Nibiru, you told me that if I can change my oil in the car, I could build a drive. Hope that you'll help!:top:
 

davehc

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Perhaps you mean Forefront Identity manager?
That is up, together with language packs.
Also there is:

Forefront Client
Forefront Client Security Beta
Forefront Identity Manager 2010
Forefront Protection 2010
Forefront Security for Exchange Server
Forefront Security for SharePoint
Forefront Security, Office Communications Server
Forefront Server Security Management Console
Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010
Forefront Unified Access

I am not sure, but I think, as a non member, you can browse the page but, of course, will not be able to download anything. Try it:

http://technet.microsoft.com/da-dk/subscriptions/downloads/default(en-us).aspx
 
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Nibiru2012

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Nibiru, you told me that if I can change my oil in the car, I could build a drive. Hope that you'll help!:top:
Piece of cake! Easier than slathering barbecue sauce on a slab of baby back ribs!
 

catilley1092

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Perhaps you mean Forefront Identity manager?
That is up, together with language packs.
Also there is:

Forefront Client
Forefront Client Security Beta
Forefront Identity Manager 2010
Forefront Protection 2010
Forefront Security for Exchange Server
Forefront Security for SharePoint
Forefront Security, Office Communications Server
Forefront Server Security Management Console
Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010
Forefront Unified Access

I am not sure, but I think, as a non member, you can browse the page but, of course, will not be able to download anything. Try it:

http://technet.microsoft.com/da-dk/subscriptions/downloads/default(en-us).aspx
davehc, I'm intending to become a member, although not a "gold" one where you get the DVD's or CD's. I want the membership where I download the products that I want. The reason that I brought up that program was that I receive newsletters on it all of the time. With this membership, it's my understanding that I would be entitled to any product that Microsoft offers, as long as I'm a paying member and don't mind downloading the products. I have no "cap", as far as downloads goes, so this program can highly benefit me. Hope this clears things up.
 

davehc

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No misunderstanding, Cat. I was not sure if you knew just what was available. But remmebr, it is a lot of cash. Reading your posts, I think you could certainly make good use of it. It is allegedly, for personal use and testing purposes, as has been mentioned a couple of times. Whilst that does not even include family members, if you are on a local network it can easily be arranged that the other installations are all yours "under test"

Thie question of legitimate use often comes up on the Microsoft forums. Here is a typical question and answer from the horses mouth:

This was the question asked:

"I own two PC's in my home (for day to day personal use, email, web surfing, some gaming). I am wondering if I sign up for technet if its okay (or within the rules) to install two versions of Windows 7 (for example home premium, and ultimate) on my own two personal home pcs. I keep reading that the software is for evaulation purposes only, so I dont know if that translates to "use this only from time to time" or if it more loosely means "dont use this at your business on everyones pc" (the later I can understand completely, and agree with)."

This was the "official answer"

"Technet Subscriptions are really intended for IT Professionals, people in corporate environments who manage PC's, to evaluate software before purchasing the software. The reason they remove the typical limit of Windows evaluation versions is because of the need to test the OS for compatibility with several corporate applications, which could take months, and need different compromises for any particular OS, etc. While the EULA allows the software to be installed on home machines, It is not meant as a service as many have been lead to believe through other sites or friends as a "Full versions of everything microsoft for a yearly fee".
Portion of Technet EULA:
You may use the evaluation software only to evaluate it. You may not use it in a live operating environment, or with data that has not been sufficiently backed up. If the evaluation software comes with its own license agreement, this agreement will control how it may be used. If that other license agreement gives you additional rights that do not conflict with express limitations in this agreement, you also have those rights.

This basically says you cannot use the software, except fortesting purposes, as Technet was designed for, and to be used for.

So to answer your question in basic terms, for what you want, No, it is not allowed. You need to purchase retail copies of Windows 7 for your PCs. "

Nevertheless, I have had the retail sub for some years now. I have been open with Microsoft and always subscribe to their requests (often) for feedback. They have, on occasions, and at their request, been given access to my computer, to investigate a reported bug.
I doubt, if you are discreet and sensible, that you will ever have any problems.
 
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catilley1092

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Thanks for the response davehc, I know you are a member, as you have stated in some of your posts. You are right, it is a large chunk of cash, but if each OS or program had to be paid for, it would cost a lot more. I do like to tryout new programs and technologies, there are many "freebies" on the net, but many are unproven and unsafe. I'd rather have access to safe technologies to use. Although I don't have a job and never will (I'm disabled for life), I would like to learn more on the software, so I can keep my skills somewhat polished, and help others in need, if I can. And at the same time, have a current OS (the best available to me) on my desktop w/the best security available. I've read of many Microsoft's security programs, and have actually received trial offers through Microsoft on these, but I don't care for "trials", once I tryout and get used to them, I don't want the rug yanked out from under me. And like many people do with cars, I want a new OS as it becomes available. I did skip Vista, not because I had to, but because of negative publicity, and at that time, XP was on a roll, one that Vista couldn't put a dent in. But Windows 7 is on a roll, and Vista has been the major casualty so far. The next two to five years in computing will be very interesting to see, another reason that attracts me towards membership, as I want everything I can get, as soon as I can. I do need to purchase another hard drive for my desktop (at least 750GB), if my MOBO (and space) will support it. My RAM is limited to 4GB, but that's no problem. A hard drive swap should be not too hard to do. It's a WDC WD32 SATA drive, that shouldn't be hard to find a replacement for. That will be the first thing to do, then I'll move forward. I'm in need of space first. Thanks for your advice, davehc.
 

Mychael

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I've sometimes thought it would be good if Microsoft offered some sort of 'club loyalty' type scheme, whereby for some sort of fee you get a newsletter and discounts on purchasing their software.
They don't really offer any sort of loyalty rewards as such other then their upgrade software is cheaper then a full install version.
It's a bit rough when as an example I've purchased Microsoft from '95 onwards plus related MS software but as I skipped Vista I need to pay for a full upgrade to get WIN 7... Not really any thanks for buying and using their products for the last 15yrs or so.
 

catilley1092

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This program, although it may not be exactly the way you want it, for a membership fee, you DO get a lot of the perks, and software that mainly only IT pros and computer techs have access to. It is a type of a club, so to speak, you get to use the latest software, long before it hits the market. Many of these programs don't hit the open market, as most home users has no interest in them. But the newest OS's, you do get, long before anyone else does. This program is mainly for those who want to stay on top of things, as there are many tutorials, online courses, and a lot more. I do intend to join, first it's a matter of a larger drive, and putting a little cash to the side to join. I have researched the program, most members stay onboard a long time. There are two reasons that I'm interested, first, for the available programs, secondly, I'm a disabled salesman (was successful, in management for the last 10 years of my employment), this may give me some hope of getting back to work. If I could possibly enter the field, software sales would be interesting to me. The government would pay for my training, just to get me back to work, to keep from paying me a monthly check. The training that I'd receive, and knowledge gained from this program, could benefit me greatly. I've sat at home since 2006, and although I can sit right here and collect almost $1,500 monthly (after my Medicare deduction), tax free, I'm bored to death and wasting away sitting here. Sales was my profession, and if anyway possible, I'd like a shot at returning to it. I do have restrictions, I can't lift more than 15 pounds without risking further injury, and I can no longer go 16 to 18 hours per day. This program, along with some technical training, could steer me towards independence again.
 

catilley1092

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One thing that I want to know about this program. Is it open for all of the public to pay and join, or are you required to have some sort of job working with computers? I mean, is there an option for tech enthusiast to join? I have never applied for such a membership, and don't want to say the wrong thing and be rejected, because I've saved for this since the first post, I really want to be in this program, no bull. When it comes to money, I'm not rich, but when I see something I want, I'm no tightwad.
 

davehc

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It is open for anyone who can pay! During the process, you will have to sign up for a "Live" ID. Note it carefully, together with the password, as you are going to find a frequent need for it.
 
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catilley1092

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Thanks davehc, the "Live ID" won't be a problem, as I already have one, associated with my Hotmail and Live account. When I attempted to access purchase information, my Windows Live ID showed up. I'm glad you don't have to be an IT employee to join!
 

catilley1092

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I have it! Downloading Ultimate 64 bit now. The deal was as promised, but tax was added, making it $282.04. Still, that's not a bad deal. There is a limit (10) on the number of keys for each OS that you can get, but I can live with that. It looks like a good deal for the money.
 

catilley1092

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Have had it for a few hours now, dual booting between Pro & Ultimate, what a difference having a OS that has no "crapware" on it. Fast & snappy, since the dead weight has been shed. I never realized that an OEM install (although I did the Pro Anytime Upgrade) slowed a computer this much. I'll keep my recovery partition & discs, in case I decide to sell it, but I don't want to run the garbage on it again. Would Starter look good on this older laptop? I may be wrong, but it's my understanding that it has no Aero. That may be wrong, the source that told me this was drunk at the time he told me.
 
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Nibiru2012

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It's a different OEM install you're talking about. It's the computer maker's OEM disc, not MS's.

A MS OEM install is just as fast and snappy as the full retail or uprgrade version MS discs. Remember it's the MS key that makes the difference on whether the install is looked at as an OEM, full retail, or upgrade.
 

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