Microsoft Cuts Back On TechNet Product Keys (Again)

Once again, within a two year period, Microsoft has diminished the amount of product keys available to subscribers of the service. In the past, TechNet Professional subscribers had access to 10 product keys for every version of Windows and Office. However, in September of 2010, Microsoft lowered the amount of issued keys to five due to piracy concerns.

Now, it would appear that they’ve further lowered the amount of allocated keys to TechNet subs. Ed Bott from ZDNet spotted an announcement on the TechNet Subscriptions website which states that, effective in mid-March of 2012, TechNet Professional subscribers can access a maximum of three keys for Office and Windows Client products with their subscription, while Standard subscribers have access to two keys per product.

On top of this, Microsoft also will impose limitations on how many keys can be claimed in a day. A TechNet Subscriber will be allowed to only claim 44 keys in a 24-hour period. Granted, despite these limitations, TechNet is still an awesome deal for what you gain access to. For $349 a year, you basically have access to most versions of Windows, Office, and some other Microsoft products. The licensing dictates that they can only be used for evaluation purposes, though.

That being said, it’s clear why Microsoft would seek to prevent abuse of the service. While it certainly is still an awesome service, veterans of TechNet probably aren’t too thrilled to see the amount of allocated product keys shrink throughout time.