Thursday, February 6, 2014

Get Free Microsoft Evaluation Products

Those who subscribe to TechNet are in for a rough ride in the upcoming months. The Microsoft low-cost subscription service which helps subscribed individuals evaluate and test software, ended last year. As always, for more money you get an MSDN subscription, which provides much of the same tools as TechNet. However, if you needs are more specific, then getting free TechNet Evaluation Center would be a better alternative.

However the Redmond-based company has been promoting the program very strongly, which also provides free downloads of Microsoft products. You will find everything here is a complete evaluation version, with no restriction on any of its features. The software can be installed and run on any machine, or even a virtual machine. The software giant also promised that it will be providing older versions of Windows and Microsoft Office, to run a free evaluation along with all the products in the current package. The main goal behind this decision is to let IT pros install software, and employ them for their pilot projects and compatibility testing.

So many offers, but surely, there must be a catch right? In fact there is. These downloads all have a time stamp on them, which means as soon as the dates expire, these will stop functioning, or have a reduced functionality. However, the testing period for the programs ranges from a mere month to six months –ample time to finish all the different testing procedures. The lineup in the package contains support for the following:
  • Windows 7 Enterprise Evaluation with a maximum duration of 90 days.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Evaluation, which lasts about 180 days.
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 with support for 60 days.
  • Project Professional 2010 with support lasting 60days.
  • Vista Premium 2010 with support up to 60 days.
Those products that are already running at their extended support, are not part of the list. This means Windows XP or Windows Vista, Server 2008, and any Office version before 2010, will not be part of the list. If you sign into TechNet you can get the download links pretty easily. You will have to agree to a couple of emails that Microsoft will send over to you during your evaluation phase. Some of the new additions to the products available on TechNet include the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation, Windows Server 2012, Windows Small Business server 2011, and Office 365 Pro Plus.

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