Monday, August 20, 2012

Windows 8 on TechNet: Not so Great for TechEd folks


If you attended Microsft Tech-Ed North America 2012, in Orlando, Florida, you got a nice gift: A free, one-year subscription of TechNet Professional.  However, what you might not have realized is that there are quite a few "flavors" of TechNet Professional.  The one given out at Tech-Ed NA is "TechNet Professional (NFR)", or "not for resale".  This version, or "flavor" (my own term), doesn't allow access to the same downloads as many other "TechNet Professional" flavors.  For example...

Windows 8 and Windows 8 Enterprise is available for download to the following subscription levels:

TechNet for Action Pack
TechNet for Microsoft Competency Partners
TechNet for Microsoft Competency Partners (VL)
TechNet Plus Consumer Service Professional Pilot
TechNet Professional (Certified Partner)
TechNet Professional (NFR Bundle)
TechNet Professional (NFR FTE)
TechNet Professional (NFR MCT)
TechNet Professional (NFR MVP)
TechNet Professional (NFR)
TechNet Professional (Retail)
TechNet Professional (SA)
TechNet Professional (VL)
TechNet Professional with Media (Retail)
TechNet Professional with Media (VL)
TechNet Standard (Retail)
TechNet Standard (VL)

Windows 8 Pro is only available for download to the following subscription levels:

TechNet Professional (SA)
TechNet Professional (VL)
TechNet Professional with Media (VL)
TechNet Standard (VL)

The net result is that if you happen to be running Windows 7 Ultimate, and you'd like to try out the much-touted and improved "upgrade" for Windows 8, well, you can't.  Windows 7 Ultimate can only be "upgraded" to Windows 8 Professional, which is not available on your "NFR" subscription level.  So, your only options are:

  • Do a full install of Windows 8 or Windows 8 Enterprise, and reinstall everything again
  • Wait and buy the "Pro" version upgrade when it's available
  • Upgrade your TechNet subscription level (for a nominal fee, of course)
  • Stick with Windows 7 Ultimate

Bummer.
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