Type of site
Microsoft TechNet is a Microsoft web portal and web service for IT professionals. It includes a library containing documentations and technical resources for Microsoft products, a learning center which provides online training, discussion forums, an evaluation center for downloading trialware, blogs for Microsoft employees and a wiki.
TechNet originally provided a software subscription service similar to Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud that allowed subscribers to download Microsoft software under a software as service license for private use. On July 1, 2013, it was announced that Microsoft is discontinuing the TechNet subscription service, with the purchase and renewal of subscriptions to be closed by August 31, 2013.
TechNet also included a web-based TechNet Magazine which is discontinued since October 2013. Past issues are still available for reading.
TechNet's primary web presence is a collection of sites for IT professionals that provide information, documentation, and discussion which are authored both by Microsoft and by the community at large. Recent emphasis on and incorporation of applications such as forums, blogs, library annotations, and social bookmarking is changing the nature of the TechNet site from a one-way information service to an open dialog between Microsoft and the IT professional community. The main website, and most of its constituent applications below are available in 12 languages, generate traffic from 11.5 million per month and host approx. 11 Million documents.
Similar to the MSDN Library which contains technical information for software developers, the TechNet Library is a source of technical information for IT professionals and advanced users. The technical content is freely available on the web and on CDs and DVDs. The discs are published monthly and contain the complete Microsoft Knowledge Base, service packs, security updates, resource kits, technical training, operations and deployment guides, white papers, and case studies.
In January 2014, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Security Bulletins and Advisories would be merged into the TechNet Library.
TechNet Forums are the web-based forums used by the community to discuss a wide variety of IT professional topics. TechNet Forums were migrated to an all-new platform during 2008 that provided new features designed to improve efficiency such as inline preview of threads, AJAX filtering, and a slide-up post editor.
The TechNet Wiki is a technical resource inspired by Wikipedia. Wiki is a community site and does not offer official documentation from Microsoft. Anyone who joins the community can contribute new topics, edit and enhance existing topics, provide comments and friend other registered users. The goals  of the wiki include providing broader and more in-depth solutions content (how-to, procedural, troubleshooting, deployment) from a wider variety of authors[weasel words] with less publishing friction than traditional mechanisms.
TechNet has individual sections covering specific topics:[further explanation needed]
- TechnNet Evaluation Center
- Microsoft Tech Companion App
- Microsoft Script Center
- TechNet Video
Social bookmarking on TechNet Social was first launched in 2008, built on a new web platform that has user-tagging and feeds at its core. The goal of the social bookmarking application is to provide a method whereby members of the IT professional community can:
- Contribute to a database of quality links on any topic from across the web. By filtering on one or more tags, (e.g. "Exchange" and "security") users can discover popular or recent links and subscribe to a feed of those links.
- Find and follow experts' recommended sites. Each profile page includes a feed of the user's contributions. Users can be discovered through a drop-down menu on each bookmark.
- Demonstrate their expertise through the links displayed in their profile.
- Store their favorite links online.
The initial release of the application provides standard features for the genre, including a bookmarklet and import capabilities. The TechNet web site is also starting to incorporate feeds of social bookmarks from experts and the community, displayed alongside feeds from relevant bloggers.
Subscriptions and downloads
TechNet also did provide access to Microsoft software  for evaluation purposes through the "TechNet subscription" . The subscription provided access to Microsoft's software; product keys, however, expired after the duration of the subscriptions and required renewal for continued usage. The subscription was sold on an annual basis. The Standard subscription provided access to most of the software except specific enterprise-oriented software, including one collection of Microsoft E-learning. The Professional subscription was more expensive and provided access to all software, including two free professional support calls and two collections of Microsoft E-learning.
On July 1, 2013, Microsoft announced the retirement of the TechNet Subscriptions service to focus on growing its free offerings, including evaluation resources through the TechNet Evaluation Center, expert-led learning through the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and community-moderated technical support through the TechNet Forums to better meet the needs of the growing IT professional community. The last day to purchase a TechNet Subscription was August 31, 2013. Subscribers could activate purchased subscriptions through September 30, 2013.
Microsoft announced an extended 90-days plan to help existing subscribers of the time get used to new situation.
Founded in 2005, TechNet Magazine is a discontinued monthly print magazine that provides IT professionals working with Microsoft technologies information about planning, operating, and optimizing their systems. TechNet Magazine had a print circulation of 100,000 readers in the US.
- Bott, Ed (1 July 2013). "Microsoft to shut down TechNet subscription service". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- Martin, John (27 August 2008). "Microsoft is Planning Much More Than Just Social Bookmarking". John Martin's Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "Microsoft Revamps MSDN and TechNet". http://visualstudiomagazine.com/. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Trent, Rod (16 January 2014). "Microsoft Security Bulletins and Advisories Merging with the TechNet Library". Windows IT Pro. Penton. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- Price, Ed (8 April 2010). "Wiki: About TechNet Wiki". TechNet Wiki. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- Battalio, Eric (26 February 2010). "Wiki: About". Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- Havenstein, Heather (August 22, 2008). "Microsoft details plans for new social bookmarking tool". Computerworld.
- Martin, John (30 May 2008). "New Social Bookmarking Feeds in MSDN Dev Centers". John Martin's Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "TechNet Downloads". Microsoft. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "TechNet Subscriptions". TechNet. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "Compare Subscriptions". TechNet. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012.