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This week I am in Seattle at TechReady 3, our internal technical training conference. Every year at least each member of the Canadian IT Pro team comes out here for a week of deep technical training. It is also a chance to touch base with other people at corporate and also meet and greet some of the 7000+ technical Microsoft people from around the world. Lots of work but we also unwind.
The nice thing about coming out here is that in conversation you can pick a few things up that are useful to share with other IT pros. Such was the case today when I was informed of some exciting changes to TechNet subscriptions coming in less than two weeks. Like Rick, who posted about how he uses his TechNet Plus subscription back in April (http://blogs.technet.com/canitpro/archive/2006/04/05/424376.aspx) I also make use of my TechNet Plus subscription on a regular basis and find it invaluable.
The best change coming to the TechNet Plus subscription, in my opinion, is the addition of a subscriber downloads section to an updated TechNet Subscribers Portal. This means that you will be able to download ISOs of any product that you get shipped to you today. You can then store those on a hard disk instead of carrying a bunch of CDs or DVDs with you. Furthermore, you will be able to download any language version of the product, not just English or French. This feature has been something I have been waiting for and am glad that it is finally here. I mean, after all, the MSDN folks have had this for quite some time so it's time TechNet got it too!!
Now, if you are like me and really don't want to get DVDs or CDs shipped to you but would rather simply download the ISOs, there will be a new subscription offering which will let you do just that. TechNet Plus Direct subscription will have all the same products and features as a regular TechNet Plus subscription except you will not have any media shipped to you - you can download it from the TechNet Subscriber's Portal. It will cost less than TechNet Plus but will give you all the same benefits and be more environmentally friendly. If you have a current TechNet Plus subscription you can call the service desk in August and ask them to convert you to a TechNet Plus Direct subscription and I think they will even throw in a couple of months free for you being environmentally friendly.
These changes should both come online in early August so keep checking the TechNet Plus Subscriber's Portal for more info.