Microsoft TechNet is a Microsoft program and resource for technical information, news, and events for IT professionals. Along with a website, they also produce a monthly subscription magazine titled "TechNet Magazine".
TechNet was originally available only to customers with paid subscriptions; however, it has been expanded to include public information, webcasts, local events, and free newsletters. They have also started an open source blog on April 6, 2006 called Port 25 to publicly explore that business model and provide discussion forums.
As of July 18, 2006, the Sysinternals tools were merged into TechNet.
TechNet's primary web presence at technet.microsoft.com is a collection of sites for the IT professional community that provide information, documentation, and discussion which is 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 or more languages.
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, case studies, all the downloads on the Microsoft.com Download Center, and such other information.
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 Beta is a technical resource for the community. 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 with less publishing friction than traditional mechanisms.
The concept and the platform are still in beta.
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 provides a number of downloads of Microsoft software. Many are free, but a large number are not. These are provided to those with TechNet Subscriptions. The subscriptions provide access to much of Microsoft's software. Product keys, however, expire after the duration of the subscriptions and require renewal for continued usage. The subscriptions are sold on an annual basis. There are two levels of subscriptions, Standard and Professional. The Standard subscription provides access to most of the software except specific enterprise-orientated software, and includes 1 collection of Microsoft E-learning. The Professional subscription is more expensive, provides access to all the software, and includes 2 free professional support calls and 2 collections of Microsoft E-learning.
There are restrictions on the use of the software obtained from TechNet Subscriptions. The software may not be used for commercial purposes and may be used only by a single person (it may not be shared) and should not be used after the subscription is over.
Founded in 2005, TechNet Magazine is a monthly print magazine that provides IT professionals working with Microsoft technologies information about planning, operating, and optimizing their systems. TechNet Magazine has a print circulation of 100,000 readers in the US.
- Microsoft TechNet website
- Microsoft UK TechNet Home Page
- Microsoft UK TechNet Blog
- Microsoft TechNet Social Bookmarks
- TechNet Magazine
- Port 25 - Open source blog site