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What is the difference between a Technet subscription and an MSDN subscription?

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closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, dawud, Ward, Tim Brigham, Dave M Aug 16 '13 at 21:08

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

MSDN is for developers and has applications like Visual Studio. Technet is for system admins and offers applications like Sharepoint and Exchange.

There is a decent amount of overlap, such as with OSes, but there is a difference in applications offered based on their target.

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...if you're on ServerFault; you want TechNet. If you're on StackOverflow, you want MSDN. –  STW Aug 27 '09 at 23:48
Hahaha pretty much –  MDMarra Aug 28 '09 at 0:09

This similar question from Stack Overflow may give you a starting point: TechNet or MSDN Subscription?

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Don't forget as well about the Microsoft Action Pack...see here for a good description:

It's an excellent value as well.

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I've just been looking into this too and come across this question, so thought I'd add an update for two points that are relevant for my situation.

  1. Technet is for infrastructure evaluation testing only, it can not be used for "testing related to the software development process." (taken from "Usage for testing scenarios³" in referenced link.

  2. To use SQL Server in a development / application testing environment you must have Visual Studio 2010 + MSDN. The standalone MSDN comes with o/s versions only and does not have access to SQL Server downloads. See "Software for Development and Testing" in this comparison table.

So, taking the above into account and the latest info in the MS VS2010 licensing white paper if you are setting up a development / testing environment (i.e. non production) then anyone that "touches" (MS definition) the environment needs an MSDN - this appears to mean anyone that has "log on" access to maintain the o/s and/or deploy software/applications. However any end users / testers that are merely testing the (installed) applications do not need MSDN subscriptions - as long as they aren't using the environments for any production related tasks (it must be testing/evaluation only). For reference, page 21, “Demonstration Using Terminal Services” and “Acceptance Testing” of white paper covers this.

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