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June 09, 2017

5 Reasons to Buy an MSDN Subscription

By Special Guest
Costea Lestoc, Technical Writer

MSDN subscriptions are the latest rage with businesses and students alike. More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon and taking up this subscription. But, if you are clueless about what a MSDN subscription is and what it has to offer, or on the fence regarding whether you should get yourself one, here are a few things that you need to know about this new trend.

What is MSDN Subscription?

The biggest question that is in people’s minds is what exactly is a MSDN subscription? MSDN stands for Microsoft (News - Alert) Developer Network. Microsoft’s new MSDN subscription package is a historic offer which will offer its holders premium services at practically throwaway prices! By purchasing it, a developer will gain access and licenses to use almost all the software that Microsoft has ever released for the public. The price of a visual studio MSDN subscription ranges between $2,000 to $20,000 per year per subscription, depending on the level of access. Except for the library-only subscription, which is the cheapest package, all the holders of this subscription are sent new Microsoft software, either on DVDs or via download, every time a new update arrives, which is typically every few weeks or months. Although the software is usually on specially marked discs for MSDN subscribers, it is not different from the volume-licensed retail software that is released for the public. MSDN subscription offers you exclusive access to a rich collection of premium content and cutting-edge technology at unbelievably low prices.

What do I get when I buy a MSDN Subscription?

Since you have to shell out quite a bit of money to purchase this package, you might be wondering why you should purchase it, or if the subscription is even worth spending that much. Well, the answer is a resounding yes! This is, undoubtedly, an excellent plan, with not only premium tools and software, but also so much more.

Visual Studio’s Software Assurance– You can only purchase MSDN as an add-on to your Visual Studio license. If you own an active MSDN Subscription along with Visual Studio, you get access to all the past as well as all the future versions of Visual Studio. It is to be noted that Software Assurance is compulsory for all purchases on a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), therefore MSDN is necessary for all Visual Studio licenses that have been purchased on an EA.

Development/Test Environment licenses– MSDN offers its users the ability to access or use any Microsoft Enterprise product they want for Dev/Test purposes. All products like WinServer, BizTalk, SQL Server, SharePoint, Visio, Dynamics, MSProject, MSOffice etc. are available to its subscribers. This allows one to build a robust and flexible dev/test environment without having to purchase all the individual software that they are using.

Team Foundation Server (TFS)– TFS license AND TFS CAL have now been included within all the different tiers of MSDN subscriptions. Hence, if you are buying your MSDN subscription with Visual Studio, you are also licensed to make use of TFS. This is a very profitable deal for a developer, as every individual package doesn’t have to be paid for.

Team Foundation Service– Team Foundation Service delivers the complete Team Foundation Server 2012 functionality via the cloud. It was launched in October 2012 as a nudge to cloud computing. Complete licensing for this service is supplied in Vs/MSDN Premium and Ultimate.

eLearning Classes– Not only an excellent suite of software package, subscription to MSDN also comes with around 20 to 40 hours of online training sessions per calendar year, which is otherwise estimated at $3,500 value. This is a valuable service not only in terms of money, but also for self-growth and improvement.

Tech Support Calls– Every MSDN subscription package also includes tech support on around two to four incidents, each worth around $250. This excellent subscription pack is indeed too good to be true. It comes loaded with not only excellent software but also training and support.

Azure Development– As the rest of the world is embracing cloud storage with open arms, Microsoft is far ahead of the competition. If you have always wanted to get into cloud computing, MSDN also includes a monthly allowance of Azure, Microsoft’s cloud services for computing and storage.

If your boss or parents are still on the fence regarding whether they should purchase it for you or not, here are the reasons why it is an excellent investment!

Big tools for small price

Microsoft’s Open Licensing is a simple, flexible and cost-effective approach to buying and maintaining Microsoft’s latest technology within the legal bounds of license. This has been designed to offer its users a simplified form of license management, lower software management prices and greater autonomy over IT investments. Thus, whether you are a student or running a business, this is value for money as you get all the premium software and so much more at unbelievably low prices.

Cloud computing

With monthly access to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud based storage and computing system, you can finally take your work to the next level. With cloud based computing you can give serverless computing a try without having to purchase and set up a cloud system separately, as it comes within the price you pay for your MSDN subscription. It is a faster and more efficient way of running a business.

Developer tools

The rich array of developer’s tools that come with the subscription package is a goldmine for any developer. Even if you are not one, it can give you a lucrative push to develop your skills. If you are a student who is looking into developing as a career option or hobby, this is extremely useful as it gives access to premium tools which could have otherwise cost so much more, if one wanted to purchase separately. Sometimes you are also entitled to early access to new tools before they are released.

Free upgrades

This subscription gives you access to all the software that Microsoft has ever released to the public. Not only that, every time a software is upgraded, holders of the MSDN subscription are sent the upgraded software in either a physical disc or a licensed soft copy via the cloud. This is what makes it a great value for money package, as one saves a substantial amount in upgrades every time a software is updated. One can get access to the best and the newest technology without spending a cent extra.

Training and support

Along with the best developing tools, software and excellent cloud facilities, Microsoft is also giving out exclusive training sessions and sterling tech support to the subscribers of the MSDN packs. The training alone is valued at around $3,500, which is included in the package. Each tech support session, which costs approximately $250, is also available to the users. It is a great new endeavor as Microsoft is not only selling its products at practically nothing, but also offering excellent post sale services.

The MSDN subscription pack is an excellent buy if you are a regular user of Microsoft’s products. You save quite a lot of money, get access to the coolest innovative technology and so much more!

About the Author

I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology and news in general. I am a technical writer, author and blogger since 2005. An industry watcher that stays on top of the latest features, extremely passionate about juicy tech news and everything related to gadgets. For tech tips, my email address is neneacostea at gmail.

Edited by Alicia Young
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