Microsoft has announced that from February 2012 onwards, subscribers to its popular Technet Professional subscriptions will get a maximum of three product keys each for Microsoft Office and Windows Client/Operating system products.
The company reiterated the fact that the software could only be used for evaluation purposes, and that once the keys have been activated no more keys would be made available, unless additional keys were acquired through the purchase of an additional subscription.
The announcement comes after one popular UK-based educational software vendor revealed that Microsoft would stop selling Office and Windows at deeply discounted prices for students. It is not known whether the move is due to potential widespread abuse of both Technet and the student discount schemes; in both cases, it is near impossible to check whether the applications are being used for purposes other than they were originally intended.
Whether the move will encourage others to switch to pirated versions of Office or Windows remains to be seen, but given that Microsoft was not benefiting financially from illicit Technet or educational licenses, there is no financial downside for the company.