Get Windows and Office Super-Cheap

Mike Halsey MVP
Jun 22, 2010
Updated • Jun 10, 2014

I've long been a subscriber to Microsoft's Action Pack which is for small businesses.  You get 10 licenses for Windows and Office plus a Windows Server license or two for £220 a year.  Plus the software never expires.

Many people say that subscription software is the way we're all going but I've been making significant savings for years now by subscribing to Microsoft software, and there's an ever better way to save money, as Paul Thurrott has written this week.

The Microsoft TechNet subscription costs from £134 (£100 renewal) a year and you get a whole lot for your money.  Copies of every version of Windows and Office, and for the more expensive subscription, Server versions too.

These are for evaluation purposes only, which would preclude installing them across a business, but there's nothing stopping you using them at home.

As with the Action Pack the software never expires either.  Paul says...

Each product key can be used to install up to 10 versions of the OS or application, for the most part. But that's actually 100 (yes, 100) installs for each Windows 7 product edition, because you can activate each key 10 times. So you get 100 installs of Windows 7 Ultimate, 100 installs of Windows 7 Professional, 100 installs of Windows 7 Home Premium, and so on. That's an incredible value, though it should be noted that this program is designed for a single person. You can't share the product keys with others. What you're getting, essentially, as an individual is multiple, unlimited installs of the products that are included with the subscription ... for yourself.

You also get added perks not in the Action Pack such as access to beta software, e-learning courses and managed forums.

This is simply stunning value for money and works out significantly cheaper than the £30 you'll pay for new a copy of OS X each year.

Update: Microsoft has retired the Technet Subscriptions service and stopped sales as of August 31, 2013. You can still become a Microsoft Action Pack subscriber, but that is available for $475 at the time of the update.

Additional options are provided on the linked page above.


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  1. Surprised said on June 24, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Good for you fellas!! You’re right, a home user has no need for this. Maybe if you’re a crazed system builder, but then you’re probably just adding a SLIC 2.1 table to BIOS ;p

    If it wasn’t for work using Office ’07 I’d be running an old rev as well.

  2. kalmly said on June 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    That may be a swell deal for a business that needs 10 or 100 licenses. It is a horrid, irrational expense for home users. You know, those of us who live in a “narrow little world” and aren’t quite as grand as yourself.

    @123456. I hated Office7, downgraded to Office 2003, and still wish I had Office 97 back. It has been my experience that the latest is seldom the greatest when it comes to (MS) software.

  3. DanTe said on June 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Well “123456”, I cannot be said to be a “fanboi” of any product (just look at my posts). Nor do I wish to belittle information from any source, since one never know when the info is useful later.

    You obviously have never needed to run a business and need to use legit up-to-date software. So in your narrow little world, yes, you can continue to use DOS and Lotus 1-2-3 WYSIWYG no problem. But for some of us, we tend to be a bit more updated.

  4. 123456 said on June 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Written like a true fanboi.
    Is there anyody that needs all those keys and also privately at home?

    I don’t know about you, but here I still have Office 97, going strong on Window 7…

    Let’s just compute that…
    $ 200 for Office 97
    $100 for W7-Ultimate
    $80 for XP-Professional

    That’s abou $400 for 13 Years where as you paid in the same time 12*100+134=1334,-
    Oh, and while you are also spending time (maybe even money) to learn about all those new functions, I am still productivley working.

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