If you’re in the market for an MSDN Subscription, as I was recently–I missed my “renewal date” while I was overseas for the last week of January and the first week of February, and found myself in a “grace period” upon my return as a consequence–don’t overlook the third-party channel. For years, I’d been buying my subscriptions direct from Microsoft, but when I ran into trouble renewing my subscription online this morning at the MS Partner site, I decided to go shopping and see what kinds of deals I could find on the outside, as it were.
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Boy, am I glad I did: I found a 3-year subscription deal at Software International (www.software-intl.com) that cost less than two years’ worth of full-price MSDN but delivered three years worth of service at that price. And because the company’s in Colorado, and I’m in Texas, no sales tax on the purchase, either (an additional savings of around $100 as compared to direct purchase from Microsoft). I ended up paying $1,086 for three years for an annual rate of $362 per year. Compare that to a straight annual renewal at Microsoft for $699 plus tax (total $756) for the OS-only MSDN license and $1,099 plus tax (total $1,190) for the same package I just purchased — namely, the Visual Studio Professional with MSDN Professional license — and you’ll quickly get a sense for the kinds of savings available on the open market.
Like the old song goes “You better shop around.” There are deals out there, and they go all the way into Open License and other software arrangements with Microsoft, where the same kinds of discounts are available, even at the enterprise level. Let your purchasing folks know that there are some awesome deals to be found in the reseller channel, right now.