Microsoft will soon be doing away with its TechNet subscription model in order to focus on growing their free offerings, the company announced on Monday. IT professionals interested in purchasing a subscription have until August 31 to do so and must activate accounts by September 30 while those with an active account may continue to use it until their current subscription period ends.

The software giant updated their TechNet subscription and licensing information page to reflect the changes. It is here that we are told about Microsoft's free offerings including evaluation resources through the TechNet Evaluation Center, expert-led learning through the Microsoft Virtual Academy and community-moderated technical support through the TechNet Forums.

If you aren't familiar, TechNet is a resource for IT professionals interested in learning more about Microsoft products. Specifically, the service allows subscribers to try the latest full version and beta software from Microsoft's extensive portfolio - starting at just $199 annually.

Countless IT professionals have relied on TechNet subscriptions for years to deploy Microsoft products on a trial basis to determine if they are right for a particular application. Once those subscriptions run out, these customers will be left with basic trial software that is often limited in functionality and more importantly, time.

A 30-day trial period may be more than enough for the average home user but those in charge of enterprise systems will likely find it's simply not sufficient to make a decision one way or the other - not to mention those nagging activation screens that accompany most trial software.