Microsoft TechNet is a Microsoft web portal and web service for IT professionals. It includes a library containing documentation and technical resources for Microsoft products, a learning center which provides online training, discussion forums, an evaluation center for downloading trialware, blogs for Microsoft employees and a wiki.
TechNet originally provided a software subscription service similar to Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud that allowed subscribers to download Microsoft software under a software as service license for private use. On July 1, 2013, it was announced that Microsoft is discontinuing the TechNet subscription service, with the purchase and renewal of subscriptions to be closed by August 31, 2013.
TechNet also included a web-based TechNet Magazine which is discontinued since October 2013. Past issues are still available for reading.
Type of site
|Current status||Subscription terminated since August 31, 2013; online content still being actively updated|
TechNet's primary web presence is a collection of sites for IT professionals that provide information, documentation, and discussion which are authored both by Microsoft and by the community at large. Recent emphasis on and incorporation of applications such as forums, blogs, library annotations, and social bookmarking is changing the nature of the TechNet site from a one-way information service to an open dialog between Microsoft and the IT professional community. The main website, and most of its constituent applications below are available in 12 languages, generate traffic from 11.5 million per month and host approx. 11 Million documents.
Similar to the MSDN Library which contains technical information for software developers, the TechNet Library is a source of technical information for IT professionals and advanced users. The technical content is freely available on the web and on CDs and DVDs. The discs are published monthly and contain the complete Microsoft Knowledge Base, service packs, security updates, resource kits, technical training, operations and deployment guides, white papers, and case studies.
In January 2014, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Security Bulletins and Advisories would be merged into the TechNet Library.
In 2016, Microsoft introduced the new technical documentaion platform, Microsoft Docs, intended as a replacement of TechNet and MSDN libraries.  For the next two years Microsoft was migrating their materials into Microsoft Docs. Now most of the TechNet Library pages redirect to the correspoding Microsoft Docs pages. 
TechNet Forums are the web-based forums used by the community to discuss a wide variety of IT professional topics. TechNet Forums were migrated to an all-new platform during 2008 that provided new features designed to improve efficiency such as inline preview of threads, AJAX filtering, and a slide-up post editor.
The TechNet Wiki is a technical resource inspired by Wikipedia. Wiki is a community site and does not offer official documentation from Microsoft. Anyone who joins the community can contribute new topics, edit and enhance existing topics, provide comments and friend other registered users. The goals  of the wiki include providing broader and more in-depth solutions content (how-to, procedural, troubleshooting, deployment) from a wider variety of authors with less publishing friction than traditional mechanisms.
TechNet has individual sections covering specific topics:
Social bookmarking on TechNet Social was first launched in 2008, built on a new web platform that has user-tagging and feeds at its core. The goal of the social bookmarking application is to provide a method whereby members of the IT professional community can:
The initial release of the application provides standard features for the genre, including a bookmarklet and import capabilities. The TechNet web site is also starting to incorporate feeds of social bookmarks from experts and the community, displayed alongside feeds from relevant bloggers.
TechNet also did provide access to Microsoft software  for evaluation purposes through the "TechNet subscription" . The subscription provided access to Microsoft's software; product keys, however, expired after the duration of the subscriptions and required renewal for continued usage. The subscription was sold on an annual basis. The Standard subscription provided access to most of the software except specific enterprise-oriented software, including one collection of Microsoft E-learning. The Professional subscription was more expensive and provided access to all software, including two free professional support calls and two collections of Microsoft E-learning.
On July 1, 2013, Microsoft announced the retirement of the TechNet Subscriptions service to focus on growing its 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 to better meet the needs of the growing IT professional community. The last day to purchase a TechNet Subscription was August 31, 2013. Subscribers could activate purchased subscriptions through September 30, 2013.
Microsoft announced an extended 90-days plan to help existing subscribers of the time get used to new situation.
Founded in 2005, TechNet Magazine is a discontinued monthly print magazine that provides IT professionals working with Microsoft technologies information about planning, operating, and optimizing their systems. TechNet Magazine had a print circulation of 100,000 readers in the US.
AppLocker is an application whitelisting technology introduced with Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. It allows restricting which programs users can execute based on the program's path, publisher, or hash, and in an enterprise can be configured via Group Policy.Cacls
In computing, cacls and its replacement, icacls, are Microsoft Windows native command line utilities capable of displaying and modifying the security descriptors on folders and files. An access control list is a list of permissions for securable object, such as a file or folder, that controls who can access it.Choice (command)
In computing, choice is a command that allows for batch files to prompt the user to select one item from a set of single-character choices.Domain controller
On Microsoft Servers, a domain controller (DC) is a server computer that responds to security authentication requests (logging in, checking permissions, etc.) within a Windows domain. A domain is a concept introduced in Windows NT whereby a user may be granted access to a number of computer resources with the use of a single username and password combination.Inter-domain
Inter-domain is data flow control and interaction between Primary Domain Controller (PDC) computers. This type of computer uses various computer protocols and services to operate. It is most commonly used to multicast between internet domains.Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack
Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is a suite of utilities for Microsoft Windows customers who have subscribed to Microsoft Software Assurance program. It aims at bringing easier manageability and monitoring of enterprise desktops, emergency recovery, desktop virtualization and application virtualization.Netsh
In computing, netsh, or network shell, is a command-line utility included in Microsoft's Windows NT line of operating systems beginning with Windows 2000. It allows local or remote configuration of network devices such as the interface.Network Access Protection
Network Access Protection (NAP) is a Microsoft technology for controlling network access of a computer, based on its health. With NAP, system administrators of an organization can define policies for system health requirements. Examples of system health requirements are whether the computer has the most recent operating system updates installed, whether the computer has the latest version of the anti-virus software signature, or whether the computer has a host-based firewall installed and enabled. Computers with a NAP client will have their health status evaluated upon establishing a network connection. NAP can restrict or deny network access to the computers that are not in compliance with the defined health requirements.
NAP was deprecated in Windows Server 2012 R2 and removed from Windows Server 2016.Process Monitor
Process Monitor is a free tool from Windows Sysinternals, part of the Microsoft TechNet website. The tool monitors and displays in real-time all file system activity on a Microsoft Windows operating system. It combines two older tools, FileMon and RegMon and is used in system administration, computer forensics, and application debugging.
Process Monitor monitors and records all actions attempted against the Microsoft Windows Registry. Process Monitor can be used to detect failed attempts to read and write registry keys. It also allows for filtering on specific keys, processes, process IDs, and values. In addition it shows how applications use files and DLLs, detects some critical errors in system files and more.Remote Differential Compression
Remote Differential Compression (RDC) is a client–server synchronization algorithm that allows the contents of two files to be synchronized by communicating only the differences between them. It was introduced with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 and is included with later Windows client and server operating systems.
Unlike Binary Delta Compression (BDC), which is designed to operate only on known versions of a single file, RDC does not make assumptions about file similarity or versioning. The differences between files are computed on the fly, therefore RDC is suitable for efficient synchronization of files that have been updated independently, where network bandwidth is small, or where the files are large but the differences between them are small.
The algorithm used is based on fingerprinting blocks on each file locally at both ends of the replication partners. Since many types of file changes can cause the file contents to move (for example, a small insertion or deletion at the beginning of a file can cause the rest of the file to become misaligned to the original content) the blocks used for comparison are not based on static arbitrary cut points but on cut points defined by the contents of each file segment. This means that if a part of a file changes in length or blocks of the contents get moved to other parts of the file, the block boundaries for the parts that have not changed remain fixed related to the contents, and thus the series of fingerprints for those blocks don't change either, they just change position. By comparing all hashes in a file to the hashes for the same file at the other end of the replication pair, RDC is able to identify which blocks of the file have changed and which haven't, even if the contents of the file has been significantly reshuffled.
Since comparing large files could imply making large numbers of signature comparisons, the algorithm is recursively applied to the hash sets to detect which blocks of hashes have changed or moved around, significantly reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted for comparing files.
Later versions of Windows support cross-file RDC, which finds files similar to the one being replicated, and uses blocks of the similar files that are identical to the replicating file to minimize data transferred over the WAN. Cross-file RDC can use blocks of up to five similar files.RDC is similar in many ways to the older (1996) rsync protocol, but with some useful innovations, in particular the recursive algorithm and cross-file RDC.RDC is implemented in Windows operating systems essentially as an API, but is invoked by very little software, particularly on non-server systems. Internet rumor has it that RDC significantly slows local file transfers and should be switched off; a Microsoft TechNet web page disputes this, despite frequent anecdotal posts of its removal having worked to restore transfer speeds.Remote access trojan
A Remote Administration Tool (RAT, sometimes called Creepware) is a type of software that allows an administrator access to a computer system through a remote network connection. While desktop sharing and remote administration have many legal uses, the term "RAT" often connotes criminal or malicious activity. When referring to a malicious piece of software, or malware; the acronym RAT may instead be interpretted as meaning Remote Access Trojan. A RAT is typically installed without the victim's knowledge, often as payload of a Trojan horse, and will try to hide its operation from the victim and from security software and other anti-virus software.Robocopy
Robocopy, or "Robust File Copy", is a command-line directory and/or file replication command. Robocopy functionally replaces Xcopy, with more options. It has been available as part of the Windows Resource Kit starting with Windows NT 4.0, and was first introduced as a standard feature in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The command is robocopy.Server Message Block
In computer networking, Server Message Block (SMB), one version of which was also known as Common Internet File System (CIFS ), operates as an application-layer or presentation-layer network protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files, printers, and serial ports and miscellaneous communications between nodes on a network. It also provides an authenticated inter-process communication mechanism. Most usage of SMB involves computers running Microsoft Windows, where it was known as "Microsoft Windows Network" before the introduction of Active Directory. Corresponding Windows services are LAN Manager Server (for the server component) and LAN Manager Workstation (for the client component).Software categories
Software categories are groups of software. They allow software to be understood in terms of those categories instead of the particularities of each package. Different classification schemes consider different aspects of software.VHD (file format)
VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is a file format which represents a virtual hard disk drive (HDD). It may contain what is found on a physical HDD, such as disk partitions and a file system, which in turn can contain files and folders. It is typically used as the hard disk of a virtual machine.
The format was created by Connectix for their Virtual PC product, known as Microsoft Virtual PC since Microsoft acquired Connectix in 2003.
Since June 2005, Microsoft has made the VHD Image Format Specification available to third parties under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.Windows Imaging Format
The Windows Imaging Format (WIM) is a file-based disk image format. It was developed by Microsoft to help deploy Windows Vista and subsequent versions of the Windows operating system family, as well as Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs.Windows Internet Name Service
Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) is Microsoft's implementation of NetBIOS Name Service (NBNS), a name server and service for NetBIOS computer names. Effectively, WINS is to NetBIOS names what DNS is to domain names — a central mapping of host names to network addresses. Like the DNS, it is implemented in two parts, a server service (that manages the embedded Jet Database, server to server replication, service requests, and conflicts) and a TCP/IP client component which manages the client's registration and renewal of names, and takes care of queries.Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012, codenamed "Windows Server 8", is the fifth release of Windows Server. It is the server version of Windows 8 and succeeds Windows Server 2008 R2. Two pre-release versions, a developer preview and a beta version, were released during development. The software was generally available to customers starting on September 4, 2012.Unlike its predecessor, Windows Server 2012 has no support for Itanium-based computers, and has four editions. Various features were added or improved over Windows Server 2008 R2 (with many placing an emphasis on cloud computing), such as an updated version of Hyper-V, an IP address management role, a new version of Windows Task Manager, and ReFS, a new file system. Windows Server 2012 received generally good reviews in spite of having included the same controversial Metro-based user interface seen in Windows 8, which includes the "Charms Bar" for quick access to settings in the desktop environment.Windows Server Essentials
Windows Server Essentials (formerly Windows Small Business Server or SBS) is an integrated server suite from Microsoft designed for running network infrastructure (both intranet management and Internet access) of small and midsize businesses having no more than 25 users or 50 devices. Application server technologies are tightly integrated to provide and offer management benefits such as integrated setup, enhanced monitoring, Remote Web Workplace, a unified management console, and remote access.
Since the release of SBS 2003, the same service packs as those for Windows Server or other server products can be used to update the OS.