@TRON22 : Thank you for your feedback. What makes you think I'm American?
Your post did not confuse me, I just did not see (and still don't see) the relation to anything what has been discussed here so far. The thread started with questions about download availability and in your text it was next to impossible to identify what exactly this is about. Are you talking about Partner Center and finding Action Pack benefits, about Visual Studio Portal and finding downloads in there? Login experience to Partner Community? Complaining about account verification for creating a account in this portal, or was the comment regarding "authentication maniacs" referring to security settings in your own AzureAD tenant? And because I don't want to assume things, I did ask what the question exactly is to answer respectfully to your concerns and questions.
On 1 - Yes, even with this setting the session might expire, depending on the web site settings. This is why the message says "reduce the number of login prompts" not "remove the login prompts now and forever".
On 2 - with "system" you mean microsoftpartnercommunity.com ? Well, if the username is already taken, what do you expect should happen? It seems you have logged in with two different user accounts - one has "TRON" as user name, the other has "TRON22"
On 3 - Tested and works as expected, different user account, different user name on the forum. At least from my side the test was successful, if you see a different problem, then please explain the proper repro steps, as it should be done when identifying an error that did not came up earlier despite testing different scenarios.
On 4 - "system" is now Partner Center or Visual Studio Subscriber portal? Both portals are used for multiple purposes, directly showing the keys when logging in would imo not be a good decision either - I can understand that different users have different needs and expectations and so there is always some compromise. I don't think it is too complicated to click on "Benefits" in Partner Center, or to click on "Downloads" in the Visual Studio Portal to get to the keys, maybe I'm expecting too much though.
And - Where did I write about Microsoft being for free? Or was this again reg. Steven's comment?
On 5 - Now, this gets a bit philosophical, don't want to go full length into this discussion since we obviously are not in agreement about this, trust that if you don't find value in the software products provided, you would not have decided to invest into getting those. However I don't know any software vendor (or active/maintained open source software projects) that is not providing regular updates, bugfixes and security updates, this does not mean their software is not working.
And again Microsoft is not able to keep a structure, chaos persists with the strategy that the user is Microsoft slave to test all errors for free. Now it is topping the whole unstructured dirty try end error coding with the fact that you even don't know where to find the license keys. Instead of simply showing the licenses at the first page after login - which would be the most obvious for any kind of software - it is hidden somewhere so that I already wasted 30 minutes of my lifetime in logging in, putting silly SMS codes for idiot authentication maniacs and reading useless stuff which is just Microsoft marketing trying to manipulate to buy more stuff. How idiot you think human beings are?
Interesting discussion. I have been a MAPS subscriber since the early days and we always got the latest versions of Office and other apps as they were launched (if not just before). Things seem to have changed in that regard which is a shame. I do less direct Microsoft work these days, but I still have clients that I advise and build out systems for that rely on the products, and when the client updates before I can it makes me question if MAPS is the right option for me anymore.
I still think it is fantastic value for money for someone like myself who is too small to be Silver but wants to keep up with the product offerings to help advise clients and build useful integrations and systems. But I really wish we could just be moved forward to MS365 licences and get access to at least the Office and other new apps when they are released.
@Meppyman : It does include O365E3, so you have access to the newest Office Apps. I second the wish to move to M365, I haven given this feedback already, can't tell currently if it is coming.
I can remember that there was always some delay, some times it was shorter, sometimes longer - since MAPS also does not include downgrade rights I can also remember a lot of discussions on the challenge that MAPS does in fact require Partners to update when an old version is replaced with a new one (latest when new MAPS is obtained). I guess it is always a question of balancing those needs.
Thanks again for your feedback.
Thanks Janosch (and thanks for actively engaging in this thread). It's been a lot of years since I first started using MAPS back in the SBS days, so it's possible I it included TechNet or something back then with the latest and betas. Back when we had folders of CDs! 🙂
And coincidentally my core Office apps all updated shortly after I posted my comment (I gave it a push so I think I am setup on a slower update cycle on purpose which I forgot about), so you are correct there...that isn't a huge issue after all. But that is only for the core apps. Visio is still a step behind for example.
I am happy to wait for the Windows 11 update, as the debate around the hardware that is a allowed to run 11 is going to be pretty relevant for a lot of us with mixed hardware (e.g. I have a brand new desktop, but still using an old Surface Pro 4 for the odd time I am not at my desk). And I can see that some things didn't get baked into the initial release either, so no rush there.
Yeah, those were the times - Can remember multiple boxes of those Technet CDs/DVDs in the office 🙂
Well, this is where the Visual Studio Subscriptions come into play, they still offer (downloads) for most recent Windows Client/Server releases for testing and development.
Have Surface Pro 4 as well, but those had 6th/7th generation Intel Core CPUs and thus will probably never get Windows 11. Well, when Windows 10 won't be supported anymore this device will be almost 10 years old anyhow...
I assume you mean the Visual Studio subscription that comes with the action pack? Interestingly, when I navigated to that I found a portal that has a bunch of keys. Way down there was a section for Windows 11. Attaching a screen shot. There's a downloads tab pictured. (There's a busload of Windows Server 2022 licenses too.)
I followed the path you draw, but you must have some kind of other MAPS, since my MAPS only shows "You do not have access to product keys" on the last screen...
You must First go to Partner Center under Visual Studio assign your User first see the screen capture to follow the steps.
once your user is assigned sign in to https://my.visualstudio.com/ using your user with correct permission then you will have access to Windows 11 Licenses .
Hope this help
@ThomasMeyer4569 : And you have assigned the Visual Studio Subscription to your user account?
However, there is indeed one other type of MAPS - "Microsoft Action Pack Learning" which does not include Visual Studio, see the license table here: Internal Use Rights cloud and software benefit (microsoft.com)
That's a strange thing to say. I mean, it's not like it's a surprise to anyone ay Microsoft that these products, Windows 11, Office 21, Server 22 are going to be released. They are Microsoft products and MAPS is a Microsoft program. Of course, Microsoft can do what it likes as they own the product and program - but still it's a bizarre stance for Microsoft to take as surely Partners should get this stuff before they are released.
@AdamDavis : Thank you for your feedback, I will forward this to the people responsible for the program. Yes would be great to have this in Action Pack earlier, for competency Partner this is already true, at least for Windows 11 E3. Also Action Pack can upgrade any device that has a Windows 10 license to Windows 11 (only not Enterprise edition). And for Office, a newer release of the apps is already in O365 and M365 benefits.
For early hands-on experience there are also the visual studio subscription benefit, which contain downloads for Windows Enterprise and Windows Server for Action Pack Visual Studio benefits, and almost all Microsoft software, all versions for Silver/Gold.
Thanks for the workarounds.
MAPS is either the place to come for this stuff or it isn't - it can't be sort of, at some random point in the future. Either make MAPS Software Benefits where we can get the latest software or get rid of it and point us directly to where it is instead.
It really depends on what you expect - if you want to see it only as a vehicle to get the newest version from day one to put on production servers, then I'm afraid it isn't.
It provides immediate access for new Windows Server/client versions for testing, most of all it is meant as a discounted option to use a various Microsoft products on Partner's production environment for day-to-day business use. It is updated in certain intervals, but not immediately after each new release (and it never was, there was always some delay as far as I can remember).
thank you for your work here and for the information you share.
In our case, the problem is that we must test with the German Enterprise Versions of the Windows Clients and also with the German Server Versions. Specially in the deployment scenarios. And for this, we need the same ISO Files like our Customers have, and they get it directly after Release with the VL Program. In former time we had our TechNet and now only MAPS. Because we don't need Visual Studio.
So, it would really be helpful if Microsoft change its behavior regarding the MAPS Partners. Could you check this?
@sbrutsch I can't test with MAPS, but within Visual Studio Subscriber download section (which you get with MAPS as well) there is a language choice:
Also, technically there are really not differences between German or English Versions since some years though, and from a testing perspective you might also want to test on English ISO anyway - because customers might decide to use those languages as well (especially larger companies that have a worlwide IT team).
Note that the downloads for MAPS in Partner Center are meant for production use, not primarily for testing - every activation will consume a license. This is why I strongly recommend to use the Visual Studio Subscriber download section for test scenarios, and you get this MAPS as well even if you don't use Visual Studio IDE.
Finally there is also the eval versions: Windows Server | Microsoft Evaluation Center
We have several customers. Some use English as base installation and some the German versions. And our experience, specially for Windows 10 upgrades, are shown us that German and English installation is not always the same.
And yes, we have a test environment where we use the Trial and Beta Versions. But you know, on a test PC you didn't find all the things. So, before we go into the environment of the customer, we use our own productive Environment to test it with normal users and normal installed PC. And for this, we need the corresponding ISO Files. Since TechNet isn't any more we use non Microsoft Links to get the ISO Sources. Because MAPS is always late.
@sbrutsch : And you confirm that in the Visual Studio Subscriber downloads, available for users where you assign the Visual Studio Subscription you get via MAPS, the download for Windows 11 and Windows Server do not have an option to choose German as well? As said, I can not test, but I would be surprised if those are different than the ones I get access with Visual Studio Enterprise subscription (From MPN Silver/Gold benefits). VS Enterprise only provides downloads for all other products as well, where VS Pro., what is included in MAPs, only includes Windows Client and Server.