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Microsoft Killing TechRewards Learning Program

Microsoft will be ending its TechRewards learning program for developers and IT pros.

The TechRewards program formally will end on Jan. 6, 2017. However, it's essentially defunct right now. As of Oct. 6, 2016, it's no longer possible to earn points under the program. Participants with accumulated points will be able to redeem them until the end date of the TechRewards program.

Microsoft has published a TechRewards Closure FAQ, which describes all of those details.

The TechRewards program rewarded participants with "badges" and experience points for completing certain learning tasks. The experience points bumped up the participant's status on leader boards and they also could be redeemed for gift certificates or even sessions with Microsoft experts.

No reason was given for the program's closure. Microsoft instead directed developers and IT pros to just use the following learning resources:

  • Channel 9 brings forward the people behind Microsoft Products and connects them with those who use them.
  • Microsoft Virtual Academy provides free online IT, Developer, and Data Science training by world-class experts to help you build your skills and advance your career.
  • Visual Studio Dev Essentials has everything you need to build and deploy your app on any platform.
  • IT Pro Cloud Essentials is a free annual subscription which includes cloud services, education, and support benefits.
  • Windows Developer Center has everything you need to know to develop great apps, games and other experiences for Windows on PCs, phones, IoT, Xbox & HoloLens.
  • Microsoft Imagine (for students) connects students with the tools, resources and experiences they need to elevate their skills for today's working world.
  • Microsoft BizSpark (for startups) is a global program that helps startups succeed by giving free access to Microsoft Azure cloud services, software and support.

Of course, there now are no tangible "rewards," other than possible career improvement perks, for tapping those Microsoft learning resources.

It's quite possible that many developers and IT pros didn't know about the existence of the TechRewards program even as Microsoft announced its demise. The program originated at Nokia for developers, and was later adopted as part of the Microsoft Developer Network in 2015, according to a Wikipedia account.

In January, Microsoft published this "What is TechRewards" video on its Channel 9 portal. Based on that presentation, it seemed like TechRewards was just getting started. Developers and IT pros now will just have the sheer joy of learning technical materials as a motivator.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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