The academic discount for Microsoft TechEd registration has been an on-again, off-again thing the last few years. Unfortunately, it is back to being off-again. Microsoft is citing public sector gifting guidelines as the reason for discontinuing the special pricing for academic faculty and staff. Discounted pricing is still available for students. More about that later.
While this change probably affects a small portion of the TechEd attendee audience, it was a significant discount for those of us who work or teach at universities. For us, the cost to register was only $995. That kind of price goes a long way towards convincing your manager to send you to TechEd. I work for a private university so technically we don’t fall under public sector rules for things like prize drawings and product giveaways, but I imagine trying to track who is public and who is private isn’t worth the trouble for a conference.
Microsoft is helping to make it easier for students to attend TechEd however. They have a limited number of student passes available at the US $995 price. Details should be available on the registration page later today.
If you’re planning to attend TechEd this year, but have not registered yet, don’t forget about the early-bird discounts that are available to everyone. You can save $300 by registering before December 31. If you miss that deadline, the discount drops to $200 as long as you register before February 28. Don’t forget to follow @teched_na on Twitter for all the latest news about TechEd 2011.