Retail MSDN subscriptions (purchased directly from Microsoft or from a retail reseller) are renewed annually. Renewal purchases can be made directly with Microsoft anytime during the subscription.
Active retail subscribers can renew using the link below:
If you are a DreamSpark Standard or DreamSpark Premium subscriber, please see Renewing DreamSpark for your renewal process.
MSDN subscriptions purchased under most Volume Licensing Programs are valid until the Volume License Agreement or Enrollment terminates, or for a maximum subscription term of 3 years. MSDN subscriptions are renewed by purchasing Software Assurance before the current subscription expires.
Retail MSDN subscriptions can be upgraded by purchasing the higher-level MSDN subscription desired at its "new" price. It is also allowed to renew a subscription that was purchased in the retail channel onto a Volume Licensing agreement, then to upgrade to a higher subscription level by purchasing a Step-up License.
Step-up Licenses enable organizations to upgrade their existing MSDN subscriptions for the remainder of the term. Step-up Licenses are available in the Enterprise Agreement, Select, Select Plus, and Open Value programs in Microsoft Volume Licensing.
Step-up options include:
The cost of a Step-up License depends on when it is acquired. For example, a Step-up License that is acquired during the second year of a three-year agreement will cost more than a Step-up License that is acquired during the third year of the agreement.
A Step-up License can be acquired at any time; however, the price is the same for any point in time within a given year of an agreement. For example, a Step-up License that is acquired four months into the second year of a three-year agreement will cost the same as a Step-up License that is acquired at the beginning of the agreement's second year. This is a function of how Microsoft Volume Licensing works rather than anything specific to MSDN subscriptions.
Note: Customers whose program does not offer Step-Up Licenses can still take advantage of Step-Up Licenses by renewing within Open Value and immediately buying Step-Up Licenses.