Microsoft Office Home Use Program retired, this is the solution

As per the 2019 July Product Terms Microsoft announced the retirement of the Office Home Use Program (a former Software Assurance benefit). In this article we will tell you the impact and how you can still provide Office applications to your employees.

When organizations buy software licenses through the Microsoft Volume License program they can add Software Assurance to the licenses. Sometimes Software Assurance (SA) is mandatory. SA gives the organization certain benefits. For the Office products, one of the benefits was the Home Use Program, better known as HUP. The primary user of an organization device with an Office Professional Plus license with Software Assurance could use the same Office version at their home computer. The only thing this user had to do was agree to additional Microsoft terms of use between the user and Microsoft and pay some USD 15 for the media download. That’s all. The whole idea of HUP started when employees started to work, besides in the office, from home. With the Home Use Program organizations assured that the Office applications employees used at home were genuine and risk free.

Why retirement?
Microsoft has retired the Home Use Program as of July 1st 2019. The reason is obvious; Microsoft really wants organizations to migrate to cloud solutions like Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 E3/E5 or Microsoft 365 E3/E5. Company employees with such a subscription assigned may install the corresponding Office applications on up to five devices and five mobile devices. These devices don’t have to be company owned, as long as the user has a valid subscription. With this, the need for the Home Use Program is obsolete.

The impact
When you have an Agreement with Microsoft which contains Software Assurance on Office Professional Plus, you will not be affected until the end of the SA subscription term. In other words: if you renewed your SA – as an example – in May 2019 in an Open Value or Enterprise Agreement (which both run for three years), you can keep using HUP up until April 2022. What you will not be able to do is entering HUP in an agreement after July 1st 2019.

The solution
When you want your employees to use Office applications and want to be sure the applications they use are genuine, virus and malware free and no risk to your organization, Office 365 is the way forward. But here is the catch: the decision to migrate from Office on premises to Office in the cloud must not be driven by the retirement of the Home Use Program. It is a strategic business decision. The alternative is to provide your employees with an Office 365 for home use subscription. It will cost you only USD 10 a month and your employees family, up to 6 users, can use the software. The only thing is that commercial use is not allowed under this subscription, so your employees cannot work on business documents at their home PC.

More information
Do you need more information about the retirement of Microsoft HUP or do you want to know more about the benefits of the cloud? Do you need an Office 365 of other Microsoft cloud subscription? Please reach out to our cloud specialists to help you.

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