In its infinite wisdom, Microsoft has decided that from now on, it is going to be Office 365 subscriptions all the way! Users will no longer be able to buy a standalone copy of Office 2019.
As part of the Home Use Program, that is.
If this is the first time you are hearing about this, then HUP is basically a scheme that allows users to buy the same software they use at work for their home computers — at a discount.
Now, though, both Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 have been removed as options for one-off licenses at the program. Instead, buyers will now be treated to a 30% discount on annual subscriptions to Office software.
In other words, HUP members will have to part ways with $48.99 a year for Office 365 Personal, while Office 365 Home will run the $69.99 annually. The features for both variants are the same, but one is for an individual, while the other supports up to six people.
More details here in this FAQ for the Home Use Program, which has recently been updated to state:
“Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers.”
Said it straight.
A bit of fine print here. A perpetual license that you have purchased via HUP will continue to work. Plus, a Microsoft subscription that you buy through the Home Use Program will continue to be available at the lower price, even if you leave the employer.
Nevertheless, this signals a shift at Microsoft, where the company has been transitioning over to subscription driven software.
Redmond did close its 2019 with some cool $11 billion in quarterly revenue that came from its growing Productivity and Business Process division, including a very healthy 31% growth in revenue from the Office 365 Commercial arm.