From Netflix to phone apps, tech companies love to chase that sweet, reliable subscription money. Microsoft is no different, joining the charge to sell its Office products as a subscription service. While users have traditionally purchased the Office suite as a one-off perpetual license, the company is pushing customers toward an annual subscription instead.
Microsoft will no longer sell one-off licenses for Office 2019 as part of its Home Use Program (HUP). As spotted by Computer World, the company updated it HUP frequently asked questions page to confirm: “Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers.”
The HUP is a program aimed at employees in eligible companies, allowing them to buy the same Microsoft products they use at work to use at home. Previously, employees had been offered discounted rates for perpetual licenses. Now, they will have to purchase a subscription with a 30 percent discount, costing $48.99 a year for Office 365 Personal or $69.99 a year for Office 365 Home.
If you already have a perpetual license purchased through the program, it will continue to work. And if you buy a subscription under the new HUP, you will continue to receive the discount on future renewals even if you leave your current employer.
Last year, Microsoft made a move that would require anyone using Windows 10 to upgrade to the latest version of Office. It was designed to push businesses into using their subscription-based service, as opposed to their standard standalone service. So, we all saw this coming.
For now, Microsoft will continue to offer Office 2019 perpetual licenses for users who would rather buy software than rent it. However, the company makes it clear that this is one move in its continuing efforts to nudge users over to an Office 365 subscription instead.