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Home Use Program update

The Home Use Program continues to be ‘stonewalled’ for many eligible staff.

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by Office Watch

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People could save hundreds of dollars on Microsoft Office if their employers would let them.

The Home Use Program is a great money saving option from Microsoft – it lets staff of organizations get Microsoft Office to use at home for a very low price.

Sadly many organizations don’t let their staff participate. We often hear from people who are frustrated by the ‘stonewalling’ inside their companies.

The Home Use Program is part of Microsoft’s Software Assurance licencing which most companies use to get their copies of Office and other Microsoft software.

In short, each licence for Office that a company buys is really two licences – one for use by the company plus a separate ‘Home Use’ option for a staff member to use at home. has talked about the Home Use Program before and in our ebook Office 2010: the real startup guide. With help from Microsoft we put together a ‘myth busting’ Q&A to refute the common excuses used by managers for not permitting Home Use.

A new excuse is “HUP program only applies if the organization has 100% of its software licensed using Software Assurance.” We can’t find anything in the Home Use Program details to support this assertion. It's quite common for organizations to have a mix of SA and non-SA software for a variety of reasons. There's really no way for Microsoft to know if a company has 100% SA use so we don't see how such a rule could be practically enforced.

As reader Mike S. wrote “I am not sure if this is simply a "cop out" to not have to allow the HUP.

We fear Mike may be right, there's long been management resistance to implementing the HUP even though there's little work and no risk involved for the company.

Ralph W. says “ Maybe I’m cynical, but it seems to me that most IT staff and senior managers probably have their own home copies of MS Office, courtesy of the corporate license. Since they already have Office at home there’s little incentive to make the same software available to their fellow employees. has provided as much information as we can to help our readers make the case for HUP to their managers.  The Home Use Program saves employees money and costs the company nothing extra.  It should be a 'no brainer' - Good luck.

Article posted: Wednesday, 24 November 2010

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