Office Home Use Program, what’s the catch?


The Office Home Use Program (HUP) is a cheap way to buy Office 2019 but there are some downsides.  Your money might be better used for an Office 365 Home or Personal plan.

The Home Use Program product is very limited in both features and how many computers you can install on.

See also Office Home Use Program myths debunked

The original Home Use Program was great value.  Employees could get full-featured Office, much the same as sold in stores, to install on two computers (eg desktop and laptop). Today, the Office 2019 software sold by the Home Use Program is very limited in features and licence compared to Office 365 by annual ‘subscription’.

Office 2019 for $15 is one computer only

Microsoft Office for $15 might seem too good to pass up.  It’s intended to let staff have the same Office software at home that they use at work.

If you only want a single copy of Office to use on a single computer then it might be enough.

Office 2019 for Windows or Mac is only a single licence for one computer only.  If you have multiple computers (e.g. desktop or laptop), you’d have to buy two Office 2019 licences.

Except you can’t buy multiple copies on the Home Use Program.  The HUP $15 offer is limited to one purchase of Office 2019 for Windows and one purchase of Office 2019 for Mac.

If you need more copies of Office for your own computers or to share with a partner or among the family then Office 365 Personal or Home are better value.

No Office 365 extras

Office 2019 (Home Use Program or not) does NOT include the Office 365 extra features like:

  • Extra features and updates that come with Office 365 for Windows or Mac.
  • 1TB of OneDrive storage
  • 60 minutes a month of Skype calls to phones in many countries
  • Using Office on up to five computers/devices per user.
  • Ability to switch between Windows or Mac Office 365.
  • Using Office apps on iPad/tablets with screens over 10.1″
  • Extra features available in the Office Mobile apps for iPhone, iPad or Android devices.

Office 365 Personal or Home costs more but there’s a lot more options and features available.


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