Cheaper Office 365 for many with Home Use Program

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The Microsoft Office Home Use Program (HUP) has officially been extended to include Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal annual plans. Naturally there’s a catch, the rules have changed but the Microsoft department isn’t ready yet!

UPDATES:  Home Use Program details are dribbling out.

You’d better hurry if you want discounted Office 2019 for $15

Office 365 Home Use Program discount confirmed!


The change means cheaper Office 365 Home or Personal for many employees which is great news for many employees.  There are now details on that the HUP prices will be.

Until now, the HUP (Home Use Program) has been limited to the perpetual licence, single-payment Office 2019 or Office 2016. has talked about the Home Use Program for many years.  Too many people pay more than they need for Microsoft Office, not knowing their employers have the HUP or their employers could not be bothered to make the Home Use Program available.

What we know, so far

The eagle-eyed people at The Licensing School noticed a small change in the Microsoft Product Terms to include Office 365 Home or Personal in the Home Use Program.

I know most of you are familiar with these 112 pages of seamless prose from Microsoft. For the few of you not up on their corporate reading, let’s jump to page 80.

Microsoft Home Use Program
…  Customer’s employees may acquire a single subscription of either Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal through the Microsoft Home Use program website.

Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal subscriptions acquired through the Microsoft Home Use Program website may currently be renewed at the then current Microsoft Home Use Program price regardless of employment or Customer’s SAM coverage status

In human English that means:

  • Discounted Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal for employees.
  • Their company/organization (‘Customer’) must have a software volume licence for Microsoft Office which includes Software Assurance (aka Software Assurance Membership – SAM).
  • The discount applies to the first purchase of Office 365 Home/Personal AND renewals even if the person has left the company or the organization has dropped their Software Assurance.

That last bit is quite different from past Home Use Program rules and the existing rules for single-purchase Office under the HUP. For single-purchase Office, the employee is required to stop using their HUP Office software, though that requirement has never been enforced.

This new offer means even a past employee can continue to get Office 365 at a ‘special’ rate.  As long as they signed up for the HUP while employed.  It doesn’t matter if the organization stops their Microsoft volume licencing either.

It’s also different from the Office 365 Military Appreciation Plan which only applies for a single year before full price renewal is charged (unless another separate MAP purchase is made to extend).

What’s next?

We have to wait and see the details. The regular Home Use Program site only shows the offers for Office 2019 (Professional Plus or Home and Business for US$14.99).

There’s a link to a new page which will tell us more sometime.

cheaper office 365 for many with home use program microsoft office 26185 - Cheaper Office 365 for many with Home Use Program

What to watch out for ….

As usual with buying from Microsoft, the devil is in the details.

What is the Home Use Program rate for Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal?   Is the price any better than regular street prices for Office 365?

A lot hinges on the HUP price for Office 365.  If it’s too high, savvy people will be better off getting Office 365 from regular retailers when it’s on sale.

Can someone with an existing Office 365 Home or Personal plan, add HUP discounted years to their existing account?

How does a past employee continue to get the HUP price when, presumably, their work email has stopped. The work email is the main way Microsoft validates someone’s eligibility for the HUP.

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