Redmond, Washington — In a fresh move, the Redmond Vole continues to march toward the launch of its new Office 2013, which is still-unconfirmed but imminent launch date is only a few weeks away, but Microsoft has made it available to certain customers as part of its Home Use Program (HUP), a scheme it uses to sell cheap software to folks whose employers have a Software Assurance deal and cost just $9.95.
HUP is a benefit that Microsoft offers to volume licensees with Software Assurance. This latest bargain had been communicated previously by several sources, including a Microsoft HUP marketing portal, which yesterday noted that promotional materials would be available on Jan. 17. It allows business users to buy and use the latest version of Office to use on their home PCs/devices through a “low-cost” download.
In fact, Office 2013 has just been added to the HUP, and that too at very reasonable prices: the UK page prices it at £8.95, while US buyers are charged $US9.95. Despite the Australian dollar being worth more than the US dollar, Aussies are being asked to pay $AUD15.00. For those prices you get Office Processional Plus, comprising Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, Lync, OneNote and InfoPath.
In addition, enterprises and organizations with Software Assurance (SA) plans can enable HUP for employees, who register for the concessional copy of Office 2013 using their work email address and a program code obtained from their IT department.
SA is a rente-like program where firms pay Microsoft set fees per license over a multi-year span for the right to upgrade to any new versions of a particular product. Hence, software obtained through HUP is intended for use on workers’ home PCs or Macs, and its use is linked to the company’s or organization’s continued SA payments.
Going forward, employees can obtain either Office Professional Plus for Windows or Office for Mac 2011, but not both. Also, they can purchase the suite on physical media for an additional $14; that DVD includes both the 32- and 64-bit editions and can be used to reinstall Office after, for instance, a hard drive disaster or a change of machines.
Alas! As for those who had previously purchased an older copy of Office via HUP program–say, Office Professional Plus 2010–must again pay the $9.95 fee to buy Office 2013 as an upgrade.
Microsoft normally makes available latest version of Office to HUP around the time that a new version of Office becomes generally/commercially available. In so far, Microsoft officials still have not revealed when Microsoft actually plans to launch the new Office, but it is expected some time in the next few weeks, and possibly by the end of this month.