Another one bites the dust. Microsoft has been shifting much of its software to a subscription model, and the latest Office 2019 news heralds another change on that front.
The suite of Microsoft programs had been available for purchase as one-off perpetual licenses through the company’s Home Use Program. HUP lets select businesses offer employees discounted rates on the software from their workplaces to use at home.
Both Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 have been removed as options for one-off licenses under the program. Instead, HUP will give a 30% discount on annual subscriptions to Office software. Office 365 Personal will run HUP members $48.99 a year, and Office 365 Home will cost them $69.99 annually. The feature sets of the two subscriptions are the same, including premium versions of Microsoft programs, 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and OneDrive ransomware detection. The Home version supports up to six people, and Personal is for an individual.
For a bit of fine print, a perpetual license that you’ve purchased through HUP will continue to work. And once you buy a Microsoft subscription through HUP, you can keep the lower price even if you leave that employer.
Microsoft has been reaping the rewards of its transition to subscription-driven software. The company closed its 2019 fiscal year with a cool $11 billion in quarterly revenue for its Productivity and Business Processes division, including 31% growth in revenue for Office 365 Commercial.
For users, the subscription model can be more of a mixed bag. Subscriptions ensure that customers are always getting the latest features and support from the company. At the same time, it’s one more account to manage and maintain with monthly or annual costs.