As reported by Computer World, Microsoft has decided to remove one-off Office 2019 licenses from its Home Use Program (HUP). Microsoft made this decision somewhat quietly, opting to revise its HUP FAQ with the updated information in lieu of a major announcement.
The HUP, for the unaware, is a program that effectively allowed users to purchase a discounted version of the Office suite they use at work for home use -- provided they work at an "eligible company." Unfortunately for anyone who benefited from that program and enjoyed the offline experience that the standard Office 2019 suite offers, that will no longer be possible.
Moving forward, fans of the HUP will only have access to discounted versions of Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal; both of which require annual subscriptions as opposed to one-off license purchases.
"Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers," the updated HUP FAQ reads.
To be clear, Microsoft has not yet blocked anybody from purchasing Office 2019 through normal avenues, and they aren't likely to do so in the near future. However, there are obvious business benefits that would come with turning one-time customers into recurring spenders, so perhaps they'll go that route a few years down the line -- only time will tell.
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