Microsoft Terminates Perpetual Office Licenses from Home Use Program, Pushing Annual Subs

Tsing

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Microsoft's Home Use Program (HUP) allowed employees of its Software Assurace customers to snag perpetual licenses for Office 2019 at a super-low price ($15), but that privilege has come to an end. Going forward, only annual subscriptions for Office 365 will be offered.

While the discount for Office 365 is pretty decent (30%), this is a considerably worse deal due to the regular payments required to keep the license. It's an obvious attempt by Microsoft to get more people on the "rent, not buy" model.

Subscriptions purchased through HUP will extend existing Personal and Home plans the employee may already have, and once bought at the discount, all future renewals will be at the lower price, even if the buyer no longer works for the organization. The only requirement is that "you maintain recurring billing on your subscription," according to the FAQ.
 
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If this makes its way to where you can't get perpetual licensing for Office at all, OpenOffice is looking more and more attractive every day. Working for a non-profit, we don't have the $$$ to be blowing it on monthly licenses.
 

Grimlakin

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I think the writing has been on the wall a long time for this one. So no surprise here.
 
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I am not fond of this renting software model. This is the same reason I buy cars and not lease them because I like to keep what I pay for. I know they do it for the increased profits and less worry about compatibility issues with older versions of software. If only Open Office was as good as the Office 2016 I currently have.
 

Grimlakin

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I've been on office 365 for a while now and overall I'm happy with it.
 

Zarathustra

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Well, I guess that means I'll be on my Office 2010 HUP key I bought years ago for life.

I will never use any software that requires subscription, and will avoid to the extent I am able any software with a "cloud" conponent.
 

lostin3d

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I was kind of surprised when Office 2019 came out since I'd been hearing for around 3-4 years now how they've really wanted to push 365 and this subscription model.
 

Brian_B

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I don't mind the sub model - it has it's pros and cons.

If you skip all major updates yeah it'll cost you more money I suppose, but it's not exactly expensive either and it's a heck of a lot easier on a cash flow throwing a few dollars each month than a (what can be a very) large one time purchase.

I'll give you that most Office major updates haven't exactly been worth throwing money in the recent past (ribbon bar ...) But it does help to keep current with security stuff - not just emergency security patches, but also working with the OS as the security model there evolves over time as well.

You also get a few perks with the sub - some One Drive space, the ability to access online versions as well as download alternate OSes. Use of a single license on up to 5 machines, etc. Those may be worthless to you, idk.

Licensing is a whole lot easier though, and I can add or drop licenses pretty easily with it... I get some temps and they need Office - no problem, can just bump up my licenses for a few weeks, then drop it back down then they are done, and it won't be a huge expense. That's a nice thing for small businesses that aren't on an enterprise CAL program.

You never really own the software, even if you have a one-time cost license (I won't say perpetual, because it's not) - you are always just licensing the use, and there's any number of reasons that your license could be invalidated or discontinued.
 

jardows

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If this makes its way to where you can't get perpetual licensing for Office at all, OpenOffice is looking more and more attractive every day. Working for a non-profit, we don't have the $$$ to be blowing it on monthly licenses.
If you are working for a non-profit, there are other means for acquiring Microsoft products at a low price.

I don't understand the shock about this. MS isn't discontinuing stand-alone Office - they are ending a program that allowed employees of certain companies to purchase stand-alone Office for $15 instead of ~$400 retail price.
 
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If you are working for a non-profit, there are other means for acquiring Microsoft products at a low price.

I don't understand the shock about this. MS isn't discontinuing stand-alone Office - they are ending a program that allowed employees of certain companies to purchase stand-alone Office for $15 instead of ~$400 retail price.
I make use of those channels currently, but if the Perpetual model is going by the way of the DoDo, then I need to move in a different direction (as it will only be a matter of time before the Charity Licensing area get moved to a rent model)
 

Zarathustra

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I don't mind the sub model - it has it's pros and cons.

If you skip all major updates yeah it'll cost you more money I suppose, but it's not exactly expensive either and it's a heck of a lot easier on a cash flow throwing a few dollars each month than a (what can be a very) large one time purchase.

I'll give you that most Office major updates haven't exactly been worth throwing money in the recent past (ribbon bar ...)
In the last 20 years my Office progression has gone something like this:

  • 1999-2003 (All of college): Pirated version of Office 2000
  • 2003-2010: MSDNAA (Academic) License for Office 2003. (I had graduated, but my Umass email still worked for a few months, so I used it to request a license)
  • 2010 - Present: Microsoft HUP program license for Office 2010

So, yeah. I totally get not giving a shit about major Office releases. If it hadn't been for my employer offering the HUP program in 2010, I'd probably still be using my old academic 2003 license.

I hated 2007. (Seriously that initial Ribbon release was a disaster, spending time hovering my mouse over little stupidly arranged pictures hoping to see a useful tooltip so I could find that option I used to know where it was in a simple to use drop down menu.) By the time 2010 came around, the ribbon was less bad, but I still prefer the old menu layout.

Today, the user interface of Office 365 (I have to use it at work) is terrible compared to Office 2010 and earlier. Especially the file browser. They ahve added a ton of clicks to get to the file browser when trying to save a file, just to add nonsense like "OneDrive", "Sites" (whatever the hell that is) and other locations. It should just go straight to "browse" no other options are needed or wanted.

IMHO Office hit peak with the 2003 release. Everything since then has been one downgrade after another.

Well, at least sortof. 2007 was much worse than 2003. 2010 was a little bit better than 2007, but still worse than 2003, i skipped everything in between, but current 365 is slightly worse than 2010.

But it does help to keep current with security stuff - not just emergency security patches, but also working with the OS as the security model there evolves over time as well.
What kind of security issues do you possibly have with a local word processor and spreadsheet that shouldn't be accessing the network, local or WAN under any circumstance? The only way Office should be accessing even the local network is if I am saving something on a locally mapped network drive, but then the security is up to the networked file system protocol, not Office.

Well, 365 I guess is different with all these stupid integrated cloud features that just make the product worse.

You also get a few perks with the sub - some One Drive space, the ability to access online versions as well as download alternate OSes. Use of a single license on up to 5 machines, etc. Those may be worthless to you, idk.
Definitely worthless to me. In fact OneDrive is less than worthless to me. I want absolutely ZERO cloud in my life. If I don't personally control every aspect of something, then it might as well be compromised, as I have no idea how it is being used.

Licensing is a whole lot easier though, and I can add or drop licenses pretty easily with it... I get some temps and they need Office - no problem, can just bump up my licenses for a few weeks, then drop it back down then they are done, and it won't be a huge expense. That's a nice thing for small businesses that aren't on an enterprise CAL program.
I can totally see how it makes sense for businesses. It just isn't for me.

I guess my point is, I want local standalone software only. Buy it once and keep it until something meaningfully better comes along, and then you make a determination of whether or not to buy that. I control it, not someone else. Nothing is worse than firing up your computer and finding that Microsoft (or someone else) pushed some sort of patch, and everything moved or looks different now. I and only I should control what happens to software running on my computer, and it should remain completely constant unless I take explicit action to update it. That way I can plan for any changes that happen with an update, and am never surprised.

Also, fuck all this cloud and network integration. It's just another way for them and their partners to mine your shit and lose it to theft. The sooner this cloud trend dies a horrible death and we can all return to solid local machine sanity, the better.

No computer or mobile device should ever access the WAN without the user either explicitly requesting it every time, or intentionally setting up automation.
 

Zarathustra

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I make use of those channels currently, but if the Perpetual model is going by the way of the DoDo, then I need to move in a different direction
Yeah, the direction I'll be moving in is keeping my Office 2010 until the day I die, or using LibreOffice.

I already do most of my home stuff with LibreOffice. It works perfectly fine as long as you don't need perfect compatibility with documents authored by someone who uses Ms Office. For my home use, I do this very rarely, as I am usually just typing and number crunching in spreadsheets for myself.

I mean, I'm not a heavy Office user. I almost always have a Calc spreadhseet open. I use it for all sorts of things. I use it instead of a calculator. After that the Writer word processor is my most common component for the occasional letter. Rarely do I use the Impress slide show component. It happens I guess, but very rarely.

Only on the rare occasion do I actually open Ms. Word or Excel when I need to either work with someone else's document, or I need to send something editable to someone else.
 
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Grimlakin

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What kind of security issues do you possibly have with a local word processor and spreadsheet that shouldn't be accessing the network, local or WAN under any circumstance? The only way Office should be accessing even the local network is if I am saving something on a locally mapped network drive, but then the security is up to the networked file system protocol, not Office.
Uhh, you've never heard of the Macro based attacks in Excel, Word, Power Point and others?

So yes there are vulnerabilities to using older office programs that you are specifically going to be subjected to.
 

Brian_B

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What kind of security issues do you possibly have with a local word processor and spreadsheet that shouldn't be accessing the network, local or WAN under any circumstance?
Surely your joking.


I'd agree ~if~ Office were just a strict word processor and/or spreadsheet. But when you implement full scripting languages in there with OLE hooks to the OS and god knows whatever else it has embedded because Microsoft, you don't necessarily need Network access to cause havok - just open the wrong file.

Now sure, you should be smart enough not to open that Excel file from the Nigerian prince who is giving you money. But how else are you going to see how much money he's going to give you? Also, if it were just a dumb spreadsheet, no matter how malicious the intention were, a simple spreadsheet shouldn't be able to wreck your computer.
 

Brian_B

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I guess my point is, I want local standalone software only. Buy it once and keep it until something meaningfully better comes along, and then you make a determination of whether or not to buy that. I control it, not someone else.
I have no good argument for that - it's as good a reason for wanting a one-time license as any. I don't disagree with it at all.

I've just made my peace with Subscriptions and moved on I suppose. It's not a big deal to me, but I won't push back against another's preference if that's what they want. It isn't a matter of one being right and the other wrong.
 

DrezKill

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I already do most of my home stuff with LibreOffice. It works perfectly fine as long as you don't need perfect compatibility with documents authored by someone who uses Ms Office.
Same here. As for subscription-based software, that's a good way to ensure you never get my cash.
 

raz-0

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If this makes its way to where you can't get perpetual licensing for Office at all, OpenOffice is looking more and more attractive every day. Working for a non-profit, we don't have the $$$ to be blowing it on monthly licenses.
If you were legitimately licensing office and buying the new version every time, their cloud service runs about hte same cost, but you get to pay it over three years instead of all at once, and you get email infrastructure for effectively zero dollars.... And the OS license.... and basic business informatics... and 5TB of cloud storage, and a bunch of other tools.

If you were using small business version, it's less advantageous to use their subscription services.

The reality is that for the most part they are lowering their prices with the subscriptions, but they are also kicking the shit out of all the nooks and crannies where customers were min/maxing their costs as well as all the programs and licensing methods that were being exploited beyond their intended use.

HUP is one such thing.

How it is supposed to be used is that your work has paid full fare for the pro license, and you can get a hup license for when you work form home or such. My workplace used to be HUP eligible. We now aren't. However, we are now on 365, where we get 5 licenses and MS doesn't give a crap if they are on work owned equipment or not as long as they are attached to an account belonging to a person that is covered by their capitation math for licensing.
 

lostin3d

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Just a heads up for those looking to get a good deal for Office. Guru3d usually has sponsored articles/ads from URcdkey. They tend to post about once a week. I might get 2019 just have before 365 is all that's left.
 
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