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Software Assurance Cuts Back

By Steve Jones,

Did anyone ever use this benefit of Software Assurance (SA)? Apparently if your company had SA on Microsoft software, you could purchase that software for a discounted price for use in your own home.

I wasn't aware of it, and it's never been a perk that any of my employers have offered me. I have had the chance to use Microsoft Office on my home computer if I was licensed for it at work, but I never knew I could "own" something like Visual Studio at a discount. I'm not even sure I would have taken advantage of it, but I'm sure there are lots of people that might have appreciated it. Plenty of my friends that wanted Microsoft Office at home, instead of Microsoft Works. I'm sure a few of them would have purchased a copy of Office at a discount from their company if they could have.

However it doesn't matter anymore since this perk is being removed from Software Assurance. I wonder how much money that Microsoft thinks they're saving here, or maybe how much money they think they might earn. Those extra copies of software don't cost Microsoft anything, though perhaps there is a significant administrative cost savings involved. More people probably use the Home Use Program instead, which allows people to use a copy of software at home.

I don't know that these programs add much to the value that a company gets from SA. Perhaps if they did include home software, or XBOX games, this might be a nice perk to attract employees, but I doubt it. I don't know that these discounts would make a different in helping me choose where to work. To me they just help Microsoft continue to dominate in some areas of software as corporate workers look to use the same software at home that they have at work.

If that's the goal, Microsoft ought to sell the software at a nominal cost, like $25, just to get people to use it at home.

Steve Jones


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