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Microsoft Office available economically to AF employees

Posted 4/4/2007   Updated 4/4/2007 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Cindy Dorfner
Air Combat Command Public Affairs

4/4/2007 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (ACCNS) -- Air Force members wanting the latest version of the Microsoft Office Suite for their home computers can get it for a fraction of the cost of buying it on the economy.

For about $21, active-duty and civilian members, as well as Air Force contractors, can have the same tools at home they currently have at the office through the Microsoft Home Use Program.

"Because a lot of people take work home with them, this program allows users the tools to have compatibility between their office and home computers," said Bill O'Neill, Air Combat Command software license manager. "It also provides hands-on training for the different Microsoft Office programs."

The program operates through a software assurance license, according to Mr. O'Neill. Available to home users because the Air Force already pays for a license with Microsoft, this perk is just an extension of that license, he added.

While the software technically doesn't "belong" to the user, it is authorized as long as the purchaser remains a qualified employee. The program has been in use for nearly three years with three years remaining on the software assurance license contract.

The program is good for people who buy a computer without Microsoft Office installed, or for those wishing to upgrade to a newer version, Mr. O'Neill said.

The cost equals a great benefit, according to one user. Depending on the version purchased, users save around $200 by taking advantage of this program

Josh Aycock, ACC Public Affairs action officer, hadn't purchased the retail version of Microsoft Office for his new computer because of the cost. When he learned about the Home Use Program, he quickly took advantage.

"A lot of people, including myself, sometimes have to take work home," he said. "Without this, I would have been forced to spend a couple of hundred dollars or spend extra hours in the office - it's actually unbelievable how big the discount really is."

Mr. O'Neill said he hopes more people take advantage of the program.

"After selling 12,000 sets of Microsoft Office to ACC members, there are still 67,000 sets available for members of the command," Mr. O'Neill said. "This is a good benefit that's just sitting out there."

Another benefit available is the Employee Purchase Program. Users can buy a variety of software, including games and other programs, at a discount. Through this program, users buy and own software purchased through EPP.

Instructions for taking part in either program are available on the Air Force Portal by clicking on the "ACC EPP/HUP Program" entry in the "ACC Information Management" block under the "Workspace" tab.

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