Microsofts Leach told eWEEK that there is no link between its decision to cut Office XP prices and any threat from the Linux/open-source desktop productivity suites, but rather it followed on its decision to change its Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance program, announced on Tuesday, which gives customers running Office under Software Assurance home use rights for the software as well. "Clearly, coming at the same time as the improvements in the Software Assurance value focused on the enterprise and business customer, it made sense to do this now for retail customers as well," he said.In order not to make this complicated for customers, who have told Microsoft they do not want any added burden, Microsoft is avoiding the need to involve the IT manager for this. "If the employee is eligible, they will go out to a Web site and submit their name, which will get validated. They will then have to submit a credit card number to pay a cost of goods charged at about $25 to cover shipping and handling, and we will send them a complete retail version of Office to their home, so they bypass the IT administrator at work," Rebecca LaBrunerie, Microsofts product manager for worldwide licensing and pricing, told eWEEK on Tuesday. The home-use rights will also apply to Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio customers, LaBrunerie said, adding that Microsoft is giving those home users discounts of more than 30 percent on retail prices if they want to buy as many as three additional desktop Microsoft software products. More Microsoft News:
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Until now, users who installed the Office software at their workplace computer or on a laptop could not install it at home as well under the same license. Microsoft will now give those customers home-use rights for Office in the ratio of one home use right for every one Office Software Assurance license held.