Microsoft is continuing to get all its Office 2013 ducks in a row as it approaches the still-unconfirmed but imminent launch date for its newest Office release.
The latest piece that's fallen into place is the addition of Office Professional Plus 2013 to the company's Home Use Program (HUP). (Thanks to Neowin for the tip.)
HUP is a benefit that Microsoft offers to volume licensees with Software Assurance. It allows business users to buy and use the latest version of Office to use on their home PCs/devices through a "low-cost" download. (Neowin says the Professional Plus 2013 SKU will cost about $9.95 per user via HUP.)
Microsoft typically makes available latest version of Office to HUP around the time that a new version of Office becomes generally/commercially available. Microsoft officials still have not revealed when Microsoft plans to launch the new Office, but it's expected some time in the next few weeks, and possibly by the end of this month.
The Professional Plus version of Office 2013 is available only to volume licensees. This particular SKU includes the 2013/newest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook (with Business Contact Manager), Publisher, Access, InfoPath, Lync and the Office Web Apps. Professional Plus is one of a handful of new Office 2013 SKUs that Microsoft will be launching.
In other Office-related news, those who've been testing the preview version of Office 2013/Office 365 Home Premium shouldn't worry that their test versions will expire before Microsoft launches the final version of the product.
A Microsoft spokesperson told me that those seeing expiration notices in the billing section for the Office 365 Customer Preview trials should know that the preview actually won't expire until approximately 60 days after the next version of Office becomes available in their market. Preview versions obtained via Office 365 will auto-renew, with newer/later dates displayed when users check back into http://commerce.microsoft.com.
The notification dates were built into the preview version to be in-line with how subscription users will be notified that an Office 365 subscription or trial will expire and remind them to renew or purchase once the next version of Office is available in their market.
"The messages trial customers see now are essentially of the Customer Preview experience as the team tests the system," the Microsoft spokesperson said. "Trials continue to live on without people having to do anything."