KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — U.S. Air Forces in Europe employees will find it easier to take their work home thanks to a sweetheart deal with the command’s software provider.

The deal allows eligible USAFE users to get a licensed copy of Microsoft Office desktop applications to install on their home computer for a fraction of the retail price, said Master Sgt. Paddy Amond, USAFE software manager.

The Software Assurance benefit, called the Home Use Program, allows users to buy the software that normally would cost about $500 for about $20, Amond said.

“They’ve got the same copy of software at home that they’re using at the office, and they’ll have no problems with compatibility or converting files,” said Anne Smith, USAFE’s assistant command software license manager.

“At a great price,” Amond added.

More than 30,000 people in USAFE are eligible for the benefit, Smith said. As of Tuesday, about 1,365 had taken advantage of it.

The software under the agreement includes MS Office XP or MS Office 2003, which includes Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Access applications.

In addition, employees can download anti-virus programs for free, Smith said, which will help protect office systems from any viruses users may be susceptible to on their home computers.

The software agreement also gives USAFE members the opportunity to add upgrades to their systems as they become available, she said. Prices will vary on those upgrades.

In order to take advantage of the benefit, users must log onto the Air Force portal and follow the ordering instructions located under My Workspace, My Work, USAFE Enterprise Software Management, USAFE officials said.

The $20 fee covers shipping and handling. For employees without APO addresses, additional fees may apply.

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