News and Updates

Microsoft/Adobe Work at Home

Posted by | 03.24.2015

Every year, the software we use is updated to offer improved security, functionality, and features to make your workday a lot easier. Now, Software @ Penn State has been updated too. Along with the easier site navigation, one of the major improvements is a faster process to download the newest versions of work-at-home licenses directly to your personal computer. This new, streamlined process makes it easy to take advantage of all the great benefits the latest versions offer. Without the need for a physical disk, work-at-home licenses can be conveniently purchased and installed in minutes, whenever and wherever works for you, and all at a significant discount.


To make things even better, Software @Penn State has also expanded their work-at-home software offerings to include Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Acrobat Pro at an extremely discounted rate. Traditionally, only available for Microsoft licensed software, the new, expanded work-at-home offerings are great news for those who require Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Acrobat Pro XI for their work.


However, just because upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft or Adobe work-at-home software is now easier and more affordable than ever for Penn State faculty or staff who use a personal computer for Penn State work, does that mean that upgrading is right for you? To help you decide we wanted to highlight the benefits for available work-at-home software including Microsoft Office 2013 (2011 for Mac), Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro, Adobe Acrobat Pro XI, and Adobe Creative Cloud.


Microsoft Office 2013

For only $48, Microsoft Office 2013 is a significant upgrade with many improvements to the five-year-old Office 2010. Overall, you’ll spend less time navigating and more time doing (and doing a lot more) with the cleaner, more intuitive 2013 interface that makes it is easier to focus and work more efficiently—especially in Outlook.  A lot of time is saved with less clicking and scrolling, and the new color-coded start screen is also a welcome addition that helps you find your way around, with all of your options available in one place. Office 2013 boasts more powerful charting and auto-complete features in Excel and vastly improved image formatting and multimedia options in Word and PowerPoint. The ability to edit PDFs in Word without first having to convert the file format is also a nice addition. For those using a touch screen or planning to purchase a new 2-in-1, Office 2013 is designed to make working with a touchscreen easier. More details on all of the new features in Microsoft Office are available on Microsoft’s What’s New in Office 2013 page.



Windows 8.1 Pro

The new Windows is a big jump forward with a completely redesigned interface to better take advantage of the latest technologies. For Windows 8 users, Windows 8.1 offers better mouse and keyboard usability and fixes many issues business users experienced with Windows 8. For Windows 7 users, updating to 8.1 offers better performance with touch screens and 2-in-1s, an improved Mail App and App integration, and the fastest start up of any Windows version. For more details on all of the new features, visit the Windows 8.1 update page.


Adobe Acrobat Pro XI

If you work with PDFs there is no better, more powerful tool than Acrobat Pro XI. If Word’s new PDF editing feature is not enough, the newly available Adobe Acrobat Pro XI offers options for seamless PDF editing, improved document merging, customizing tool sets, and easier electronic document signing. Learn more about all the new improvements at the Adobe Acrobat XI product comparison.


Adobe Creative Cloud Suite

Adobe Creative Cloud is one of the most-powerful and extensive collections of creative software available and a welcome addition to our work-at-home software offerings. With better cross-platform integration and hundreds of new, advanced tools across 25 programs, this is a significant upgrade to Adobe’s three-year-old Creative Suite 6. For a comprehensive comparison and details for each program in the suite (including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator), visit the Adobe Creative Cloud catalog. One of the biggest changes in Adobe Creative Cloud is the move to a subscription-based model that allows you to always take advantage of the latest improvements without the need to purchase a new upgrade, but that requires a yearly subscription purchase. However, with the extremely discounted work-at-home license available through Software @ Penn State a 12-month subscription is only $165!


Now is a great opportunity to take advantage of the benefits, discounts, and easier process of upgrading the software you use most for work on your personal computer. Just type “work at home” in the search field of the Software @ Penn State website to find instructions, compatibility, pricing, and licensing details. If you have any further questions, feel free to email


Remember, if you’re feeling nervous about making the jump to an updated interface or are interested in the latest tips and tricks, IT Training Services is here to help. Every month, free technology training workshops are available, Technology Learning Assistants can consult with faculty during the day, and you can always visit for free video tutorials.