Microsoft does listen: licensing for Office 2013 is to change

In an amazing turn of events, Microsoft actually listened to its customers and has changed the licensing for the RETAIL version of Office 2013. As I previously warned, the license for retail, boxed copies of Office 2013 was perpetually tied to the machine that it was originally installed, unless that machine died within its warranty period AND Office were pre-installed. You would be able to transfer it ONCE.

Today, acknowledging its customers, Microsoft changed the licensing to be a bit more flexible. You may now transfer the license from one machine to another, but once every 90 days. So, you still cannot install on your desktop, your laptop, your brother’s desktop or significant other’s machine at the same time.

While not perfect, it is better and it does prove that Microsoft does, in fact, listen.

From the Office blog:

Based on customer feedback we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to move the software from one computer to another. This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one. Previously, customers could only transfer their Office 2013 software to a new device if their PC failed under warranty.

While the licensing agreement text accompanying Office 2013 software will be updated in future releases, this change is effective immediately and applies to Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013 and the standalone Office 2013 applications. With this change, customers can move the software to another computer once every 90 days. These terms are identical to those found in the Office 2010 software.

So, there you go. It’s a shame that they abandoned the three-install license (I called it the ‘family pack.’) With Office 2010 Home and Student, you could install and use it on three devices, concurrently. Install it on others as long as you uninstalled on one.  Nice, family and budget friendly and it gets more people using the software. For some reason, they abandoned this (OK, it’s Office 365 that did it) and went with the archaic terms for the boxed software. They REALLY want that subscription. Well, I’m just not sure I’d want to do that. At $99 a year, it would feel like I am buying it every year. Not sure I want to do that. And, while 2013 looks great, I’m just not sure it is any better than 2010. But, that is me. You decide, is it worth it? 

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