Office 2013 retail licensing change ties suite to specific PC forever
'If your computer dies, so does your Office license,' says licensing guru; move seen as prod to adopt subscription-based Office 365
Computerworld - Microsoft yesterday confirmed that a retail copy of Office 2013 is permanently tied to the first PC on which it's installed, preventing customers from deleting the suite from one machine they own and installing it on another.
The move is a change from past Office end-user licensing agreements (EULAs), experts said, and is another way Microsoft is pushing customers, especially consumers, to opt for new "rent-not-own" subscription plans.
"That's a substantial shift in Microsoft licensing," said Daryl Ullman, co-founder and managing director of the Emerset Consulting Group, which specializes in helping companies negotiate software licensing deals. "Let's be frank. This is not in the consumer's best interest. They're paying more than before, because they're not getting the same benefits as before."
Prior to Office 2013, which debuted last month, Microsoft's EULA for retail copies of Office plainly stated that customers could reassign a license when, for example, they replaced an aged PC with a newer model or the original machine gave out.
"You may reassign the license to a different device any number of times, but not more than one time every 90 days," stated the EULA for Office Home & Student 2010, the most popular consumer version of that edition. "If you reassign, that other device becomes the 'licensed device.' If you retire the licensed device due to hardware failure, you may reassign the license sooner."
That language showed in the EULAs of all retail versions of Office 2010, including Home & Business, which targets small businesses, and Professional, another business-oriented suite with even more applications.
Microsoft modified the EULA for the same editions of Office 2013, however, eliminating the suite's flexibility by striking the clause about reassigning the license. In several other places in the EULAs, those same EULAs also stated, "Our software license is permanently assigned to the licensed computer."
Change confirmed by Microsoft
On Thursday, Microsoft confirmed that once a retail copy of Office 2013 is installed on a PC and activated -- the process of entering a 25-character "key" to prove the software was legitimately obtained -- it cannot be uninstalled and then re-installed on another machine owned by the customer.
Via email, Computerworld asked Microsoft, "Once an Office 2013 retail license is assigned through activation to a PC, it's connected TO THAT PC, correct? Just as is Windows. That then means it cannot be reassigned to ANOTHER PC owned by the same individual, correct?"
The response from Microsoft's public relations firm was simply, "Correct."
Another question asked whether, under the retail Office 2013 EULA, customers could move the suite -- and its license -- to a replacement PC when the original was lost, stolen or destroyed. Microsoft reply: "No comment."
- Fast and Furious: How SAS VA Helps IT Deliver BI Platform Read this whitepaper to learn more about the benefits of self-service BI to make business critical decisions.
- API Playbook: Drive API Adoption Through Developer Engagement Learn the best practices of how to engage developers, whether your goal is to attract external developers to your public APIs or improve...
- Leverage the Power of APIs to Turbocharge Your Mobile Strategy: 7 Steps to a Successful API Program In this guide, Intel® Services-which offers industry-leading API management solutions for over 150 top enterprises, including Best Buy, Netflix, Expedia, ESPN, and The...
- IDG Research Survey: Are you Paying Too Much for Your NMS? Feel like you're paying too much for network monitoring? You're not alone. This survey brief summarizes findings from research recently fielded by IDG...
- Live Webcast Master the Changing SAP Landscape with Performance Management SAP landscapes are not getting simpler. Gradually, business processes that used to be contained on a single SAP system now involve a range...
- API Management: The Key to Improving the Consumer Travel Experience Join PhoCusWright's Senior Technology Analyst, Norm Rose, as he shares his insights on how travel suppliers and intermediaries can improve industry data flow...
- Tips to Simplify Database Administration and Development Make your job easier while getting the most from the leading productivity tool for database professionals. Learn tips from Dell Software's Oracle® ACE,... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts