Microsoft Makes Office 2013 Single-License Model, Locked To One PC Only

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News Posted: Wed, Feb 13 2013 3:04 PM
Either someone at Microsoft screwed up the language in the licensing agreement for Microsoft Office 2013, or the company really, really wants everyone to switch to an Office 365 subscription instead of the locally-installed version of the software. The Age spotted some confusing language in the Office Home & Student 2013 license agreement that appeared to limit the installation to a single computer.

Mind you, that’s not one computer at a time, but one computer--ever. This is similar to the OEM licensing model, which marries Office with whatever machine it ships on forever. Of course, that really doesn’t make any sense at all for the average user. If every copy of Office 2013 is tied to a single computer, every time you upgrade to a new computer you’d have to buy a new copy of the software.

Microsoft Office 365
Users would be better served with an Office 365 Home Premium subscription

The key difference between the retail versions of Office 2010 and Office 2013 are as follows:

Office 2010: “One Copy per Device. You may install one copy of the software on one device. That device is the ‘licensed device.’”

Office 2013: “One Copy per Device. The software license is permanently assigned to the device with which the software is distributed. That device is the ‘licensed device.’”

Perhaps drawing the above conclusion from such a small alteration in the language is taking things too far, but Microsoft told The Age that “No, the customer cannot transfer the license from one PC to another PC.” (Whether that’s impossible to do or just illegal remains to be seen.) Further, that confirmation came from Microsoft’s PR wing after much haranguing, so it’s not out of the question that the PR folks simply got it wrong.

In any case, if it’s true that you can’t move your Office 2013 software to a different machine, it’s a terrible deal. Customers would be far better served by an Office 365 subscription (in case you missed it, there’s a home version of it now)--or perhaps they’ll just roll with Google Docs instead.
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RWilliams replied on Wed, Feb 13 2013 4:01 PM

Err... all this is going to do is increase the prevalence of that big P word. I don't like the idea behind subscription software, especially software that costs you $10 a month. I like to purchase software, use it for a couple of years and then just upgrade. What's so wrong with that?

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Feb 13 2013 9:49 PM

Yeah, this is kinda ugly, no matter how you slice it.

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Joel H replied on Thu, Feb 14 2013 11:12 AM

Why would I bother to buy Office 2013 at all? I'm still using Office 2007. I might theoretically get Office 2010 at some point, but there's no way I'm stepping up to a terrible value (I typically upgrade Office about once a decade). That's $1000 for a subscription over that time period, vs $139 without.

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scolaner replied on Thu, Feb 14 2013 12:34 PM

Yeah, plus one on that, man. For me, there's very, very little that I can't do with Google Docs. Which is *free*. And gives me cloud backups of everything that I can access from any device with an Internet connection and easily share with anyone else if need be.

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Dorkstar replied on Thu, Feb 14 2013 1:18 PM

scolaner:

Yeah, plus one on that, man. For me, there's very, very little that I can't do with Google Docs. Which is *free*. And gives me cloud backups of everything that I can access from any device with an Internet connection and easily share with anyone else if need be.

For personal use I use google docs/drive for everything.  It really easy to share things among people, and I like the fact that I can see who's looking at it, and where they are on the document as i'm viewing it. 

However, google docs lacks a lot of the functions that office provides.  For instance have you ever tried writing a hyperlink in google doc's version of excel?  You have to type out =HYPERLINK("www.hothardware.com","Hot Hardware").  Why didn't they just toss in the hyperlink button like everyone else has done for...umm... the past 2 decades?  I don't understand it, but it makes my day a nightmare when i'm trying to add a bulk of hyperlinks.  Until I find a better option, I just post links in the cell next to it.

 

Back on topic.  If this is an accurate license description of office 365, you can be that all of their competitors will be seeing some growth here soon.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Feb 14 2013 8:17 PM

>> Err... all this is going to do is increase the prevalence of that big P word.

Yep, for a lot of people. And for others, it will make them try the newly-released LibreOffice 4.0 (http://www.libreoffice.org) and realize they really don't need Office in the first place.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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rwalesa replied on Fri, Feb 15 2013 5:12 AM

I agree with Joel H.

I have Office 2007 Pro on my laptop and spare computer, but have Office 2003 Pro on my MAIN computer. Just like it better than the ribbon which requires more clicks to get stuff done. So, the 2003 version has been on three computers (2 AMD and 1 Intel). I am frugal and would be willing to switch or find and alternative like Open Office, Google Doc maybe even Apple.

MS should be making things cheaper not more.

Heck, I'm still using MS Money 99, does all that I need on Window 7.

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