Confirmed: Microsoft Office 2013 Licensing Tied To One PC Forever

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News Posted: Sat, Feb 16 2013 1:02 PM
Earlier this week, we reported that it appeared as though Microsoft had changed language in the EULA for Office 2013 that would trap your license on one PC forever. This was a stark departure from EULAs for past version of Microsoft Office that allowed users to move their software licenses to new computers.

The Age was the first to notice that peculiarity, and now ComputerWorld has confirmed it via emails to and from Microsoft: Once you activate your Office 2013 license on a given PC, that license is tied to that PC forever. If you want to have Office 2013 on a different PC at any point and for any reason at all, you have to buy a new license. Indeed, when posed the question of whether or not the license could be moved if the original PC was lost, stolen, or destroyed, Microsoft replied with “No comment.”

Office 365

It’s not at all difficult to see that this absurdly restrictive licensing model is simply an attempt to drive users toward getting a cloud-based Office 365 subscription. In some cases, Office 365 might be a better value for a family that can install and use Office on multiple household computers, for example, but now Microsoft is twisting the system to make it difficult for users to figure out what the best value is for their given situation. Should they pay the one-time cost of the Office 2013 software and hope that they can keep it for a few years, or do they sign up for the $100-per-year subscription and just know that it will cost them X numbers of dollars every month for the rest of their lives just to use Microsoft Office?

This is a terrible gaffe on Microsoft’s part. At a time when there are ample options for productivity software beyond Microsoft Office, the company is trying to strongarm users using sneaky tactics, which isn’t traditionally a very smart way of hanging on to your customers.
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RWilliams replied on Sat, Feb 16 2013 1:26 PM

I have such a sore spot against Microsoft for Office (why can't I specify pixel dimensions of a graph, Microsoft?), and this just makes it worse. Idiotic is an understatement.

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sevags replied on Sat, Feb 16 2013 1:30 PM

The last time I had office installed was Office 2000 which I still have on CD somewhere and would probably work just fine for typing if I needed it but there are so many free alternatives and online apps that there really is no reason for most people to buy the new version. Office is 1 program I have never or will ever support.

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Dave_HH replied on Sat, Feb 16 2013 2:03 PM

I hate to say it, and this is in no way condoning software piracy, but this is going to bring the hackers and crackers out in droves.

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So this is what a scorched earth policy looks like in real life. Is Microsoft trying to destroy itself? It's blatantly obvious they are pushing their cloud service on everyone to move people into a subscription model instead of a buy once one they've had for decades. Windows 8 forcing users into another Microsoft world of doing things. I would say it can't get any worse, but I'm constantly shocked at the direction Microsoft is moving. It seems like they are intent on throwing their bread and butter business model straight out the window.

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#Microsoft s new Single PC Licensing Ball & Chain is #EpicFAIL Combined with #Windows 8 disaster, it will drive me, a long-time Microsoft Advocate who believes Office is technically superior to #Ubuntu + Open Office

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Well, now that I have been using Open office on my one laptop for nearly a year, quite happily, I might add, I can't really see any need to remain a loyal Microserf any longer. It is, however, quite puzzling why any business would want to basically tell teir long-time customers to go F themselves. Too bad for them - they lost this customer.

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jwchenard replied on Sat, Feb 16 2013 2:24 PM

The more you tighten your grip, the more will slip through your fingers.  -- Princess Leia, Star Wars

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I would like to know how this applie to Open License Agreements.

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WHAT KINDA SOFTWARE COMPANY DOESN'T WANT TO SELL SOFTWARE ??

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Forget Microsoft Office. Use FREE and Microsoft compatible Open Office... supported by enormo corporaton Apache... has been free for years, has support forums and millions of users. Download it now for FREE

http://OpenOffice.org/

 

Has free versions compatible with and as replacements for Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access and more.

 

"Just Say No" to putting money into Microsoft's greedy coffers.

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Most people don't even need Microsoft products because you can install Linux and run OfficeLibre or OpenOffice. I prefer OfficeLibre but they are both very good office suites. If I need to run Microsoft products I just use VirtualBox and run Windows 7 virtually and run Microsoft office programs, but I am still using Office 2000. I never have to pay for software. It is an economical waste to pay for inferior software by a closed source company like Microsoft. There is a reason people who work for Google are banned from using Microsoft Operating Systems natively. Open Source is the way to go for the most part.

If you really couldn't live without microsoft office and you wanted to move it to another computer, there is a way. You install it on a Windows 7 virtual machine in VirtualBox  or VMware Workstation and then you export your virtual machine, then import it to another computer that has VirtualBox or VMware Workstation on it. You can always get around things if you want to. Microsoft is really doing a disservice to its loyal customers, I am glad I not one of them.  Free software = Good. I mean why would you pay for something twice when you can get a vastly superior piece of software for free.

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Open source companies like Apache, et al.

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realneil replied on Sat, Feb 16 2013 6:07 PM

I have five copies of Office 2007, (my work used to just throw them away when new Dells would come in) and three of Office 2010.

They will install wherever I need them, but I have been using Open Office off and on for over a year. It's a long way from the Office wannabe's of the long ago past.

It simply works great.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Feb 16 2013 8:17 PM

As a long-time open software and Linux advocate, this is music to my ears. I like to analyze and consider things from every angle, but seriously, what are they thinking?

I just rewrote my resume the other day. I opened the old MS Word doc in LibreOffice; it imported flawlessly. I made my changes, printed it, and it was beautiful... MS Office isn't such an important thing that they should be tightening the thumbscrews at this point.

MS has their eyes on the "service model" prize. Maybe they're fixated too much, or maybe some apps just don't work on that model.

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

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Feb 16 2013 8:22 PM

>> Use FREE and Microsoft compatible Open Office

I see a lot of people mentioning OpenOffice, but the real successor is LibreOffice: (http://www.libreoffice.org/#0) It has everything OpenOffice does (literally, due to the GPL), and more.  OpenOffice has basically been abandoned, thanks to Oracle... but all the good developers went to LibreOffice!

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

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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Joel H replied on Sun, Feb 17 2013 4:35 AM

Open/Libre office are...functional. But that's about it. Load times are slower and , their GUIs are just different enough to throw you off beat. My personal willingness to screw around with basic functions in any replacent program is about 15 seconds.

But worst of all, the graphing engine is still difficult to use -- or was when last I checked. Office 2007 was the first graph program that ever made intuitive sense to me.

I wont switch to Open/Libre -- but it sounds like its time to upgrade to Office 2010. That should hold me over until 2018-2020.

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JDiaz replied on Sun, Feb 17 2013 10:21 AM

It's pretty ironic considering they stated they did it to fight piracy...

For volume licensees though there's no change, this only effect regular single license retail versions...

Sucks as much as all those video DRM services that only let you put a digital copy on one device and didn't provide any option for transfers, and I agree will likely promote piracy...

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sackyhack replied on Sun, Feb 17 2013 10:45 AM

This is just baffling. You see it in the world of PC gaming too. These sort of "Anti-piracy" measures don't stop the hackers. They're just an annoyance to them. But they will greatly hinder actual paying customers. I'm flabbergasted that anybody remotely knowledgeable about technology and their user base would look at this and say "yeah I don't see any problems with doing this".

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RTietjens replied on Sun, Feb 17 2013 3:40 PM

Meanwhile, Kingsoft Office Free is tied to... Nothing. No charge.

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Joel H replied on Sun, Feb 17 2013 4:44 PM

Wow. That's similar enough to actually be confusing.

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And this is why you should just get LibreOffice! Free, open source, and easy to use. Libreoffice dot org. Check it out, and remove the MS wool from your eyes.

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Joel H replied on Tue, Feb 19 2013 1:48 PM

Paul,

I've decided to take Libre for a test drive. I'll leave some remarks on what I think.

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