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Microsoft makes Office 2013 licensing much more restrictive

Microsoft has certainly made its share of strange moves over the years when it comes to software licensing. However, the company has again raised the ire of its customers with a change in retail licensing agreement for Office 2013. Microsoft confirmed this week that Office 2013 will be permanently tied to the first computer on which it is installed.

Not only does that mean you will be unable to uninstall the software on your computer and reinstall on a new computer, it also means if you computer crashes and is unrecoverable you'll be buying a new license for Windows 2013.
This move is a change from past licensing agreements with older versions of Office, and many believe that this move is a way for Microsoft to push consumers to its subscription Office 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, Microsoft's end-user license agreement for retail copies of Office allowed the owner to reassign the license to a different device any number of times as long as that reassignment didn't happen more than once every 90 days. The Office 2013 EULA changes past verbiage stating, "Our software license is permanently assigned to the licensed computer."

When Computer World asked Microsoft if customers can move Word and its license to replacement PC if the original PC was lost, stolen, or destroyed Microsoft only replied "no comment."

Source: Computer World

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Just like every other form of DRM...
By Articuno on 2/18/2013 9:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
This only hurts legitimate users. Pirates will be able to install as many copies of the retail version as they want, as usual.

I now have no qualms about pirating Office, by the way. There's a difference between charging a fair price for someone's coding work and charging an unfairly expensive price because you're losing money and mindshare by the hour.

RE: Just like every other form of DRM...
By drlumen on 2/18/2013 10:47:34 AM , Rating: 2
Even at that, this is not an effort to thwart piracy but merely a grab for more money from their licensed users.

MSO 2010 will be the last one I buy. When it becomes obsolete I will just shift to google docs or OpenOffice.

By Netscorer on 2/18/2013 11:01:16 AM , Rating: 2
I sincerely doubt this licensing change is a money grab. MS gets majority of their Office income from corporate world and this change does not affect them.
What this achieves is a more favorable comparison of Office 365 and this is where MS wants to steer individuals and countless small companies who can not qualify to enterprise licensing.
Basically, this is a carrot and stick strategy. An inviting Office 365 initial licensing is a carrot and severe restrictions on stand-alone copies is a stick.
My guess though is that all this will achieve is that individuals and small companies will just stick out with their Office 2007 and Office 2010 copies till the very end.
While $100 per year of Office 365 with all the goodies thrown in sounds good to some people, most are just very apprehensive of paying annual fees for something that they might or might not use.

By GotThumbs on 2/18/2013 11:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. Pirates are NOT interested in using Office. Of course you may have some, but it's not a significant number. Open Office does the trick if for some reason....A pirate need to do a spreadsheet.

I think your stretching it way beyond realistic rational.

By mike66 on 2/18/2013 4:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
Is it fair that I only pay $17.95 AUD( 3 licenses ) for my copy of MS office? That's the deal that all D.O.D. members get, we also at times get really big discounts on windows. If MS can provide 100,000 cheap licenses makes you wonder about their true profit margine. I'm not buying either this time around as both office and windows are a rip-off, it's all about revenue streaming for stuff that I feel I already paid for, pay for Media centre seperately! my arse I will. So it's hello Linux as it can now play games through STEAM = the MS killer app that MS forgot about.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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