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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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By danjw1 on 2/18/2013 11:47:03 AM , Rating: 2
So? Who uses this anyway? Maybe some businesses, but the people who would care, the home user, probably isn't. With Google Docs and Libre/Open Office. I am sure there are still home users of office, just people who don't know any better. I expect they won't know any better than to buy this version of Office, either. So Microsoft will keep some businesses and silly people. They are welcome to them.

By crispbp04 on 2/18/2013 2:39:02 PM , Rating: 2
You answered your own question. Businesses. People who need something with high reliability, availability, consistency, security, privacy, and compatibility. Things that open source can't always guarantee.

For consumer markets, open source can be a huge advantage. College students are lucky that they usually get microsoft stuff for free. For everyone else, microsoft products can be prohibitively expensive. Google docs may be free, but you sacrifice privacy. Open office is good but can sacrifice compatibility and performance.

The bottom line: We have the power of choice and options! If everything was free then everything would be junk. Coding isn't cheap. A differentiator is required to charge a cost. The great thing about competition is that it keeps great products reasonably priced.

What is important to consumers and businesses has never been as close to being the same as it is today. People are becoming more reliant on technology and everyone's needs are growing.

I get what microsoft is trying to do with Office 365. They are trying to create a sustainable long term environment. Haven't people pay a large cost up front for a product is a huge barrier to entry. I love the ability to get a free trial of a product and pay a small recurring fee to continue usage. I am a big fan of non-contract based subscription based models because it includes all the upgrades, the security of support if ever needed, the ability to choose what you want and scale accordingly.

Let's look at a few different scenarios.
1) college student
2) small business entrepreneur
3) suzie homemaker that needs to maintain spreadsheets for budgeting and use a word processor for her recipes and kids essays.
4) corporate IT manager
5) hipster

scenario 1: can likely use all msft products for free or dirt cheap. Once they graduate will either adopt open source or work for a company that gives them continued access. Lesser likely option is that they'll pay for the service.

Scenario 2: small business entrepreneur on a tight budget. for $9.99 a month I can get office on all 5 computers, instead of an initial investment of ~$1500 for outright licenses. Perfect model for scaling as needed. Cloud anything with cheap subscription models are the best for this situation.

Scenario 3: mom doesn't want to spend a ton, they have one family computer. Her options are to spend $139.99 for office, or hopefully find a family member who can get open office or another free solution set up for her. Subscription model makes no sense here

Scenario 4: Large corpations get budgets for X amount of dollers and will spend on expensive upgrade cycles. The analysis must be made for whether or not it's more important to catch every upgrade or if their cycle is more of an every other upgrade situation. This will determine if a subscription based model or outright per seat license fits their needs.

scenario 5: You don't need office, just continue to be hip and realize that you're a minority. If you ever need to look at a doc or xls you can use google docs. I can assure you microsoft is not the enemy. They are not trying to rip you off. You have freedom of choice, I swear. Your rage should be geared towards the abusive OEMS who delivered crappy subpar hardware with terrible bloatware. Your rage should be aimed at the memory manufacturers who colluded to keep memory prices artificially high so that PCs shipped with crippling amounts of ram to where they couldn't even function out of the box. Your praise should be given to Apple for proving that quality does matter and drastically changing today's hardware landscape. To google for proving that open source is capable of scaling(although with side effects). The list goes on and on. Just try to think outside your small world when you begin to bash and blindly hate.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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