Microsoft reverses one-PC Office 2013 licensing restriction

By on March 6, 2013, 1:00 PM

Following a wave of criticism over the licensing terms for the retail version of Office 2013, which essentially tied your version of the software to a single computer for ever, Microsoft has amended the agreement with a transferability provision to allow users to move the productivity suite to another computer up to once every 90 days. The change is effective immediately and covers Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013, and all of the standalone Office 2013 applications.

Under the previous terms, if you ever needed to reset your machine you could reinstall Office as well, but if died or got stolen, or if you simply upgraded to a new machine you couldn’t transfer the license even after uninstalling it from the old one. The only exception was if a computer had died while under warranty.

Microsoft clarified that these were the same licensing rights as the Product Key Card (PKC) version of Office 2010 -- those that come preloaded with new PC purchases and require users to buy a product key to activate. Of course, the problem is with Office 2013 you no longer have the option to choose between PKC or FPP (Full Package Product) and the only retail version available had been demoted to OEM status.

As you might expect there was some discussion about Microsoft using these ‘tactics’ to push its Office 365 subscription package, which allows installations on five machines plus select mobile devices for $99 a year.

Truth be told that’s not really a bad deal for households and small businesses that need to run Office on multiple computers, but for the rest of users the updated, consumer-friendlier agreement is welcome news. The price of your new or upgraded laptop won't include a whole new Office 2013 license as well.

Last month we also noted that the licensing restriction essentially meant a $20 to $50 price hike over the equivalent Office 2010 PKC editions. Now, you still don’t get as many installs as the pricier Full Package Version of Office 2010, but the transferability clause at least makes this a fairer proposition overall.

  Office 2010 FPP Office 2010 PKC Office 2013
Professional Academic $99 -- --
Home & Student $149 $119 $139.99
Home & Business $279 $199 $219.99
Professional $499 $349 $399.99



User Comments: 10

Got something to say? Post a comment
HiDDeNMisT HiDDeNMisT said:

Its better then there last offer but its still bad. They should just leave like they always have.

1 person liked this | Butch said:

The question I have is this; when I installed the Office 365 preview awhile back it was closely linked to my Microsoft account for Sky Drive etc. However, when they say that you can install it on 5 PC's does that mean that each PC can be linked to a different M$ account or only the same account. For example, I install Office on my PC using MY Microsoft account, can I install it on my wife'ss PC with HER Microsoft account under the same license? I understand that I can install it on multiple PC/Devices but can each use a different MS account? I have searched for this and can't find the answer anywhere. If you guys know, please let me know...Thanks

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

The question I have is this; when I installed the Office 365 preview awhile back it was closely linked to my Microsoft account for Sky Drive etc. However, when they say that you can install it on 5 PC's does that mean that each PC can be linked to a different M$ account or only the same account. For example, I install Office on my PC using MY Microsoft account, can I install it on my wife'ss PC with HER Microsoft account under the same license? I understand that I can install it on multiple PC/Devices but can each use a different MS account? I have searched for this and can't find the answer anywhere. If you guys know, please let me know...Thanks

hey Butch the way I was trained at work was this, the account used to initially register the account is the account that 365 is linked too. But you can use other skydrives and have it linked to other Microsoft accounts/ computers( up to 4 after initial account)

kosac said:

Why? nothing interesting in this product.. I use Libre office and everything is ok..

Railman said:

And it still looks like the OEM version can only be legaly installed on one PC.

Railman said:

That should have had "at a time" added to the end of the sentence.

killeriii said:

lol

Good for M$ though. It's nice to see them make the change their customers were asking for so quick.. little surprising too!

Now for the windows 8 issues...

Railman said:

They must have learnt lessons from the Conservative government in Britain about fast track U turns.

Guest said:

Why? nothing interesting in this product.. I use Libre office and everything is ok..

Libre Office is abysmal. Why?

  • No Skydrive integration
  • Outdated and cluttered interface (I prefer the Ribbon)
  • No automatic updates
  • Calc is inferior to Excel (e.g. Calc's DataPivot severely lags behind the user-friendliness of Excel's Pivot Tables)
  • Poor handling of .docx formatting
  • Lousy grammar and spell checker
  • Script language is not as good as Microsoft's VBA or C#
  • No OneNote equivalentNot good for corporations with many users sharing documents (biggest deal breaker)

Until Libre Office address those deficiencies, I'll stick with MS Office for the foreseeable future.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.