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Microsoft Caves, Allows Users to Transfer Office 2013

By - Source: Microsoft | B 39 comments

Fine, have it your way. Transfer Office 2013 to another PC if you need to.

Wording in the current licensing conditions for the retail version of Office 13 indicate that customers are not allowed to transfer the software to another computer even if the hard drive fails or the consumer upgrades to a new PC. The suite is essentially locked to one MAC address and cannot be deactivated, forcing customers to purchase another copy. The only way the software can be transferred is if Office 2013 came pre-installed and the machine fails under warranty.

As stated back in February, that's a big change from Office 2010. In the older retail-based suite, Microsoft limited installation to the licensed device and an additional portable device (laptop), the latter of which must be used by the single primary user of the licensed device. For the pre-installed OEM version, Microsoft wasn't as lenient, permanently assigning the license to the store-bought desktop or laptop.

Thus with Office 2013, Microsoft is essentially using the OEM model across the board – no transfers for anyone. Thankfully, that's about to change thanks to customer feedback, as the negative reactions to the new policy have provoked Microsoft into rethinking its approach to an obvious piracy-related stance with the Office suite.

"We have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to transfer the software from one computer to another," said Jason Fark of the Office Team. "This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one."

Fark said that the licensing agreement accompanying the Office 2013 software will be updated in a future release. In the meantime, the change is effective immediately and applies to Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013 and the standalone Office 2013 applications.

"At Microsoft, we strive to make Office the very best product to help busy people and families get things done," he added. "A key ingredient in our formula for success is listening to our customers, and we're grateful for the feedback behind this change in Office licensing."

Here is the updated text explaining how the software can be transferred, essentially saying only one copy and reside on a single device at a time (no multi-installs):

Q: Can I transfer the software to another computer or user?

A: You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the "licensed computer." You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    tokencode , March 6, 2013 11:17 PM
    I think what Winston Chruchhill once said about the United Stats definitely applies to Microsoft as well. "You can always count on them to make the right decision, after they have tried everything else. "
  • 23 Hide
    Neverdyne , March 6, 2013 11:26 PM
    When I first heard of this non-transferable thing, it was the first time in my life I've considered pirating Office. I don't think the majority of people mind paying developers for their work, but when these kinds of draconian measures are implemented it can turn an honest buyer into a full fledged pirate. When will companies understand?
  • 20 Hide
    rad666 , March 6, 2013 11:10 PM
    And it's because of garbage like that, I use LibreOffice.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    rad666 , March 6, 2013 11:10 PM
    And it's because of garbage like that, I use LibreOffice.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , March 6, 2013 11:11 PM
    Good to see MS swollow that coporate pride/greed and give us an agreement that is (more) fair.
  • 27 Hide
    tokencode , March 6, 2013 11:17 PM
    I think what Winston Chruchhill once said about the United Stats definitely applies to Microsoft as well. "You can always count on them to make the right decision, after they have tried everything else. "
  • 23 Hide
    Neverdyne , March 6, 2013 11:26 PM
    When I first heard of this non-transferable thing, it was the first time in my life I've considered pirating Office. I don't think the majority of people mind paying developers for their work, but when these kinds of draconian measures are implemented it can turn an honest buyer into a full fledged pirate. When will companies understand?
  • 7 Hide
    memadmax , March 6, 2013 11:28 PM
    Thanks to government regulation and taxation, new businesses can't rise up and challenge the big buys...
  • 9 Hide
    rad666 , March 6, 2013 11:48 PM
    @nolarrow

    Actually, I use Win 7, and I still choose LibreOffice over MSOffice.
  • -2 Hide
    feeblepenguin , March 6, 2013 11:55 PM
    Why does Tom make this feel like a bad thing????
  • 10 Hide
    sadsteve , March 7, 2013 12:02 AM
    Kind of a bad assumption there. I also run a Windows OS (8) and I use the Libre Office suite (and a host of other open source programs). About the only Microsoft program I use (besides what comes with the OS) is Visual Studio.
  • 7 Hide
    Benihana , March 7, 2013 12:07 AM
    AvusI don't understand why the world flipping largest software company - Microsoft, cannot do something like Apple apps store (a hardware company) or Steam (a game developer) that the software is tie to a person (account) not to a machine. I understand OS should tie to a system. But why the software should die with the system when the system die. They are not free software. People paid for it.

    Amen!
  • -1 Hide
    nolarrow , March 7, 2013 12:07 AM
    Alright, I apologize. But if I read another "if this game dev doesn't support linux going forward then they are losing out" or "ubuntu is so awezome and its free omg you guys are dumb" comment I might lose it. I'm still feeling the sting of ubuntu, it has invaded my boot sequence even though I never installed it, just ran it from a thumb drive. The other linux distros I tried, and installed to HD, removed without a problem. Nothing like googling a distro, installing it, running it and then finding out its basically abandonware.
  • 2 Hide
    SAL-e , March 7, 2013 12:23 AM
    @nolarrow: your two comments clearly reveal your learning skills. You are absolutely right stay away as possible from any Linux.
  • -4 Hide
    nolarrow , March 7, 2013 12:25 AM
    Yes SAL-e I will "stay away as possible"
  • 3 Hide
    sadsteve , March 7, 2013 2:37 AM
    Quote:
    LibreOffice is garbage, no where close to the usability/function of MS Office, gave it a try, uninstalled it 5 minutes later.


    At home, I don't need anywhere close to the features provided by Microsoft Office. The most complex document I've generated is a resume, I don't need to pay for MS Office to do that. Now if I was writing documents for work I'd probably end of getting MS Office, just for the compatibility.
  • 0 Hide
    murzar , March 7, 2013 2:57 AM
    Consumers win!

  • -1 Hide
    malrock-unv , March 7, 2013 3:44 AM
    all this commotion and yet we have web versions of office applications free to use over live drive... for home users they are more than enough, no need for libre/open office (and yes, those two are years behind ms office)
  • -1 Hide
    zybch , March 7, 2013 3:56 AM
    So what was to stop people installing it while using one of the many nano-wifi USB dongles and then just moving that dongle to whatever PC they wanted to use Office 2013 on? After all, it'd be the same MAC address.
  • 5 Hide
    jerm1027 , March 7, 2013 4:00 AM
    nolarrowBack story: Tons of toms comments on how great linux is excited the tinkerer in me to try it out. Huuuuge waste of time. Pony up the $100 and scoop a copy of windows 7. At this point I might hate linux fan boys over apple fan boys, but its still up in the air.

    Correction, that's $300 a license, since Microsoft does NOT consider the Do-It-Yourself-er a "system builder" as described in the OEM license agreement. And don't forget the anti-virus software, and Office. Yeah, that's over $500 in software alone, the same price I can build an entry-level gaming machine for, so excuse me for being excited that there is a tool that offers similar functionality for FREE, that I can also modify, if I so desired.

    If you lack the competence to use such a tool, despite extensive documentation/forums/other help, that does NOT mean the tool sucks and the users are annoying fanboys.
  • 2 Hide
    metalmechanic , March 7, 2013 4:56 AM
    So I am no sort of professional, but why buy Office to begin with? Will open office or Libre not do the job just as well?
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