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Controversial Microsoft Backpedals on Office 2013 Restrictive Licence Terms. A Bit
Jevon Fark of the Office Team, has blogged about the change to the licence terms. The essential change is that the user can transfer the software to another computer that belongs to them, but only once every 90 days! The software can be transferred sooner if the PC breaks down. How nice.
Office 2013 can also be transferred to a computer belonging to someone else, but it can only be done once, ie the recipient is stuck with it. Therefore for that second owner, the licence reverts to the original super-restrictive keycard/OEM style. Got all that? Does it make you want to rush out and buy Office 2013 now? Thought not.
What isn't clear from the announcement is whether that second user can transfer the licence to another computer that they own. I would say that it's likely that they can't. What if their computer breaks down, can they transfer it to another one they own?
With nasty, unreasonable restrictions like this and the high price of the full version of the software (around £340) it's no wonder that customers don't stick to the letter of the law and that piracy of Microsoft products in general is so rife. People just say screw it and either crack the activation, or lie during phone activation to get round the restrictions.
The best solution of all of course is to stay on the right side of the law and not pirate products with such unreasonable terms. Instead, simply boycott them and use free open source alternatives such as Open Office, which have no such restrictions. Nothing gets through to even the biggest of companies better than hitting their bottom line. Period. Remember, they need you, not the other way around.
As the blog is quite short, it's quoted it below, in full with the relevant bit highlighted.
A couple weeks ago, I posted this blog to clarify the new Office 2013 licensing terms. Based on customer feedback we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to transfer the software from one computer to another. This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one. Previously, customers could only transfer their Office 2013 software to a new device if their PC failed under warranty.
While the license agreement accompanying Office 2013 software will be updated in a future release, this 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. These transferability options are equivalent to those found in the Office 2010 retail license terms. The updated text is as follows:
Updated transferability provision to the Retail License Terms of the Software License Agreement for Microsoft Office 2013 Desktop Application Software:
Can I transfer the software to another computer or user? 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.
At Microsoft, we strive to make Office the very best product to help busy people and families get things done. 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. Thank you.
--Jevon Fark, Office Team