Owners of the retail version of Office 2013 chaffing over Microsoft Corp.’s controversial end-user licensing agreement which permanently tied the software to the first computer it was loaded into have scored a victory.
The software company yesterday said reversing those licensing terms after hearing from customers who wanted more “flexibility.”
Staring Tuesday morning, Microsoft rolled out the new terms which now allow Office 2013 owners to move the software from one machine to another, said Jevon Franck, senior marketing manager with the Office team. He said Microsoft thought it was a “reasonable, just and fair” thing to do.
It will take Microsoft about three months to update the Office activation system which allows users to transfer Office 2013 copies by re-entering the software’s 25-character key to activate it on a different machine. So for the meantime, Frank said, users will need to call Microsoft’s technical support line to finalize a transfer.
The new policy allows people who bought a retail copy of Office 2013 Home and Student, Home and Business or Professional editions to reassign the license to another PC they own or control.
Microsoft had earlier made known its plan to move business users away from an on-premise model. The company said that users “seeking transferability” should consider going with the Office 365 subscription-based model rather than purchase an Office 2013 copy. Subscribers of Office 365 have the right to load the software on up to five devices.
“We will move away from the on-premise idea of buying technology and driving the cost as a capital expense, to one where businesses are buying a subscription-based technology and the cost is an operational expense,” said Mark Dobbs, VP of midmarket solutions at Microsoft Canada.