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."