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What Office 2013′s draconian licensing policy really means for you

Microsoft might be selling two versions of its Office suite, but its licensing policies suggest the company is not only trying to thwart software piracy, but also drive customers away from Office 2013 and over to the Office 365 subscription model

First, a little background. Purchasing Office 2013 only provides a license for a single PC (as opposed to up to five PCs with Office 365). The Office 2013 license goes one step further into the draconian abyss, though, by specifying that the software is literally tied to the device it’s installed on. This means you can’t re-install Office 2013 if you get a new PC.

Microsoft is taking a draconian approach to Office 2013 licensing.

Let’s state that again: You can never install Office 2013 on a new PC—even if you own the new PC, and even if you have removed Office 2013 from the original PC. So, if you buy Office 2013 today and install it on your PC, and then tomorrow your PC is turned into a molten pool of plastic in a house fire, Microsoft will expect you to purchase a new copy of Office 2013 for your replacement PC. Seriously.

I asked Microsoft for clarification, and I received this official response: “Office 365 Home Premium works across up to 5 devices (Windows tablets, PCs or Macs) and can be transferred across devices. The Office 2013 software is licensed to one computer for the life of that computer and is non-transferable.”

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