Microsoft Addresses Controversial Office 2013 License Lock-In
Concerns persist after Microsoft tries to explain Office 2013's restrictive licensing policy, which ties each installation to specific hardware.Microsoft Office 2013, designed for the era of touch, mobility and the cloud, is coming under fire for a holdover of the PC age: software licensing. In a move that raised alarm among IT support staffers and frequent upgraders, Microsoft released Office 2013 with a licensing structure that effectively ties the software to a specific PC for the life of that system. Unlike some previous versions, transferring a license to another PC is prohibited, making it a pricey proposition for businesses and Office users who update their systems regularly or like riding the bleeding edge of personal technology. The news not only caused an uproar—the comments sections on sites such as Engadget and Slashdot are especially lively—it led industry watchers to openly accuse Microsoft of using the restrictive new licensing scheme to push customers to its Office 365 cloud-based subscription service. A Microsoft supply chain source told IT Pro's Caroline Donnelly that it's part of a plan to shift the Office user base to the cloud. "I know why Microsoft is doing it, because they want more people to move to the cloud, but I just wish they'd come out and openly admit that," said the source in Donnelly's report.
Now the company is officially addressing the matter. According to Microsoft spokesperson Jevon Fark, customers have been seeking answers after the Office 365 Home Premium launch.