Microsoft Loosens Office 2013 Licensing Shackles
Users no longer have to wait for PCs to fail under warranty to transfer Office 2013 software installs. While the policy is more forgiving, some restrictions still apply.Microsoft is reversing course on a restrictive new Office 2013 licensing policy that threatened to overshadow the software's improvements and new cloud-enabled enhancements like solid SkyDrive integration, which the company is banking on to drive adoption. In February, in the wake of the Office 365 Home Premium Subscription, the software giant courted controversy when it was revealed that Office 2013 installs were tied to one PC. Transferring the software to another system was, in effect, prohibited. The only exception: a PC that fails under warranty. The news caused a firestorm of criticism, leading industry watchers to openly wonder if Microsoft was pushing its cloud-based Office 365 offering onto customers at the expense of the goodwill that the company has spent decades building among Office users. IT Pro's Caroline Donnelly was told by a Microsoft supply chain source that the move was part of a scheme to steer Office's 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.
On Feb. 19, Microsoft spokesperson Jevon Fark officially addressed the matter in a company blog post. While it lent some clarity to the proceedings, the post signaled that Microsoft was doubling down on the licensing scheme.