Office 2013 doesn't die with your PC
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Your copy of Office 2013 can be transferred to your new computer after Microsoft caved in to pressure from unhappy customers.
In the push to move everyone to the Office 365 subscription model, Microsoft changed the small print on retail copies of Office 2013 to stop you moving it from your old computer to your new one. If your computer died, or it was just time to upgrade, you needed to buy a new copy of Office -- a restriction you don't face with Office 365.
Based on customer feedback we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement.
The vague wording of the new retail licensing agreement made it difficult to get a straight answer from Microsoft, but I kept pushing until I finally got confirmation of this restriction -- a significant change from previous versions of Office. My story got a lot of mainstream coverage although, to be fair, people have been complaining about this issue for a while.
Amid growing pressure from unhappy customers, Microsoft has finally backed down on the change and will allow customers to transfer retail copies of Office 2013 from one computer to another, according to Jevon Fark of Microsoft's Office Team.
"Based on customer feedback we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to transfer the software from one computer to another. This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one. Previously, customers could only transfer their Office 2013 software to a new device if their PC failed under warranty," Fark says.
"While the license agreement accompanying Office 2013 software will be updated in a future release, this change is effective immediately and applies to Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013 and the standalone Office 2013 applications. These transferability options are equivalent to those found in the Office 2010 retail license terms."
The updated transferability provision to the Retail License Terms of the Software License Agreement for Microsoft Office 2013 Desktop Application Software reads;
Can I transfer the software to another computer or user? You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the "licensed computer." You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies.
Microsoft's change of heart is a rare win for consumers. Will it change which version of Microsoft Office you buy, if any?