Microsoft (News - Alert) has been preparing to change its licensing for retail copies of Office 2013 in order to let customers legally move the software from one machine to another, and now the change has been made. This is a popular idea for many Microsoft Office users, and the company has changed its outlook on the issue, keeping customer demand and satisfaction in mind and doing what they think is “just fair.”
“We received customer feedback that they wanted this flexibility, and we thought this was reasonable,” said Jevon Fark, senior marketing manager with the Office team.
The new terms are now officially honored by the company since Tuesday morning.
Office 2013 goes for a cost of $140 for Home & Student, $220 for Home & Business or $400 for Professional editions, and many customers were frustrated by Microsoft’s previously restrictive licensing rules. The new terms now let customers who purchased any of the listed models of Microsoft Office reassign the license of that software to another PC that the customer owns or controls. This is especially helpful to those that have had their original computers stolen or broken.
Before this change, those that found themselves in that position were trapped in the unfortunate situation of having to not only buy a new computer, but buy Microsoft Office again to install on that computer, because their previous software was linked exclusively to their previous computer.
Although it will take Microsoft months to alter the mechanism it has used to enforce their old policy, the Office activation system, customers wishing to use the new licensing terms now can simply call the company’s technical support line to assist with their transfer.
This huge departure from Microsoft’s usual practices has come as a surprise to many in the industry, as Microsoft has been notoriously strict with the licensing of its products.
This switch comes on the heels of some controversy Microsoft has seen in recent years, as the company’s practices were not always considered in the customer’s best interest--especially when Microsoft began making changes to push customers toward Office 365 subscriptions.
For one, Microsoft dropped its multilicensing packages for Office 2010, and the company’s Office product key cards (which did not allow multi-licensing or license-reassignment) were made the cheaper option, but offered much less flexibility. Many Microsoft customers found themselves in a bind, so now that Microsoft’s Office 2013 licensing has been officially changed, the company has possibly made up for all the frustration it has caused in the past few years with its policy changes.
For more information, check out Fark’s February 19 article on the matter.
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