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Retail Copies of Office 2013 Are Tied To a Single Computer Forever 464

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-what-users-were-clamoring-for dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With the launch of Office 2013 Microsoft has seen fit to upgrade the terms of the license agreement, and it's not in favor of the end user. It seems installing a copy of the latest version of Microsoft's Office suite of apps ties it to a single machine. For life. On previous versions of Office it was a different story. The suite was associated with a 'Licensed Device' and could only be used on a single device. But there was nothing to stop you uninstalling Office and installing it on another machine perfectly legally. With that option removed, Office 2013 effectively becomes a much more expensive proposition for many."
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Retail Copies of Office 2013 Are Tied To a Single Computer Forever

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:38PM (#42889019)

    install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

  • by PhotoJim (813785) <jim@@@photojim...ca> on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:40PM (#42889049) Homepage

    This is so not the point.

  • Great News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:40PM (#42889053)

    For users of Open Office or those who short Microsoft Stock

  • by emilper (826945) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:41PM (#42889055)

    not if it phones home

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:41PM (#42889059)

    I have to use Office at work, and I find it to be completely unusable. Due to the ribbon, I cannot find anything anymore.

  • by eksith (2776419) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:43PM (#42889081) Homepage
    Doesn't affect us too much, since we've switched most of our internals to Libre Office, and it won't affect most of our clients who're quite happy with Office 2010 and a few who still use Office 2003. If your org needs new installations, there are better places to spend money than the office suite.
  • by Meshach (578918) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:44PM (#42889089)

    install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

    I do not think that this "solution" will work for a typical user. VM machines are not simple to setup and use for the masses as they are for /. users.

    As a matter of fact I do not think this will impact the majority of users at all. Most people buy their software with their computer system and are not adverse to having to buy a new version when they get a new machine.

  • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:45PM (#42889103) Homepage Journal

    Office account?

    What the flying fuck are they doing?

  • Re:Advice? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by craigminah (1885846) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:46PM (#42889117)
    Rather than mess with a VM and slightly degraded performance I'd opt for a free alternative (e.g. Libre Office) although a VM would provide some added security...
  • Re:Advice? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:50PM (#42889161)

    "install it in a virtual machine, run it from there, this is lame."

    I would be inclined to go with one of 2 "solutions":

    (A) Use a software crack. What the hell. I paid for it, it's mine, I'll do what I want with it.

    (B) The choice I would more likely make: go with Open Office or Libre Office.

    It's really not much of a contest, is it? I've been using Open Office and Libre Office for more than 10 years now, precisely because of this kind of horseshit from Microsoft.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:53PM (#42889187)

    If it's like any of the other Microsoft installation limits I've run into, you just call the support number, they ask you why you're installing multiple times, and you tell them you fixed the computer because you the repair shop replaced your motherboard and hard drive. They are pretty reasonable in practice.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:53PM (#42889205) Journal

    install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

    I do not think that this "solution" will work for a typical user. VM machines are not simple to setup and use for the masses as they are for /. users.

    As a matter of fact I do not think this will impact the majority of users at all. Most people buy their software with their computer system and are not adverse to having to buy a new version when they get a new machine.

    Ok, let's expand a bit. It should be relatively straightforward for a knowledgeable person to create a self-contained virtual appliance with a copy of Window Du jour plus a copy of Office 20-whatever with all the common options (or every option) and require the user to only input the license key for the OS and the license key for Office. Install procedure would be to insert disk, run Setup, get prompted for the required license keys, and get an icon on your desktop that when invoked, brings up Office in a virtual box.

    This is, of course, non-trivial to create. But all it takes is a single (not inconsiderable) effort, the results of which are replicated endlessly.

    Or, we could all stick with a previous version of Office, and Microsoft can go screw. I'm still using Office 2000. Works fine on Windows 7.

  • Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JDAustin (468180) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:54PM (#42889211)

    I use Excel & Access 2003 on a daily basis (Access provides a simple front end to SQL databases). The only time I load up Excel 2010 is when the sheet has more then 256 columns (rare) or ~65k rows (more common now). The ribbon is a pain as I lose all my custom menu bars (and the after thought of a hack put into the ribbon for this sucks). What is there about 2013 that would appeal to a non-corporate end user? Saving to a cloud? We have Google Drive/DropBox folders for that.

  • by guttentag (313541) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:55PM (#42889229) Journal
    That can't be true, because it's too good to be true. If a copy of office were tied to a single machine forever, that copy of office would die with the machine and eventually office would become extinct. You'd see beat up computers with yellowed cases and burned in screens in endangered software sanctuaries. Or the world would realize that equivalent software is available elsewhere for less money (or free). But we all know Microsoft won't let that happen because software survives by being propagated from computer to computer, paid or not.
  • by The Optimizer (14168) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @06:56PM (#42889263)

    ...they'd rather see Home users use a different licensing model... something with more long term revenue for the company. One way to help such a new model would be to make the current purchase model less attractive.

    nahh. That couldn't be.

  • by Spiridios (2406474) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:00PM (#42889307) Journal

    install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

    This is why most "normal" people don't understand nerds. Every problem always has a technical solution. Always. Even if that problem isn't technical in nature and the solution completely misses the point. The issue isn't that it's physically impossible to install to multiple computers, as a hack will be around shortly to eliminate that limitation. The problem is in the license that's trying to bleed more money out of the user. The solution to that problem is to not buy the new version of Office. Either use an older version or switch to something more open.

  • by Noir Angellus (2740421) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:01PM (#42889313)
    in many countries whose law permits the sale of second hand software licenses (eg pre-owned games). What Microsoft's legal team has forgotten (ignored?) is that state and federal law override any and all conditions they put in their EULA and they have no legal recourse when they blatantly ignore local law.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:02PM (#42889321)
    What happens is you download the crack for the software you legally purchased.
  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:06PM (#42889377)

    Or, we could all stick with a previous version of Office, and Microsoft can go screw. I'm still using Office 2000. Works fine on Windows 7.

    This is the correct answer.

    I am still using Office 2003 because (a) It works just fine and does what I need. Newer versions contain absolutely nothing of benefit to me. (b) No "activation" or other bullshit required, which means I can easily transfer it to another computer when needed. (c) It doesn't have the god awful ribbon that was introduced with Office 2007 and rendered the program unusable.

  • by gewalker (57809) <.moc.latigiDartsA. .ta. .reklaW.yraG.> on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:07PM (#42889395)

    You know, I think I know a better solution. Tell the whole world about this abrogation of natural rights. Tell your friends. Spread the MS hate. Go post it to Facebook, twitter or whatever. Do it now.

  • by chipschap (1444407) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:19PM (#42889551)

    I am still using Office 2003 because (a) It works just fine and does what I need. Newer versions contain absolutely nothing of benefit to me. (b) No "activation" or other bullshit required, which means I can easily transfer it to another computer when needed. (c) It doesn't have the god awful ribbon that was introduced with Office 2007 and rendered the program unusable.

    And I'll continue to use Libre Office :) No activation, no ribbon, works fine and does what I need.

    There will be the inevitable response: I need feature X that only MS Office has. This will not get an argument from me. If you need MS Office, go for it. Do what you have to do. I'm just happy that I don't need it myself and don't have to deal with all this nonsense.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:21PM (#42889571) Homepage Journal

    Fire up a virtual machine every time someone emails you a document, and then move that document over to the virtual machine (after it books), open up your Office suite, and then move the document back.

    Man, that is sure convenient.

    It is almost like Microsoft is trying to encourage people to move over to the perpetual subscription method by making the traditional way of purchasing 2013 a pain in the ass.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @07:22PM (#42889579)

    I'm waiting to see how the resident MS shills are going to positively spin this one. No unbiased person could be in favor of this.

  • Office? In 2013? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Myopic (18616) * on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @08:24PM (#42890253)

    Do people still use Microsoft Office? Huh, I didn't know that.

  • by Myopic (18616) * on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @08:26PM (#42890267)

    Theseus? Is that you? [wikipedia.org]

  • by fast turtle (1118037) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @09:11PM (#42890739) Journal

    and that's exactly the reason I don't send docs in Office format, instead I use PDF.

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @09:53PM (#42891101) Journal

    Honestly, virtual machines made a BIG mess out of Microsoft licensing across pretty much their whole product line. It's likely the reason they went from being the "bad guy" to the "good guy" with their friendliness towards running VMs in a flexible manner on their server products in the last couple years. (Unless they made some drastic changes, their licensing would become pretty much a joke in the world of corporate I.T. with virtual machines.)

    It's still really complicated and I'm pretty sure most people don't even really understand all of it, or license their purchased MS products correctly.

    For example, do you know when it's economically feasible to purchase Windows Server "Datacenter edition" (despite it's massive cost) vs. "Enterprise edition", or Enterprise vs. "Standard"? In most real-world scenarios today, everyone would be just fine buying copies of "Standard" if they wanted a Windows Server license, EXCEPT for the virtualization rules. (With "Standard", you're allowed to run 1 virtual copy as well as 1 physical installation of the product, but your virtual copy *must* be on the SAME box you installed the physical copy on. So basically, you pay for the rights to install the product on a single machine and it gives you the right to run Microsoft's "Hyper V" virtual machine solution on top of it. When you shell out about 4x the price for an Enterprise edition of the same server product? You're actually granted 4 virtual machine installations, AND they're "stackable". So if you have a big, multi-processor, powerful server and you want to fire up 8 virtual servers on the thing? You can do it by buying 2 of the Windows Enterprise edition licenses, and you'll still have a license left over to install another physical Windows server on some other box (but not with a VM running on top of it).

    All fine and good, but as you can probably see -- keeping track of this stuff in a corporate setting quickly gets kind of insane. "How is this server here legally licensed?" "Well.... I have this license I purchased here for this other box, and it gave me a spare license to use on THIS one -- but you can't add X or Y to THIS box now without buying an additional license that lets you do that to it....." And we haven't even STARTED talking about Microsoft's CALs yet ("Client access licenses", which you also have to buy based on how many people are going to CONNECT to a given server!)

    Frankly, I think the best bet is to flat out AVOID their products, if you care at all about remaining provably legal on your purchases. The claim that typing one of their products to a specific PC "won't affect most users at all" is dead wrong, IMO. I've seen far more times than I can count where someone called a PC service place for a computer repair, had a new motherboard installed, and now the software considers it a different PC. Only reason this didn't cause rioting in the streets YEARS ago is Microsoft's leniency in letting someone basically break their licensing rules on demand. The license key for Windows/Office/whatever complains it's not properly licensed (since it was an OEM version). Tech knows user won't pay for ANOTHER copy of the product, so he takes advantage of having access to some "not for resale/personal use only" type license keys that came with his "Microsoft Action Pack" subscription or TechNet or what-not and enters one of those. Product works again and customer is none the wiser..... But it ain't legal.

  • by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @02:20AM (#42892829)

    You prefer boxes with symbols instead of an alphabetical list?

    Lets see, number of menu options in Word 2003 top menu:
    File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Table, Window, Help

    Number of tabs to open new ribbons in Office 2013:
    File, Home, Insert, Page Layout, References, Mailings, Review, View. Of course there is still the Help button cleverly hidden in the upper right corner.
    How is this helping again? Oh, right! The tools we commonly use are on the 'Home' ribbon... where more than half of the UI is taken up by 'Styles'

    The ribbon is not only one of the shitty things Microsoft has made, it's easily in the top 5 along with the Windows Registry, and Clippy.

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