Microsoft has been trying to push customers to their Office 365 subscription service. But when this strategy backfires, Microsoft blinks!
The subscription scheme promises them a steadier cashflow. One of the ways they have been applying pressure to consumers is by maintaining the high price of Office but adding burdensome licensing provisions. The worst of these was the rule that you could only install Office 2013 on one computer and could not transfer that to a new machine. See my previous post on this subject.
Apparently abysmal sales figures for both Office 2013 and Windows 8 have prompted a rethink.
The good news is, they've caved on two fronts:
- They are lowering the pricing on Office 2013. OEM clients who bundle it on new machines will now get a Windows 8/Office 2013 bundle of 1/4 of the previous price. unfortunately, there are no price cuts on the retail version of Office.
- Microsoft has also announced new licensing terms that allow transfer of Office 2013 to a new computer, as we have always been able to do with all other software. The amendment to the licensing agreement now reads:
Updated transferability provision to the Retail License Terms of the Software License Agreement for Microsoft Office 2013 Desktop Application Software:
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.
The restriction remains in place that you can only install on one machine at a time, so you'll still have to buy separate licenses for your desktop and laptop, but that is something we'll have to live with.