Controversy erupted recently regarding Office 2013. According to Microsoft, users can only install Office 2013 on one PC and that is it. If they want to use it on another PC, they wouldn’t be able to do so. This was the first time that such restrictions were imposed by Microsoft on their Office suite. There was considerable confusion among the people regarding whether or not they would be able to use Office 2013 on more than one computer.
Ultimately, Microsoft had to come out and clarify the situation. The bad news is that the issue which caused the controversy ultimately proved to be true. Microsoft has indeed restricted the use of Office 2013 to one device. This is a marked change from the company’s approach to previous version of Office. You could easily install Office on multiple devices and it was all legal. However, this isn’t the case if you have upgraded to Office 2013.
On top of that, Microsoft didn’t even make this point public. The licensing guidelines are available with your copy of Office 2013 but hardly anyone bothers to read. Well, thankfully someone did and brought this issue to light. It would have been better if the company had made this point clear when Office 2013 was first launched. That way, users could have made a better decision regarding the device they want to install it on. Now, they have to keep the same device if they want to use Office 2013 or buy a new copy.
The reason behind this new policy regarding Microsoft Office stems from the fact that you cannot buy the 2013 version on a DVD, USB or any other media. The only way to do so is purchase a key card which you can use to download the Office 2013 suite from the official website. The PC you use for downloading Office 2013 is the only one on which that copy of the software is valid. Hence, users should make sure they download it on their main PC and not one they don’t use frequently.
In the past, you could easily install your copy of Office on other devices through a disc or a USB. There were no restrictions on installation and use. But now, your copy of Office 2013 is good only for the device on which you have downloaded and installed it. This brings to mind the question that what would you do if something happens to your PC and you have to replace it. Microsoft has made it clear that users with PCs under warranty would be able to transfer Office 2013 to the replacement PC they get.
Yet, warranty is a contentious issue. You would have to contact the customer support at Microsoft to make sure your PC is covered by this policy. That way if it breaks down and you have to get a new one, you would be able to install Office 2013 on it without any issues. It would be interesting to see the effect of this restriction on Office users in the months to come.