Microsoft

Office 2013 licensing changes increase IT angst

Microsoft has made some important changes to the licensing of Office which has caused more than the usual change anxiety.

It has been about a month since Microsoft released Office 2013 and Office 365 under a new licensing regime. Unfortunately, this new scheme has raised a few eyebrows among users and IT professionals alike. Let's see if we can figure out what it means.

Licensing

One of the best explanations of the new licensing scheme is from Ed Bott's blog post on ZDNet: "Big changes in Office 2013 and Office 365 test Microsoft customers' loyalty." In a nutshell, here are the major changes in how Office is licensed:

  • There is no purchasable physical, removable media - when you buy an Office 365 subscription or one of the single user copies of Office 2013, you will receive a product key code. You will have to use your browser to navigate to office.com/setup and download the actual applications.
  • A single user copy of Office 2013 is licensed to a single machine, not to a single user. Officially: The software license is permanently assigned to the device on which the software is initially activated. That device is the "licensed device." In the event of an under warranty failure, you can ask Microsoft to transfer the license.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post (Microsoft Office 2013 is now available), Microsoft has designed their pricing scheme for Office 2013 with the obvious intention of making Office 365 the more attractive deal. (See Table A)

Table A

Product Office 365 Home Premium Office Home and Student Office Home and Business Office Professional
Price $99.99 per year $139.99 $219.99 $399.99
Number of installations: 5 PCs or Macs plus select mobile devices1 1 PC 1 PC 1 PC
Easy annual subscription: Includes ongoing access to version upgrades, multiple device installs, and Office on Demand services X
Licensed for: Home use Home use Home or business use Home or business use
Core Office applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote X X X X
Email, calendars, and tasks: Outlook X X X
Publishing & databases: Publisher, Access X X
SkyDrive +20GB storage: Save documents online to your SkyDrive for easy access and sharing virtually anywhere X
Personalized experience: Always have your applications, settings and documents accessible when you need them X
Office on Demand2: Stream full-featured Office applications to any Internet-connected Windows PC X
Skype world minutes: Find new ways to stay in touch with 60 minutes of Skype calls each month to phones in 40+ countries X

And as Ed Bott points out, this is a reflection of the new Microsoft approach to the software business. It is also this new approach that is drawing the most ill will from users. In the past week on TechRepublic, we have seen blog posts where IT professionals have publicly announced their defection to alternative choices for their productivity software:

My initial reaction was also one of annoyance, but after a rational look at the scheme, I can see the potential benefits of the subscription approach for both the user and the enterprise. However, I can also see how this change would not sit well with many users and IT professionals.

Poll Results

In my previous blog post, I asked a simple poll question:

Will you subscribe to Office 2013 or get a standalone version?

The chart below shows that Microsoft has not convinced many IT professionals that the subscription model is the best way to get Office.

Even though the standalone version costs more for less features, it is the way readers prefer to receive their software - at least for now. It will be interesting to see how the responses change over time. Is it possible that next year more readers will be subscribing rather than purchasing standalone versions?

Office 365

Before we get too caught up in "one license per device" problem, it is important to remember that there are other options for getting your Microsoft Office software. Office 365 is available under several different subscription models.

And even beyond this chart, there are other choices for larger enterprises.

Bottom line

I realize that for many dyed in the wool Office users like me, switching to a subscription model requires a major shift in perspective when it comes to how we purchase and use our software, but that does not automatically make it wrong or a bad thing that we must rail against. This change by Microsoft is just a reflection of the times we live in - we are living in a networked, always on, cloud-based, software as a service world and we are going to have to come to terms with it - sooner or later.

Also read:

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

157 comments
Thomas.Dahl
Thomas.Dahl

I have been reading time and time again that Microsoft is introducing their new subscription deal as customers are not bothering to upgrade from office 2003 and earlier, and they are desperate to find a way to re-capture these revenue streams. This is partly due to the huge selling price of with little new in the way of functionality. The new subscription model makes the package "look" more affordable, but of course if you do the maths it soon becomes clear that you end up paying the same or more, just in installments. Very smart from their perspective. However, the main reason I never moved on from Office 2003 (other than the fact they castrated the Access database profram) was the ghastly new interface. I dislike the ribbons with a passion and have not met a single person who has had anything positive to say about them. Of course the forums are full of people who push them for professional reasons ("I'll train you for cash") or simply for fun. In reality most people say that they "survive" the ribbons but certainly do not "like" them. So when you decide if you should take the leap into the subscription model make sure you have done your sums and ask if you really need to do it.. Or if you are only tempted as it appears at first glance to be good value. I have now switched to LibreOffice and a more than happy with the later releases. I open and save in traditional office file formats and I have not found any functionality missing. For email I use The Bat as it can handle my massive email traffic better than Outlook. Google calander provides the best way to share my agenda with multiple devices and users. Sorry Microsoft, but you are telling users that they need to get used to a more modern way of working, but the way I see it you are simply desperate not to loose more paying customers.

trcbit
trcbit

Does Microsoft figure that home users who rarely pay for software upgrades will cop this? I think not. I know hundreds of home users we support will stay with what they have until it no longer works, most of these still run Office 2003 and reuse it when they upgrade machines. To license to a specific device is stupid. We pay for the software to use ourselves, we should be able to install it onto what ever machine we want, and move it when we want without having to inform MS. Another convert to Open Source i'm afraid. Our clients love OS

DvT-Hex
DvT-Hex

"The only reason for installing M$ Office is to practice uninstalling software. If you don't need to practice, it's not even good for that." -- {DvT}Hex (1999) Nothing has changed in the past 14+ years.

mortel
mortel

With open source alternatives such as Libre Office, it amazes me that so many people fork over hundreds of dollars for MS Office. There no doubt are times when it is better to go that way, but not very often.

tsadowski
tsadowski

your comment of this is "...a reflection of the times we live in - we are living in a networked, always on, cloud-based, software as a service world and we are going to have to come to terms with it" is a simple-minded, one sided view of the issue. As a business there is no way in hell I would purchase office 365, I would have to double, or more, my internet connection to deal with all the additional traffic. And going from a 20MB Synchronous fiber (already over $1000 a month) to 40MB or more would kill my IT budget. Also take into account that Office 365 saves files to Microsoft Sky-Drive, not to local servers like we currently do, so how do I control it? What if my Internet link goes down, ALL business would stop dead, period. I know SaaS models are the sexy thing to talk about in the IT media, it's all whiz bang, but I am sorry, it just isn't there yet. As a business there are too many gotcha's. Going all online is fine for individuals and small/startup companies with always-on links who live near major cities, but for medium to large companies, or companies that aren't located near solid always-on Internet access, SaaS is not a viable alternative yet. Once I have 100Mb or better links anywhere in the world, I will consider it. But even then there will be security concerns about having an outside company handle all my data for me.

shawn_lobo
shawn_lobo

There are government entities and critical infrastructure units that have desktop clients which run on Office. The Public Cloud is NOT technically an option... try convincing government entities into saving and modifying critical, sensitive and confidential data using the Office 365, knowing that this data is not going to be temporarily/permanently stored on local soil espescially with contract clauses always subject to change. Lets say there may be a clause in there that indicates that data would be cleared immediately, but how does one audit that. Somehow this shift does not seem to bode well... there is trouble in 'em waters. Another point of note is the value of the data stored by entities on MS 365. What is to stop intelligent parsers which could be used for things like analytics... target marketing... similar to what most of the mail providers and social networking sites do today. The aim is to first get people on board and when out at sea thats when things turn... Is there a slight chance that Microsoft may have plans for the Office 365 server? Like most of its other offerings... the Standard/Enterprise Office 365 Server for Private (sigh) "Cloud" infrastructures... need to stay tuned for a while before the decision to switch channels.

eda
eda

We are, but where does machine-locked software play in a network-is-the-machine world? How about you lock it to a virtual machine?

BetsyStevens
BetsyStevens

This product wouldn't be so bad but the reporting is atrocious! Other vendors have portals that you can use to see all of your hosted licenses. That's what MS needs to figure out how to do! Then it might actually be an attractive product for VAR's to sell.

Mike Chern
Mike Chern

I think the most disturbing thing is Office 2013 being tied to a single computer instead of a single user. Seeing many laptops with hard disk failures, and disk identification is factored into many software products activation schemes. Wonder how MS identifies the "installed PC"?

bigjude
bigjude

I can't understand where M.Wagner is coming from about Home Premium. Surely one of the biggest attractions of Office is Outlook so why would you use Home Premium? Or am I missing something? Outlook is the single most important reason that we run Office on our three home laptops but buying two new ones with Windows 7 and installing 2010 has been a nightmare which is still plaguing me after eight months. In fact I'm writing this on my OLD laptop which I still use most of the time in preference to my new one because it has XP, 2007 and no problems. For those of us with slooooooooow connections, and that's a hefty chunk of the world, 2010 is a very expensive nightmare and the thought of the subscription model, with its inevitable constant updates, is crazy. Interestingly, we use Dropbox extensively on all of our PCs and that functions perfectly, so my guess is that Microsoft has so much clunk incorporated in 7 or 2010 that's the reason.

M Wagner
M Wagner

... with a Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement which permits them unlimited access to the standalone version. In that scenario, and IT Professional will always go that route. However, if your employer does not have an MS-ELA, I don't think it will take long for this subscriber model to look much more attractive. After all, the average household now owns two or more computers - bought on a staggered schedule - one bought every three to five years - which means that you will spend $140 to $400 every two to three years if you do not keep your multiple PCs in sync with their respective version of Office. If keeping them in sync is important, then you are talking about $280 to $800 ever two to three years. If, instead, you subscribe to Office 365 Home Premium, for $99 per year ($300 over three years), you will have the latest version of office on up to five PCs/notebooks at all times. You will be able to transfer those subscriptions to new PCs, and you will have access to all over the components of Office Professional - not just the four core apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. Unless you are a one PC family, or you have access to your employers ELA, it makes no sense to do this any other way.

amabilis
amabilis

My first thought after reading this article was "Why would they do that?". And the first thing that came to my mind was, that MS could still not get rid of having licenzed most of the copies of their software that are out there. For me it seems just like a new approach of getting rid of the problem of people using their software without a proper license. Maybe that simple...

eoschlotz
eoschlotz

I completely agree with the previous comments. Assuming that connectivity is ubiquitous leads to bad behavior. Then when the internet or a Microsoft server is down (YES, it happens! :-) everything falls apart. The other problem is the heavy-handed licensing terms. Having a license for 1 user is not bad (but too expensive), but linking it to a single piece of hardware is silly and archaic. People are more flexible and agile now. If I purchase a license to use Office, I expect to use it on any machines I want (even Macs!) as long as it is one at a time. See the Adobe CS licensing model for a much better example of something that works.

tkeller
tkeller

Well, Microsoft will just have to wait a very long time for me to upgrade. Between Windows 8 and this new scheme I see no reason to upgrade any time soon. If Windows wasn't so all pervasive with my clients I would definitely switch to some UNIX variant. Maybe by the time I retire everything will run on my iPad.

mmcfarland
mmcfarland

We are a non profit and count on organizations like tech soup and other entities to help us find discounted licenses which makes our ability to serve our patrons more pallatable. Typically we purchase licenses in our organization and I'd imagine elsewhere at a volume cost discounted rate. Any word from MS about that for Office 2013? Thank you Mike

parabit
parabit

The part of this i don't understand is that if the Home Version is $99 and you get 5 computers. Why not use it in the office. I have 24 desks so that is only 5 copies @ 99 = $19 per desk. Sounds like a deal to me

mark16_15
mark16_15

The main problem with OOO or LibreOffice is the incompatibility of some documents. If everybody switched, that would be a non-issue. Thanks MS for Office 2013 and 365, and Windows 8 for bringing us one step closer to dumping you for Open Source Software.

jdm12
jdm12

It's good to see that number growing.

IT_crazy
IT_crazy

What am I supposed to do now? I have to buy Microsoft Office 2013 Professional because you can't get 2010 anymore unless you go to e-bay. My company hasn't tested the 2013 version and tell me I need to load Office 2010. The 2013 licenses don't work obviously for the 2010 version. We don't buy off of e-bay for software. Thank you Microsoft - you are truly amazing. It is no wonder that open source is gaining ground. All they have to do is sit back and watch Microsoft shoot themselves in the foot.

ddreibelbies
ddreibelbies

It would be quite interesting to see an update to the Office 365 offerings in this article, based on the new $15 Office 365 plan for small businesses. This could really be a great answer for such businesses, both in cost and functionality.

peterharding
peterharding

I've been with Microsoft since Windows 3 (and put up with the disastrous Windows ME and Vista) but Windows 7 and Office 2003 (yes - works fine - who needs 2007 and beyond) are my last purchases of Microsoft software. I hate Windows 8 GUI and am not paying through the nose for Office 2013 restricted licence, so GNU/Linux (such as Linux Mint or some other good distro) and LibreOffice will be my preferred PC OS/applications in future. Also, I will not buy a PC/laptop if UEFI is enabled by default and cannot be completely disabled (meaning I will not pay a Microsoft "tax" for my hardware). Sorry Microsoft but these are three steps too far!

jts111
jts111

With so many excellent alternatives, why would anyone (or business) put themselves through this? I see no benefits at all. Please help me understand.

justin.donie
justin.donie

This notion that we all must follow like zombies after a particular brand of hardware or software has simply got to go. As others have very rightly pointed out, there ARE lots of alternatives to Office, and I use several. Where it's economically feasible, I use MS Office for my work, as it has the power I need and someone else pays for it. Where it isn't, I use Google Docs, LibreOffice or Open Office. They have the power I need for my personal applications and they're free. I think too many folks have tried to avoid the small effort of understanding their options by following brands too closely without thinking the decisions through. Buyer and user beware ... blind brand loyalty rarely leads to the best choice.

weber.freiburg
weber.freiburg

I prefer Linux When typesetting with libre office isn't enough, I use LaTeX.

drmcgee2000
drmcgee2000

I realize that everyone is buying into the "cloud" marketing of the major players; I have been asking a very simple question that nobody is capable of effectively answering "what if I am not connected to the Internet..." for whatever reason! I have done IT Projects all over the world, and in some of those places I have to "sneaker net" my stuff around because the network connectivity is down, slow, or unavailable. I know the DoD is playing with the idea, and the policy makers are being way to influenced by the marketing arm of Microsoft (IMHO) and are not factoring in all the variables. Please do not get me wrong, I have tried Office 365 and rejected it simply because it did not meet my needs, and there is the issue. I think Microsoft forcing everyone into a model they want is going to be a bitter pill for some, and time will tell, but as for me and my computing household I will pay the bitter fruit of higher software prices to ensure I have the software I need, and the privacy I demand.

raymond.anderson
raymond.anderson

This is the opportunity of a century for Open Office and all of the developers out there that despise a monopoly!

hazmoid43
hazmoid43

I manage a number of vessels that have very irregular wireless coverage. having to be online can cause serious issues for licensing and failure of computers on vessels is unfortunately depressingly regular. Having to have a microsoft live login for each one is going to be very difficult to manage as well. The accountants might like this as it spreads the licensing costs over a monthly cost but from an IT perspective it looks like a nightmare to manage.

bigjude
bigjude

Since we happily pay our Norton 360 subscriptions, we'd probably find the subscription model fine..... if we had decent broadband. However my experience of the huge Microsoft downloads is that our local (Telecom NZ) service won't cope and the Microsoft server times out. So I have to drive 30 km to use a fast service. Then the upgrades (coming over my slow service) seem to introduce functional errrors. My latest copy of Office Home and Business still isn't working properly after about eight months. Microsoft Word, for reasons known only to itself,,suddenly starts opening new files. Other times new pages in the middle of a document. Last night it opened 119 new files before I realised. Then you have to get rid of them. Microsoft has sorted this for me a couple of times but two or three upgrades down the track it starts all over again. So for me, the issue is getting downloaded Office to work at all.

admin
admin

I am afraid I will not "upgrade" from office 2007. I simply cannot recommend to my board to pay for a new licence every time we upgrade/fix a machine. Microsoft has lost a customer here (only about 50 licences - so very small). We will stay with Office 2007 until we can find an alternative or MS relents and goes back to licencing by user. AND no we are not going to use the cloud.

alfred
alfred

lk_bellsouth.net notes that Libre Office and others do nearly the same job as MS Office but are cheaper. My experience is that Libre Office does the job slightly slower but better. Having refused to be ransomed by MS I still use Office 2003 which does all I would ever want. Recently I downloaded a .docx file which of course MS Office would not handle but Libre office handled it correctly. So from my viewpoint Libre office is superior to all MS offerings.

a_l_a_n_b
a_l_a_n_b

"This change by Microsoft is just a reflection of the times we live in - we are living in a networked, always on, cloud-based, software as a service world." And I live in a world where I can always open, edit, print, repurpose and recycle any document that I've ever created... and in which, as long as Office 2010 continues to load on a Win 7 machine that continues to boot, I'll have full and complete access to exploit every document that I've ever created. On the other hand, you know (but failed to mention) what happens to the fruit of your labors in MS' new world, should you be forced to let your subscription lapse... say, due to a change in your financial situation. You are apparently allowed to open and print your old docs in a "read-only reduced functionality mode," but you can't edit them or turn them into something new. A lifetime of work product, neutered and frozen in time until you start paying up again. This business model--killing functionality of your entire work product history the minute you stop paying to keep your subscription alive--is sick. That you would suggest that this "does not automatically make it wrong or a bad thing that we must rail against" means that--at a polite minimum--you haven't really thought this through...

PINASCOPY
PINASCOPY

we live in an always networked and always online world Why don't you guys who live in the west all come to Africa for a few years. you have no idea how flaky internet access and electricity is here. so so assume everyone is online 24/7/365 is a BIG overstatment, considering that there could be a potential user base from here, if software were decently priced and it were possible to egt software......

VistaSux
VistaSux

I can't see any benefits going to the average user with these deals. With all the changes to MS Office products, most people still only use 10% of the functionality built in to these programs. Office 2010 will be staying with me for a number of years if MS maintains this form of licensing for Microsoft Office.

digilante
digilante

online-specific features aside, Office 365 Home Premium could be compared directly with Office 2013 Professional, but after 4 years of subscribing to 365, I'd have spent the one-off cost of the 2013 Pro install - what guarantee do I have that in that 4 years there'll be another version worth upgrading to (for reference, look at the time between XP and Vista, and the reputation of Vista)?

ITSupportApprentice
ITSupportApprentice

I see the incentives that Microsoft is pushing for Office 365; however, what is someone going to do when they're working with PowerPoint or other large files that are 200 MB+ in size across the internet and want to share them or quickly present them?

opcom
opcom

I used open office on the new PC. There have been no problems.

DJMorais
DJMorais

M$ just doesn't seem to get it. People are getting less and less interested in their crappy software, sub-par customer service and now misleading pricing schemes. Office 2010 is most likely the last Office suite I will ever buy. Many companies will follow this lead as well, as they are mostly fed up with their buggy software that just seems to get more and more complex, less friendly to use and more expensive every version. I don't see this licensing "per device" as viable for big companies that change hardware on a regular basis. Too much of a time suck trying to transfer the license to the new machine. It will be tough parting from a suite that I have used seemingly forever, but they are basically forcing my hand, so after Office 2010 goes EOL I shall say bye bye M$. Unless they change their ways. Which apparently they won't. Oh well. Their loss.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

I used to be vigorously against the cloud and software as a service, until my CEO decided to take the plunge. We have been using Office 365 for over a year now and have had 1 outage that affected the entire office for about an hour. That is better then the ISP service we receive. During that outage everyone was still able to use all of the Microsoft products except for Outlook. Outlook would not connect to MS servers (again that is better than the ISP service). Let me repeat - during the outage people could still use all of their Office products except for Outlook. The fact that we could not connect to MS Exchange servers using the full desktop version of Outlook could happen for many other reasons, like an in-house server failing, ISP issues, etc. Microsoft had it all working again in about an hour. I didn't have to do anything but wait. If the ISP service fails people could still access their email from their smart phones. Once you install the subscription version of Office you only need to connect to the Internet at least once every 30 days to verify your subscription (happens in the background). If you go longer than 30 days without verification you will still be able to use Office but with reduced capabilities. Because we are using the Enterprise subscription version of Office we can install it on up to 5 devices per user. So everyone in the office gets a copy of it for home use on their desktop or laptop. If you try to install it on a 6th device you will be prompted to deactivate one of the other 5 devices before you can continue. Once deactivated on the other computer you will still be able to use it for 30 days. The end users are very happy with the ability to use the newest version of Office on their home PC's. We get to upgrade to Office 2013 when we are ready. The subscription service isn't anymore expensive than purchasing Volume Licenses with Software Assurance so you get to upgrade when the new releases are available. Granted the sticker shock of a monthly bill is a little hard to swallow at first but we are able to pass that on to clients as a value added service technology charge. They get access to their own project workspace using SharePoint, have unlimited online meetings using Lync (they don't need a copy of Lync to have an online meeting). Sometimes you have to look at the whole picture instead of whining about not having a stupid CD.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

....You know that little document with the fine print that nobody reads cause it's too long to read and too hard understand? The Home version of office is Licensed for Home use (not for commercial use). Buying one Home license and putting it on 5 Business computers for 5 different users is in direct violation of the EULA. You can do it and you might even get away with it but if you get caught or some disgruntled employee reports you to MS your business will be screwed.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Besides the Licensing Fiasco is that it's not all that great at opening Word Documents made in Microsoft Word 2003 or older. The more complex the Formating and Macros involved the less likely Word is to open the Document that it was written in by a different version. So we have a position where different versions of Word are not fully compatible with the others. Not really much difference between going to a different Office Suite really. ;) Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

[i]What am I supposed to do now? I have to buy Microsoft Office 2013 Professional because you can't get 2010 anymore unless you go to e-bay.[/i] I don't know where your company buys software from but they need to find a new supplier who sells them what they require. Also I'm assuming that there is some sort of agreement with Microsoft involved here so your company should have a Microsoft Representative who understands what it is that they require and then get Microsoft to supply it. Currently I can buy Licenses for all Microsoft Products ever made directly from Microsoft so I'm at a loss where you are trying to go with this post. Col

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There are many different add-ins, plug-ins, and after-market LOB applications that are compatible with Office, and that don't have equivalents for the other packages. While some are other MS applications, many are not. In our case, our customers often dictate not just the format of the files we create for them, not just the application, but the version too. If the contract says Word 2010, then that's what we use.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

If there are other "free" alternatives such as Open Office? Oh wait people have choice.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Save it to your server and start the installation on all of your machines locally. No problem.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Open Office!!! Yea! When you purchase a Subscription you are paying for features, upgrade rights, security or functionality updates, ease of installation and use and known compatibility with most of the business world. If you don't want to pay for the subscription then don't. But I'm tired of hearing how people keep saying that they will never use Microsoft products again or how Microsoft screwed up this time or that time. This has been going on for years.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

What do you now when the file size is 200MB+? You don't have to store your files in the cloud. You can keep on storing them right in your "My Documents" folder on your PC. And actually using Microsoft Lync (which comes with O365) you can have an online meeting with anyone (even if they don't have Lync) and share the presentation right through the cloud, or from your desktop. It's really simple and works great.

DJMorais
DJMorais

Passing off the burden of your extra expenditure by hitting up your clients for more money to cover it, eh? That makes you part of the problem. Value add? Hardly...

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

What happens is that Microsoft Legal issues Court Papers indicating that they are suing you [i]threatens[/i] and your business for a couple of years and then you come to an agreement [b]Out of Court[/b] with them where you pay them a fine for breach of contract for violating the EULA and then they add you and the company directly to the Enforcement Alert Notifications where the Company Owner, their Business Name and their Personal Address gets listed for all to read and these Enforcement Alerts get sent out to all Microsoft Partners regularly as well as posted on the Microsoft Web Site in your country. So you not only get to pay Microsoft considerably more than what the correct licenses would have cost but you get the Stress of a Legal Fight which your Legal Representatives will insist you [b]Can Not[/b] win for at the very least 2 years most times longer and then everyone gets to know what a Cheapskate you actually are and you are held up for the Ridicule you deserve. OH you also get to pay your own Legal Costs and any incurred by Microsoft as well. This is part of the Out of Court Settlement. Of course if you can not come to an agreement with Microsoft Legal you can always go to the Court and fight them but that's going to cost you and your company considerably more. ;) That is exactly what happens when a business gets caught breaching the License Agreement with Microsoft. They do that to places where they really didn't do that much wrong like Bulk Loading second hand systems and not changing the Windows Product Key to what is on the COA just to teach them a lesson. I'm sure that Microsoft Legal would love to get their hands on something as blatant as using Home Product to make money off. Personally I think the consequences would be far worse than what most of the reports I read in the Enforcement Alerts are but maybe that's just me. :^0 Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

If you have it installed on 5 machines and one dies which you replace, just exactly how do you go about activating it on the replacement system? I realize you can deactivate it but if the system isn't working how do you deactivate it so you can use it on a replacement computer? Col

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Hey DJ name me one company that doesn't pass on new expenses to their clients....just one and I'll show you a company that is doomed to failure. The use of SharePoint is a value added service to our clients. Everyone of them have given it high marks.

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