You can now install Microsoft Office on an unlimited number of devices

Microsoft is making it a lot easier to share your Office account with friends and family.

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If you've ever been frustrated with the limitations of your Microsoft Office subscription and have been eager to share yours with your family members or coworkers, you're in luck: In a Thursday blog post, Microsoft announced a bunch of changes to how people can share their Office accounts with others.

Beginning on October 2, Microsoft Office subscribers will be able to install the platform on an unlimited number of devices and have access to six, instead of five, unique licenses.

"The Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions currently include device install limits. Home limits subscribers to 10 devices in total (across five users) and Personal limits subscribers to one PC or Mac and one tablet," according to the blog post.

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"Starting October 2, subscribers can install Office on an unlimited number of devices—and be signed into their accounts on up to five of those devices at the same time."

The changes are specifically for Microsoft Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions.

With every $99.99 per year Office Home subscription, Microsoft users previously could only get five unique licenses. But with the changes, Microsoft is throwing in an extra license—and 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage—for free, meaning more members of your circle will be able to use Microsoft Office Home applications like Word, Excel, and Outlook.

"We're also integrating the Home subscription more deeply into the Microsoft family service, so your subscription will automatically be shared with the people you've set up as members of your family," the post added.

Microsoft also announced that users can manage their subscription through the Microsoft Account portal, centralizing many of their disparate offerings and consolidating them all into one main access point.

Microsoft Office already has more than 31 million subscribers, and Office 365 managed to increase its revenue by 42% in the third quarter, the post noted.

Microsoft has been trying to beef up usage of its Office platform by adding on more features, including increased amounts of cloud space, and lowering the price. The changes will be big for families that need to share the platform to handle homework and business. Microsoft's updates could also be beneficial for remote workers who still would like to share their account with loved ones.

Now that more people can be added to your subscription and you can use it on more devices, Microsoft will look to see whether their subscriber numbers increase for the coming fiscal quarter.

The big takeaways for tech leaders

  • Starting on October 2, Microsoft Office users will be able to access the platform on more devices and give out more usage licenses to family and friends.
  • Microsoft is also centralizing the account management portal and making it simpler for users to access settings.

Also see

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Image: Microsoft/ZDNet

By Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.