Microsoft capitulates and some angst over Office 2013 is relieved

Reacting to customer feedback, Microsoft has decided to change the license policy for Office 2013.

On February 22, 2013, I wrote a blog post with the title:

Office 2013 licensing changes increase IT angst

That post noted a change in license policy for Microsoft Office 2013 which said:

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.

Well, as you can imagine that licensing policy did not sit well with - well, just about anyone. The forums and polls published on TechRepublic were overwhelmingly against it.

This morning I received an email from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide that Microsoft, reacting to customer feedback, had decided to change the license policy. Here is the new licensing policy as revealed in the Office News Blog:

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.

Your thoughts?

So does this change relieve some of your concerns about the licensing of Office 2013?

Also read:

Microsoft restores transfer rights for retail Office 2013 copies

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.