Office 2013 licence terms. Read the small print – then don’t buy it!

I followed a link from a discussion on one of my LinkedIn groups today, because the title intrigued me:-

Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for one PC, FOREVER

Now, I was initially confused. “Surely Office licences have always been forever?” I thought. The real arrogance of Microsoft only becomes clear when you follow the link to The Register article and read the subtitle – “Can’t be transferred, even to yourself”

Yes folks it looks like it’s true. In an attempt to make the customer buy what Microsoft really wants to sell, instead of actually listening to the customer and giving them what they want (oh what a surprise) the new licence terms for buying the full retail Office 2013 on disk are that you can install it once, on one machine, and it is then tied to that machine. No allowance for hard drive failure or motherboard replacement. No wiggle room for simply upgrading your computer to a better one, even if you uninstall it from your old one. If any of these scenarios occur, you are expected to fork out again. The only specific failure scenario acknowledged by Microsoft is “if your computer fails under warranty”, which is just a massive grey area. What if you build your own? Which part failing “under warranty” would Microsoft be prepared to accept?

As you will see in the article, if you would like to see any kind of common-sense real-world approach from Microsoft, your only options are to stick with older versions you may own, or use Office 365. Or (my personal favourite) vote with your wallet and use the totally acceptable and functional open source alternatives.

You think they’d learn from history wouldn’t you? This kind of inflexible “we know best and you will conform to our model or do without” attitude isn’t new from Microsoft. And it has contributed (however indirectly) to the explosion of tablets, both fruit and robot powered, and Linux finding more favour even among users who would never describe themselves as geeks or even technically adept. More and more I am being asked to research solutions for people who want to do their business-based duties on non-Windows devices. And with an attitude like this from one of the industry’s biggest and oldest players, I’m not in the least bit surprised.

Here’s a thought, Microsoft. Might be a bit too radical for you though. Instead of imposing increasingly more unfair and dictatorial terms on your customers in an attempt to prevent piracy…. PRICE YOUR FRANKLY VERY AVERAGE SOFTWARE MORE REASONABLY!!!!!

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