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Microsoft has confirmed that the new licensing terms for Office 2013 mean that users can install the office productivity software on just one PC—even if they upgrade their systems or their current system breaks down. The change from previous licensing terms appears to be part of Microsoft's push to get Office users to sign up for subscriptions to its cloud-based Office 365 service.
ReadWrite's Mark Hachman wrote, "For those still wondering whether to choose Microsoft's traditional Office productivity software suite or the new, subscription-based Office 365, consider this: traditional Office users will have to wait for 'updates,' and they won't receive any new 'upgrades' to the service at all. And there's another consideration, too: Office 2013 is apparently locked to a single machine, perpetually, while Office 365 licenses are sold to a group of users, who can license and de-license PCs at will."
Computerworld's Greg Keizer reported, "Microsoft yesterday confirmed that a retail copy of Office 2013 is permanently tied to the first PC on which it's installed, preventing customers from deleting the suite from one machine they own and installing it on another. The move is a change from past Office end-user licensing agreements (EULAs), experts said, and is another way Microsoft is pushing customers, especially consumers, to opt for new 'rent-not-own' subscription plans."
ZDNet's Eileen Yu commented, "Microsoft needs to relook its pricing model and tweak it so it makes more sense for the average consumer. Also, I'd like to know if the vendor will now release new Office versions more regularly than its current two- three-year upgrade cycle, especially since it's asking its customers to pay a premium yearly subscription just to use the product."
And Geek.com's Matthew Humphries opined, "Subscriptions aren’t for everyone, and eventually you end up paying more for the software. It’s more likely these new license terms will push users to choose an alternative to Office 2013 or Office 365. Both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free and good enough for the consumer market. Google is also continuing to push its free-to-use Google Docs as an alternative to Office."