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Retail Copies of Office 2013 Are Tied To a Single Computer Forever

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-what-users-were-clamoring-for dept.

Software 464

An anonymous reader writes "With the launch of Office 2013 Microsoft has seen fit to upgrade the terms of the license agreement, and it's not in favor of the end user. It seems installing a copy of the latest version of Microsoft's Office suite of apps ties it to a single machine. For life. On previous versions of Office it was a different story. The suite was associated with a 'Licensed Device' and could only be used on a single device. But there was nothing to stop you uninstalling Office and installing it on another machine perfectly legally. With that option removed, Office 2013 effectively becomes a much more expensive proposition for many."

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just use virtual machines (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889019)

install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

Re:just use virtual machines (5, Insightful)

PhotoJim (813785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889049)

This is so not the point.

Re:just use virtual machines (4, Insightful)

emilper (826945) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889055)

not if it phones home

Re:just use virtual machines (4, Insightful)

Meshach (578918) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889089)

install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

I do not think that this "solution" will work for a typical user. VM machines are not simple to setup and use for the masses as they are for /. users.

As a matter of fact I do not think this will impact the majority of users at all. Most people buy their software with their computer system and are not adverse to having to buy a new version when they get a new machine.

Re:just use virtual machines (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889205)

install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

I do not think that this "solution" will work for a typical user. VM machines are not simple to setup and use for the masses as they are for /. users.

As a matter of fact I do not think this will impact the majority of users at all. Most people buy their software with their computer system and are not adverse to having to buy a new version when they get a new machine.

Ok, let's expand a bit. It should be relatively straightforward for a knowledgeable person to create a self-contained virtual appliance with a copy of Window Du jour plus a copy of Office 20-whatever with all the common options (or every option) and require the user to only input the license key for the OS and the license key for Office. Install procedure would be to insert disk, run Setup, get prompted for the required license keys, and get an icon on your desktop that when invoked, brings up Office in a virtual box.

This is, of course, non-trivial to create. But all it takes is a single (not inconsiderable) effort, the results of which are replicated endlessly.

Or, we could all stick with a previous version of Office, and Microsoft can go screw. I'm still using Office 2000. Works fine on Windows 7.

Re:just use virtual machines (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889225)

Add a backup feature that burns the virtual machine onto a DVD, so you can bring it up on a new physical machine at a future date.

Re:just use virtual machines (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889377)

Or, we could all stick with a previous version of Office, and Microsoft can go screw. I'm still using Office 2000. Works fine on Windows 7.

This is the correct answer.

I am still using Office 2003 because (a) It works just fine and does what I need. Newer versions contain absolutely nothing of benefit to me. (b) No "activation" or other bullshit required, which means I can easily transfer it to another computer when needed. (c) It doesn't have the god awful ribbon that was introduced with Office 2007 and rendered the program unusable.

Re:just use virtual machines (5, Insightful)

chipschap (1444407) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889551)

I am still using Office 2003 because (a) It works just fine and does what I need. Newer versions contain absolutely nothing of benefit to me. (b) No "activation" or other bullshit required, which means I can easily transfer it to another computer when needed. (c) It doesn't have the god awful ribbon that was introduced with Office 2007 and rendered the program unusable.

And I'll continue to use Libre Office :) No activation, no ribbon, works fine and does what I need.

There will be the inevitable response: I need feature X that only MS Office has. This will not get an argument from me. If you need MS Office, go for it. Do what you have to do. I'm just happy that I don't need it myself and don't have to deal with all this nonsense.

Re:just use virtual machines (1)

ZeroPly (881915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889477)

No. Period.

You are not allowed to redistribute any of the files that come with your Office 2013 (or Win8) distribution without explicit permission from Microsoft. Which means this scheme has zero chance of success. What you _could_ do is package the whole system so that it fires up, asks for an Office 2013 install source, and then loads that onto your VM, creating the necessary shortcuts in the process. That would require constant updates based on how Microsoft packages their DVDs, and be an overall mess for the end user.

Re:just use virtual machines (5, Funny)

Kawahee (901497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889387)

VM machines are not simple

Virtual machine machines might not be simple, but virtual machines can be.

Re:just use virtual machines (5, Interesting)

W. Justice Black (11445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889559)

Yes and no.

I did a bit of IT consulting a while back for a small company owned by a friend of mine that upgraded one of their (dead) machines to Win7 from XP. One of their pieces of software (that isn't supported by the vendor anymore, natch) had some copy protection on it that ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to run on Win7. As in "every single post I could find about it on Google said 'don't bother'" and no amount of backwards-compatibility junk would get Win7 to make it work, period (though admittedly this was Win7 Home Prem, so no built-in VM stuff).

The solution: VirtualBox, running a spare XP license, and just this one application. With the VBox tools installed, I set it to resize the desktop automatically when the window's resized, put the taskbar on autohide, and it works great (nice and snappy for an office-type app). When you click the close box on the window, VBox suspends the VM. When you open it back up again, it un-suspends. Plus you get snapshotting and portability of the environment.

They were not sophisticated enough to pull this off, but their local IT guy (me) was, and this is a little 5-person extermination company...

Re:just use virtual machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889121)

Problem exacerbated, not solved.

Re:just use virtual machines (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889169)

what about the 99.5% of people who have no clue what that means?

there's no reason to shift any of the blame onto consumers for this. fuck microsoft.

Re:just use virtual machines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889195)

Awesome solution. We just have to give up convenience and performance! Only the usual anti-Microsoft crowd would ever complain about that.

Re:just use virtual machines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889213)

Right, easy ... except that it's slow, cumbersome, difficult for many people to grasp, uses a lot of additional memory, takes up large amounts of space...

Or you could just use Libre Office ... oh wait...

Re:just use virtual machines (1)

multiben (1916126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889257)

Who the fuck marked this insightful? Virtual machines? Seriously?

Re:just use virtual machines (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889571)

Fire up a virtual machine every time someone emails you a document, and then move that document over to the virtual machine (after it books), open up your Office suite, and then move the document back.

Man, that is sure convenient.

It is almost like Microsoft is trying to encourage people to move over to the perpetual subscription method by making the traditional way of purchasing 2013 a pain in the ass.

Re:just use virtual machines (5, Insightful)

Spiridios (2406474) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889307)

install to virtual machine, then make copies of that virtual machine. problem solved.

This is why most "normal" people don't understand nerds. Every problem always has a technical solution. Always. Even if that problem isn't technical in nature and the solution completely misses the point. The issue isn't that it's physically impossible to install to multiple computers, as a hack will be around shortly to eliminate that limitation. The problem is in the license that's trying to bleed more money out of the user. The solution to that problem is to not buy the new version of Office. Either use an older version or switch to something more open.

Re:just use virtual machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889461)

Certain company with a fruit for a logo bleed money from it's users and they love them for it (35% IAP fee for real world objects? Enjoy paying an extra $35 on that $100 sofa!) HEY! If you buy Office from an app inside that ecosystem, you can be doubly fucked over! You'll pay 30% MORE for Office AND be locked to a single computer!

Re:just use virtual machines (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889315)

It is probably not allowed by the EULA. I know that the cheap versions of Windows explicitly forbid it; you need one of the "high-tier" editions.

Re:just use virtual machines (4, Insightful)

gewalker (57809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889395)

You know, I think I know a better solution. Tell the whole world about this abrogation of natural rights. Tell your friends. Spread the MS hate. Go post it to Facebook, twitter or whatever. Do it now.

Re:just use virtual machines (4, Informative)

gewalker (57809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889455)

I just posted this on my facebook account. Feel free to post it everywhere.

Microsoft has just raised the bar on greed. MS Office 2013 has a non-transferable license, it can only be installed on 1 computer. So, you lose this computer or it dies or you upgrade, you lose your license to MS Office 2013. See http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/retail-copies-of-office-2013-are-tied-to-a-single-computer-forever-20130213/ [geek.com] for moredetails.

Re:just use virtual machines (1)

aklinux (1318095) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889517)

Acually, you probably want to 'move' the virtual machine, just to keep it legal (maybe) ;)

Advice? (-1, Troll)

Roskolnikov (68772) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889043)

install it in a virtual machine, run it from there, this is lame.

Re:Advice? (2)

ZigiSamblak (745960) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889073)

install it in a virtual machine, run it from there, this is lame.

I am guessing they will be providing a license that allows you to do that. For a premium of course.

Re:Advice? (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889077)

Yea that was going to be my suggestion. I didn't see in the article what mechanism M$ used to detect/lock the software down.

Re:Advice? (4, Insightful)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889117)

Rather than mess with a VM and slightly degraded performance I'd opt for a free alternative (e.g. Libre Office) although a VM would provide some added security...

Re:Advice? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889161)

"install it in a virtual machine, run it from there, this is lame."

I would be inclined to go with one of 2 "solutions":

(A) Use a software crack. What the hell. I paid for it, it's mine, I'll do what I want with it.

(B) The choice I would more likely make: go with Open Office or Libre Office.

It's really not much of a contest, is it? I've been using Open Office and Libre Office for more than 10 years now, precisely because of this kind of horseshit from Microsoft.

Great News (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889053)

For users of Open Office or those who short Microsoft Stock

Who cares? Anyone like Office anymore? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889059)

I have to use Office at work, and I find it to be completely unusable. Due to the ribbon, I cannot find anything anymore.

Re:Who cares? Anyone like Office anymore? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889247)

The ribbon has been around since Office 2007. It is now 2013. Time to adjust

Re:Who cares? Anyone like Office anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889369)

Time to adjust by uninstalling MS Office and using a free alternative instead.

Re:Who cares? Anyone like Office anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889375)

But nobody (at least nobody I know) bought Office 2007. My work Windows machine didn't acquire the ribbon until I got Office 2010 some time in 2011. I use Office for more than opening a spreadsheet and looking at it about once every couple of months. It still takes me minutes to hunt down common functionality that was easily located in the old hierarchical menu system.

Re:Who cares? Anyone like Office anymore? (2)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889349)

I use Office 2012 at work, albeit not as my main tool. After a bit over a year I was at the point where I was reasonably familiar with the ribbon and started to prefer it over Office 2000 (which I used before). So I think there is a bit of an advantage to the new UI, but it is a small one and requires a lot of time to learn the new ways of interacting with the program. Probably not worth it from a usability point of view.

Office 2012 crashes a lot less than Office 2000 though, so it was good to get the new version anyway.

At home, however, I prefer Libre Office:
Legally available for free as in beer, and it is more than sufficient for the few letters I write :-)

Re:Who cares? Anyone like Office anymore? (4, Informative)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889419)

The ribbon is good in that you can set things by example visually that actually tick multiple settings at once. After learning it, I actually prefer it and don't like using a word processor without it anymore.

Can I re-install on another computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889061)

Say I remove MS Office 2013 (or re-format my drive) on a given machine, can I use that same license on another machine? Since technically I still only have it on one machine...

Can you read the summary? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889097)

Apparently not.

LibreOffice (5, Informative)

gubon13 (2695335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889063)

You can haz open source solution with full MS Office compatibility...

Re:LibreOffice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889135)

Not full compatibility, but close.

Better than full compatibility (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889295)

Remember: Office is more than Office 2013. It's Office 2010, 2007, 2003, XP, 2001, 97, 95, ....

Re:LibreOffice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889137)

No you can't. It works fine for Word, but Libre Calc falls way short when it comes to nearly any advanced Excel spreadsheet.

Re:LibreOffice (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889509)

Does it haz lolcats grammar checker though?

No. (5, Informative)

rbmorse (833877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889069)

Log into your Office account and deregister the current installation. That will free it up for installation to a new/different machine. You can do this as often as you want.

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889103)

Office account?

What the flying fuck are they doing?

Re:No. (5, Informative)

Kawahee (901497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889351)

I think the grandparent has confused retail copies of Office 2013 with an Office 365 subscription. The latter requires an account (and I'm not sure how you'd facilitate a subscription without one).

Re:No. (2)

John Bodin (189895) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889499)

All the offices require an account. You cant buy it it most stores and walk out with a disc of any type. All you are buying is a key to type in after you create your Microsoft account.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889433)

What the flying fuck are they doing?

Putting your files in the cloud.

Re:No. (4, Informative)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889303)

That's Office 365.

Re:No. (3, Informative)

Kawahee (901497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889339)

I'm trialling Office 365 and I've seen the option to de-activate licenses. That was my first thought when I saw this story. But the article seems to suggest it's a different problem:

Of course, Microsoft has a solution to this in the form of Office 365. Instead of buying a retail copy tied to a single machine, you could instead subscribe to Office 365, which is tied to the user not the hardware, and can be used across 5 PCs or 4 Macs at any one time. But subscriptions aren’t for everyone, and eventually you end up paying more for the software.

It's Office OEM pretty much (3, Insightful)

eksith (2776419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889081)

Doesn't affect us too much, since we've switched most of our internals to Libre Office, and it won't affect most of our clients who're quite happy with Office 2010 and a few who still use Office 2003. If your org needs new installations, there are better places to spend money than the office suite.

Re:It's Office OEM pretty much (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889585)

I was a Windows user who switched to a Mac. Recently I switched from Mac to Linux, and I am not looking back. As for office software, Libre-office does what I need. Microsoft will not get any of my money again.

Easy answer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889085)

Don't worry. As usual, the computer nerd world has a smug, smarmy answer for you, one that most likely involves using a different OS and a different office suite, as well as make you hate the smartass computer nerd world and ignore them later when the next SOPA comes up.

Re:Easy answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889191)

Don't worry. As usual, the computer nerd world has a smug, smarmy answer for you, one that most likely involves using a different OS and a different office suite, as well as make you hate the smartass computer nerd world and ignore them later when the next SOPA comes up.

I use Windows 7 and have Libreoffice.
Microsoft Office ? The last version I had came with my Windows 95 computer. Never missed it.

What happens when the machine dies? (5, Interesting)

Mistakill (965922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889099)

What happens if your CPU or Motherboard dies, and you cant get that socket type CPU/Motherboard now... Or your HDD dies even

In some countries, this stipulation would be against consumer laws I'm sure (maybe the EU, also NZ is quite possible)

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (2)

St.Creed (853824) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889149)

I agree - this could be iffy with respect to consumer laws. However, freelancers are businesses and are unprotected by those laws, so I'm pretty sure small businesses are going to get shafted pretty hard on this one. The big problem is that freelancers often have to work from a laptop without acccess to a network, so the whole "cloud thingy" is not an option if your income depends on being online. But having the license tied to a single computer won't work for them either.

All in all - it *is* time to take another look at LibreOffice *shudder*

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (5, Informative)

bcdonadio (2821809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889181)

I asked explicitly this question to Microsoft consumer care. They said: you will have to buy another copy. That's it folks. Just don't do business with this company: they don't know how to play.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889391)

That contradicts their usual practice of activating the software (OEM Windows usually, but some OEM-like office packages in the past) in case of a hardware failure.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889531)

In the past OEM copies of Windows have been tied to the motherboard. If your CPU/RAM/GPU/HDD/etc dies you can replace it, as long as the mobo is the same. At least, that is the theory.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889187)

If it's like any of the other Microsoft installation limits I've run into, you just call the support number, they ask you why you're installing multiple times, and you tell them you fixed the computer because you the repair shop replaced your motherboard and hard drive. They are pretty reasonable in practice.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (5, Funny)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889457)

If it's like any of the other Microsoft installation limits I've run into, you just call the support number, they ask you why you're installing multiple times, and you tell them you fixed the computer because you the repair shop replaced your motherboard and hard drive. They are pretty reasonable in practice.

The fact that people consider this reasonable still boggles my mind. If ford required you to phone them and re-activate your stereo every time you replaced your spark plugs, there would be a fucking media storm so big their stocks would drop faster than an f-150 driven off a cliff!

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889251)

In some countries, this stipulation would be against consumer laws I'm sure

Since when did that ever stop them trying to get away with it?

(maybe the EU, also NZ is quite possible)

<political rant> However, in New Zealand, they can probably just get a law change in their favour - Look to Warner Brothers </political rant>

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889321)

What happens is you download the crack for the software you legally purchased.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (-1, Flamebait)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889463)

Or download the crack for the software that you didn't legally purchase. Do you really think Microsoft deserves to make money from this idiocy? Microsoft has reached a new low in draconian DRM. And just like all other forms it will only penalize the law abiding suckers who actually pay for it. The rest won't even know about the problem.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889371)

Explain the situation on the phone and they'll activate it for you.

I had a similar experience the other day with a retail Home and Student 2010 license card, which, to my astonishment, ties the license to the machine, the motherboard specifically (like OEM Windows). I installed it on a nearly stillborn samsung tablet (should've waited the extra hours for it to definitely die) and couldn't activate Office on the replacement. So the person on the phone gave me the bad news and activated it for me.

Similar experiences have been reported with OEM Windows.

So, in the end, don't worry about hardware dying. Especially your HDD, no reasonable software would mind being reinstalled to a new hard drive.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (1)

wile_e8 (958263) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889493)

Well then you just buy another Surface Pro and a new copy of Office to go with it. What, you aren't really planning on fixing your old computer, are you? Well then you don't really matter.

Re:What happens when the machine dies? (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889529)

What happens if your CPU or Motherboard dies, and you cant get that socket type CPU/Motherboard now... Or your HDD dies even
Well, in my mind that is still the same machine, as you just replaced some broken parts. I have no idea how MS sees it. But frankly, if they are going to tie it to the hardware, then they need to price it as a product that you are going to have to renew every 2 to 3 years. So make it $25, and I'll be happy to buy a new one when I get a new PC.

Abandon all ships ye who enter here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889101)

Microsoft is doing their damndest to make me not want to use Windows anymore. Everything about Windows 8 sounds like an anti-consumer nuisance, they've spent 6 years turning the Xbox dashboard into the worst piece of clumsy advertising software as opposed to a valid gaming console OS, and now this crap.

Yep, you're days are numbered Microsoft. Have fun burning what little bit of good will still exists for you.

Re:Abandon all ships ye who enter here... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889291)

Microsoft is doing their damndest to make me not want to use Windows anymore. Everything about Windows 8 sounds like an anti-consumer nuisance, they've spent 6 years turning the Xbox dashboard into the worst piece of clumsy advertising software as opposed to a valid gaming console OS, and now this crap.

Yep, you're days are numbered Microsoft. Have fun burning what little bit of good will still exists for you.

Microsoft isn't -- anti-Microsoft bloggers looking for ad views without any supporting information are doing their damnedest to make you not want to use Windows anymore, specifically by targeting the anti-Microsoft bias that a specific subset of people seem to have. A second article that got all of its information purely from the first is not a confirmation, either.

An empirical test, though -- I've, in fact, moved a 2013 license between systems without any problem. YMMV, and I didn't read the license agreement, but one post trolling for ad views being referenced by a second blog trolling for ad views, both being linked by Slashdot in its continuing quest to troll its readers to drive ad views isn't really a good reason to make any decisions, except perhaps not reading Slashdot anymore.

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889133)

Are Retail copies of Office even remotely relevant? Buying Office off the shelf is like paying sticker price for a new car.

Compared to AppStore (5, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889179)

Non-commercial use: Any number of Macs that you own and control. Commercial use: Any number of computers used by the same single person, or one computer used by any number of persons.

One computer and can't move to a different computer? That's ridiculous. So if sell your computer and buy a better one, you have to re-buy the software? Or if your computer breaks? Or your computer is stolen? I wonder what your insurance company will say if your computer is stolen, they pay for a replacement, and then you say that instead of restoring your apps from your backup you want them to pay for new copies?

ATTENTION HOME OFFICE WORKERS !! BEND OVER !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889203)

Steven and gang are in the building and they want you to be their bitches !!

It's true !!

100% !!

Got you by the ovaries !!

Why bother? (4, Insightful)

JDAustin (468180) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889211)

I use Excel & Access 2003 on a daily basis (Access provides a simple front end to SQL databases). The only time I load up Excel 2010 is when the sheet has more then 256 columns (rare) or ~65k rows (more common now). The ribbon is a pain as I lose all my custom menu bars (and the after thought of a hack put into the ribbon for this sucks). What is there about 2013 that would appeal to a non-corporate end user? Saving to a cloud? We have Google Drive/DropBox folders for that.

Tied to a single computer forever? (4, Insightful)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889229)

That can't be true, because it's too good to be true. If a copy of office were tied to a single machine forever, that copy of office would die with the machine and eventually office would become extinct. You'd see beat up computers with yellowed cases and burned in screens in endangered software sanctuaries. Or the world would realize that equivalent software is available elsewhere for less money (or free). But we all know Microsoft won't let that happen because software survives by being propagated from computer to computer, paid or not.

Machine being .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889231)

Which part exactly? Hard drive? OS version install or Lic. Key? Motherboard identification? MAC Address?

I recall around a decade or so ago when Cisco released some router learning software which was 'single install tied'. Everyone in the shop who wanted it, got the Hard drive image, OS install. The cavaet though, was that the install 'check' was a floppy disk, and not online.

Anyways.. it's still amusing to see MS continue in their pursuit of control. I'm wondering who exactly they're trying to extinguish here. There userbase? Makes me glad I switched to FOSS years ago.

Re:Machine being .... (1)

ChrisSlicks (2727947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889275)

Was just going to ask that. I've had the same computer for 10 years by my own definition (the case). The operating system and pieces inside have changed many times.

Vintage software store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889249)

Is there anywhere to buy a new copy of Office 2003? It's the version I want, there hasn't been any new features worth having since that one, and many features I don't want added since then.
Can I buy a legitimate used copy of it anywhere, if a new copy isn't available?
I can still buy the first Diablo at Wal-Mart. Why not a much newer version of Office?

Re:Vintage software store? (1)

ChrisSlicks (2727947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889403)

I've got a few copies of Vista I'll sell to you really cheap ...

You used to be able to install on desktop and lapt (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889261)

You used to be able to install on desktop and laptop with one copy of office now they want you to have 1 copy for each system no locked to the systems death.

Re:You used to be able to install on desktop and l (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889415)

What's even worse is that Home and Student is the same price but is only valid for a signle computer, instead of three.

They're really pushing Office 365, and I'm not sure I enjoy the idea.

It's almost as if... (5, Insightful)

The Optimizer (14168) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889263)

...they'd rather see Home users use a different licensing model... something with more long term revenue for the company. One way to help such a new model would be to make the current purchase model less attractive.

nahh. That couldn't be.

Re:It's almost as if... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889485)

For those of us that DON'T look at Microsoft licensing models (mainly because we don't buy after-market software from them), what other model are you referring to?

Re:It's almost as if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889537)

The one where you rent a copy of Office 365 on a yearly payment basis for $LOLNO per year, and then, I guess, do all your editing in a web browser and store your files on the leftover servers that Microsoft repurposed after the Danger fiasco--sorry, I mean "the cloud".

What is this licensed device? (4, Interesting)

erice (13380) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889311)

If I add a disk, is it the same device?
If I swap the disk, is the same device.
If I keep everything but swap the CPU, is it a new computer?
If I keep the CPU but swap the motherboard?

If I swap components incrementally, when do I need to buy a new license?
Does the software actually check?

This is blatantly illegal (5, Insightful)

Noir Angellus (2740421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889313)

in many countries whose law permits the sale of second hand software licenses (eg pre-owned games). What Microsoft's legal team has forgotten (ignored?) is that state and federal law override any and all conditions they put in their EULA and they have no legal recourse when they blatantly ignore local law.

Re:This is blatantly illegal (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889435)

Permitting the sale is a different thing than requiring software companies to allow for such sales.

Re:This is blatantly illegal (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889501)

Unenforceable != Illegal. They won't even sue you, they'll just make it "not work".

Re:This is blatantly illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889565)

That is location based and its a tiny subset of the world that enforces anything similar to that..

The SPA has spent 30 years convincing the powers that be that the software you "buy" is a license and not a product.. therefore you cannot sell the software to someone else.. this was not even an issue in the past as the companies had no way to do anything about the resale of software.. but now with "digital" distribution becoming nearly mainstream at this point.. its a much harder sell to say that you have "bought" anything other than an open ended license to use their software..

Upgrade (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889363)

Upgrade anything on the computer and your good to go, hell even upgrading the BIOS ( or UEFI ) would count. Once anything changes, offically the computer has changed and the terms are reset.

Between this and the X-box (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889393)

It's Bye-Bye MS. And Apple haters complain about "vendor lock in" -- Why do I get the feeling that if I were to buy a copy of office, it would be from the Chinese Pirates?

the offending texts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889405)

neither link in TFS included this.... wtf?

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/microsoft-software-license-agreement-FX103576343.aspx

Re:the offending texts (2)

ChrisSlicks (2727947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889487)

Why cloud the situation with facts? :) Here's the interesting part: "Because the software is licensed, not sold, Microsoft reserves all rights (such as rights under intellectual property laws) not expressly granted in this agreement. In particular, this license does not give you any right to, and you may not: use or virtualize features of the software separately, publish, copy (other than the permitted backup copy), rent, lease, or lend the software; transfer the software (except as permitted by this agreement), attempt to circumvent technical protection measures in the software, reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the software, except if the laws where you live permit this even when our agreement does not. In that case, you may do only what your law allows. " So by buying it you aren't actually buying it, you are long term leasing it. This way they can circumvent all usual consumer purchasing rights.

But not right away (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889431)

They won't find out until 2016 when they try to reinstall the OS or move to a new machine. Of course by then they will just buy Office 2016.

Re:But not right away (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889505)

Or download a crack to use the software they paid for.

people still buy microsoft's software? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889451)

just shows the stupidity of the average arthropod

I am surprised microsoft has not driven themselves out of business with their draconian & heavy handed methods of conducting business

Linux & LibreOffice does it all for me = the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance

Not valid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889469)

This can be safely ignored as it's illegal. First sales doctrine applies in the US. In the Eu, the European court of justice (highest court) has ruled that software can always be sold and permanent license bindings are null and void. (decision C-128/11, http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2012-07/cp120094en.pdf

MS can suck it.

Re:Not valid (1)

ChrisSlicks (2727947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889533)

It's not sold, it is leased. That's how they avoid the law.

Glass half full view (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42889471)

You're looking at it all wrong. The value here is, your PC's resale value is going to go through the roof! Just imagine, instead of just a PC with Windows 8, now you can sell a PC with Windows 8 and a LIFETIME version of Office 2013. Doesn't that just sound great?

Netcraft confirms it... (4, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889481)

This *will* be the year of Linux on the Desktop!

purpose of story: to out the shills (5, Insightful)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889579)

I'm waiting to see how the resident MS shills are going to positively spin this one. No unbiased person could be in favor of this.

Credit where it is due (5, Informative)

Idarubicin (579475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42889583)

It looks like the real legwork for this story was done by Adam Turner, from The Age. See "Does your copy of Office 2013 die with your computer? [theage.com.au] ", from 11 Feb 2013.

The story linked from the Slashdot article mostly just summarizes Turner's already-concise (but still more-detailed) article, and wraps it in a different set of ads.

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