Normally Microsoft Office software is transferable from one computer to another, as long as it is uninstalled on the old computer. No more! Is MS really this greedy, that they would make you buy new software every time you replace a computer? Apparently, yes.
Thanks to Woody’s Office Watch — to which I have subscribed for years — I have been alerted that the Software License Agreement (the SLA is the newer name of the EULA –End User License Agreement) has changed substantially for Office 2013. And according to Office Watch, the change is fairly well hidden.
Here is the relevant language Office Watch cited in the SLA:
” How can I use the software?
We do not sell our software or your copy of it – we only license it. Under our license we grant you the right to install and run that one copy on one computer (the licensed computer) for use by one person at a time, but only if you comply with all the terms of this agreement. Our software license is permanently assigned to the licensed computer. ”
“Can I transfer the software to another computer or user?
You may not transfer the software to another computer or user. ”
It’s the same wording for both Retail and OEM copies of Office 2013. OEM copies are sold, usually pre-installed, on new computers.
The retail boxes of Office 2013 that we’ve seen include only the phrase ‘1 PC’ which is strictly true but doesn’t tell the whole story. We wonder if any ‘Fair Trading’ or consumer protection agency is prepared to take on Microsoft about the lack of clear disclosure of the changed terms?
” One time purchase for the life of your PC; non-transferrable“
Before concluding this post, and to satisfy myself, I went to the Microsoft Office site. I searched for the SLA but could not find it so I used their live Chat feature. The assistant in their online store was kind enough to find me the link so I could download a copy of the SLA and read it myself. The language is identical to what appears above. So before you plunk down your hard-earned dollars, be sure you understand what you are paying for. Because if you buy the software figuring you will just reinstall it on your new computer the next year, you may be in for a nasty surprise.