Microsoft Released a security patch on Thursday, May 1st, which fixed all Windows versions of Internet Explorer, including for Windows XP!
XP has been out of support, but with a heavy installed base — estimated at 30% of the world’s computers by some — Microsoft made an exception to its policy by updating the operating system. At a lot of law firms, there was a visible sigh of relief. Kudos to Microsoft for doing the right thing.
Personally, I took the opportunity to change my default browser to Chrome, and I don’t regret it. There are a few software packages I have which are not compatible. For example, Copernic Desktop Search. But I only use that for searches internal to my system, so I don’t really care.
In case you’re curious, data from NetMarketShare.com indicates that Windows 7 powers 49.27% of the world’s computers, while Windows 8.0 and 8.1 combined account for only 12.24%. MAC versions 10.6 through 10.8 combined holds 3.25% of market share. That number surprises me, as I’m seeing strong growth in the legal industry.
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?
Amazon is more careful about disclosing the Office 2013 terms. One of the bullet point ‘Product Features’ is:
” 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.
I never advise clients to be one of the first to deploy a new version of software, unless they’ve been waiting for a bug fix. This is no exception. From the pushback in the technoworld, it seems that Windows 8 is getting very mixed reviews. Now I’m not saying it’s a disaster like Vista was. Nothing Microsoft produces will likely be as bad ever again as Vista was. But it seems that preliminary reviews indicate there is minimal gain, and the user interface is so dramatically different, extensive training will be required upon deployment.
I believe I read somewhere that Windows 7 will be available only for a limited time before Windows 8 will be forced upon new computer purchasers. So if you’ve been holding off, you may want to push up your purchase decision while Windows 7 is still an option. I have to say, Windows 7 has been delightfully reliable since its introduction.
TechRepublic just released “The Executive’s Guide to Windows 8” which you can get for free by registering with their site. Then you can make your own informed decision. (Or you can keep monitoring my blog. I’ll let you know when the time has arrived.) But here’s a hint: TechRepublic did a survey, and found that 74% of businesses have no plans to deploy Windows 8.