Microsoft does not "strictly enforce the limit" on Office for iPad installations

Microsoft has a pretty generous installation policy for people who want to use the full version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Apple's iPad. People who have an Office 365 Home Premium subscription are allowed, via Microsoft's End User License Agreement, to install and use the full versions of those apps on up to five iPads, in addition to up to five Windows and Mac PCs, for the price of $9.99 a month or $99.99 for 12 months.

However, as CNet reports, it looks like anyone with a Microsoft account and a paid Office 365 subscription can simply pass that login information to others in order to activate more Office on iPad apps beyond the five tablet limit. In fact, there seems to be no restrictions on just how much an Office 365 subscription can be shared.

In a statement, Microsoft admits, "Similar to our commercial use rights, we do not strictly enforce the limit on tablet installations, but trust that our users respect and understand the device limits outlined in the EULA." The company did say that it tracks the number of tablet installs on each Office 365 account so in theory someone who abuses the limit could be discovered.

Of course, unlike a stand-alone software product purchase, Office 365 subscriptions could not be renewed by the original account holder so if that happens all those Office for iPad installs will revert back to "read only" mode.

Source: CNet

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11 Comments

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There is a bug anyway in the Office 365 licensing. I have Office 365 installed on 5 devices and it shows that I have installed it on just one device and 4 installations are still available.

Microsoft has always been well are of the idea that it's better to have consumers running your software for free (legal or pirated depending on the example), than have them using a competitor. It is kinda backwards now though, isn't it? I'm studying CS at university and have access to pretty much every piece of Microsoft software, except Office.

Consumers now have the predicament of buying in to an entire ecosystem than just a single product, I'm really excited to see how things pan out as Google and Microsoft both progress their visions.

Install all you like, I guarantee they explicitly track activations. They'll allow the extra activations as long as they need the numbers for marketing purposes. At some point they'll probably turn them off, or offer a reduced price for additional installs.

While it wouldn't surprise me if they get more strict with it down the road (lost revenue and all that), they hardly "need the numbers" when there's a gazillion people already using MSOffice, adding iPads into the mix is just icing.

It's not just for iPad, it's for PC and Mac installations too.

Good guy, Microsoft. :-)

The benefit of this (for people who actually use it legally according to the EULA), is if there's some sort of problem with deactivating on one machine you don't use anymore (or re-installation), you won't be stopped from re-installing it. However, I won't be surprised if this changes overtime if it gets over-abused.

But its $99/year!
And Apple users who willingly throw $2000 for an MBP, somehow think $99/year for 5 licensens/devices is out of the line.

Wall-swe said,
But its $99/year!
And Apple users who willingly throw $2000 for an MBP, somehow think $99/year for 5 licensens/devices is out of the line.

Plus considering that they're not enforcing the iPad installations... it would easily cover an entire family's computers and tablets.