Microsoft to now allow Office 2013 PC license transfers once every 90 days

There's been a lot of negative reaction from people who have bought Office 2013 when it was discovered that the software's end user license agreement locked the software to just one PC for the lifetime of the product.The only exception was if the PC with the software had a hardware failure under the PC's warranty.

Today, Microsoft has announced a change in the EULA that should make most of those Office 2013 owners happy. In a post on the official Office blog, the company announced that, effective immediately, Office 2013 owners will have the option to transfer the license to a new PC once every 90 days. The change will apply to Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013 and the stand alone Office 2013 applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel). Microsoft added, "A key ingredient in our formula for success is listening to our customers, and we're grateful for the feedback behind this change in Office licensing."

Here's the revision of the EULA for Office 2013 in full:

Can I transfer the software to another computer or user?

You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the "licensed computer." You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies.

Source: Office blog | Image via Microsoft

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I get 365 home premium for $69.99 USD (no taxes no fees are added) which is ok even if it is a subscription. But I get at least 1 copy of 2013 on my HUP too so that is cool. But I use most of my keys from technet which is the best deal for me

The year subscription looks tasty... If Office updates came more regularly (i.e., every year) I would get that for sure. Right now I'll probably wait until Office 2014 hits Mac then see what my options are.

Explain this to me, do I have to wait for the 90 days after installing Office in the first machine or after uninstalling it from the first machine?

Its probably similar to the Windows activation time-frame. You can re-activate every 90 days so it would seam. I doubt the activation process requires uninstalling the software from the original machine, but their language implies that you agree to do that if you decide to move the license:

If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the "licensed computer."

This is OT, but does Excel 2013 solve the multi-instance/Window problem? I use multiple monitors so need to spawn multiple instances of Excel, but I can't copy-paste formulas between instances. Windows 3.1 problem that still exists (existed?) to this day.

Thanks for letting me know.

I'll probably be upgrade then because I've been daydreaming about having that particular feature since Office '97.

Ironic that retails users are locked to one machine with a mandatory 90 day cool off period, but MS HUP users are allowed multiple machines at a deep discounted price of $10.

You can only be left scratching your head on these decisions.

It is a start, even though a very weak one, to changing a company's behavior. Now, if MS would fix the Windows-8 problems.

The problem is, the so called problems in W8 can't simply be 'fixed'. It's not just changing some words on a document. Windows 8 is the result of years of planning, vision, development, testing, feedback. It's the direction in which the company is heading in future. Think what would happen if they closed shop and killed metro, apps, the Store and brought back the Start menu. Remember when WP8 was announced and all the WP7 users, developers and device manufacturers felt screwed over because current devices weren't supported? It would be much bigger than than because the Windows userbase is much larger. So I think it's better to stop whining and atleast make some effort to like it. And you'll soon realize, there are no problems in Windows 8.

Wait, you mean the market got a company to change its behavior before those same customers could lobby it's government to force them to change the behavior?

Unheard of!

barteh said,
The blog specifically mentions "Office 2013 Retail".

Does this include OEM?

I'd highly doubt it. the OEM license makes sense. You're buying brand new hardware with an expected lifespan of 2-3 years. You're also getting it at a discounted price, albeit lumped into the price of the machine.

My problem with the non-transferable license for Office 2013 is my Vista machine that I'm about to replace this summer is running 2010. I'd love to run 2013 but I know I'd be retiring this box from production status so soon. I was waiting to move to 2013 until I purchased new metal. Now I'm just going to buy 2010, and move it when I build my new box.

Good to see Microsoft listening to customers and making a sensible change. I purchased Office 2013 Pro Plus but as I upgrade/ replace PCs frequently was a bit worried about the licensing but this should mean I'm sorted hopefully

That's mighty white of them. Although you should be able to move from one pc to another any time you want.
Not being able to, would be like buying a piece of furniture or an appliance for your house, and not being able to take it with you when you move. Etc. Etc.

j2006 said,
You can't compare furniture to software lol. Furniture doesn't have a license.

Couldn't it though? What's the difference?

LUTZIFER said,
That's mighty white of them. Although you should be able to move from one pc to another any time you want.
Not being able to, would be like buying a piece of furniture or an appliance for your house, and not being able to take it with you when you move. Etc. Etc.
Licensing Office is much like renting furniture. You agree with how you will use it and they can choose to take it back w/e they want based off of that rental agreement. Yo do not own the software.

MrHumpty said,
Licensing Office is much like renting furniture. You agree with how you will use it and they can choose to take it back w/e they want based off of that rental agreement. Yo do not own the software.

If you rent tools you can use them in any house you want. You should be able to un-activate the software and install it on a new machine any time you want.

Should be able to transfer the licenses whenever you want. Should put an option to unregister the software/license during removal. I know Adobe does this with some of their products.

Office always did it like that, but in order to push Office 365 they're doing it this way. Which is fine now that it allows any time due to hardware failure.

siah1214 said,
Wow, that's better than the 2010 license.

That's exactly the same as the 2010 license isn't it? For example, Office 2010 Home & Student allows you to activate on up to 3 machines... however, if you then wait 90 days, you can then activate on a 4th machine, etc

eiffel_g said,
Not quite the same, because Office 2010 H&S was for 3 computers and this is for one, for a price a little bit bigger...

There was an Office H&S PKC which was 1 computer.