Office 2013 – Will I really need to buy another license if I replace my PC??

Could it be that MS Office 2013 retail will be tied to a single machine without an option to transfer if you upgrade to a newer machine?

That’s if this article in The Register is right.

In a world where there are several free alternatives to your product (open office, Libre Office and Google Docs to name my favorites) it seems strange to place more restrictions on your product making it potentially less attractive.

To most of us it seems natural to think that, after having bought a copy you can install it on any computer you wish, providing you un-install any other versions first. That isn’t the case because you never legally own the copy of the software.

You have a license to use the software meaning your continued use requires that you comply with all the conditions applied by the software author.

The hideously long agreements that you tick a box to say you have read and comply with this agreement can say literally anything the software authors want.

Break the conditions and you lose the right to use the software.

So why would Microsoft do this?

Microsoft reportedly like the idea of customers renting their software on an annual basis, rather than purchasing a license outright. This is understandable when you consider their position of having to constantly release patches and updates to their programs to fix bugs and address security vulnerabilities.

Most customers would likely take the opposing position that the software should be supplied bug free and secure so why do I need to pay annually for software.

Many other types of software offer optional, but strongly recommended software maintenance plans. Accounting software for instance has traditionally been purchased with maintenance and support due to the key role it plays in most businesses.

So will customers accept a version of Office bound to a single machine that you cannot transfer to another? Retail sales will be the final judge, jury and possibly executioner in this case.

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