Office 2013 retail licenses can now be transferred


— 9:07 AM on March 12, 2013

Quite a few Office users were miffed last month, when Microsoft clarified its licensing terms for the new productivity suite. For some odd reason—perhaps to push its Office 365 subscription alternative—the company imposed a new restriction on retail copies of the software: they were to be locked to one machine forever—non-transferable, even if you uninstalled them before attempting to reinstall somewhere else.

Happily, Microsoft has come to its senses and scrapped the policy. You might have missed it last week, but the company announced on the Office blog that retail copies of Office 2013 are now officially transferable. Some restrictions still remain, but they're hardly draconian:

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.

Yeah, that definitely sounds much more reasonable than the previous policy.

According to Microsoft, the change is "effective immediately" and applies to the following Office 2013 editions: Home and Student, Home and Business, Professional. Standalone Office 2013 applications are supported, as well. (Thanks to CNet News for the tip.)

   
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