Windows 8 is here
January 23, 2013
Ron Steenbergen
March 14, 2013

Office 2013 permanently attached computer

I have been a Microsoft fan for years. I sell their products, repair their products, and recommend their products.

A recent change to their business model looks like a big money grab to me. They want to move everyone from buying it once to paying monthly for things. Previously if you purchased Microsoft Office and your computer died and you purchased a new computer, you could remove it from your old PC and reinstall on your new PC. You purchased the software so you owned it. As long as it wasn’t on 2 computers at a time, you were good.

A new change to their license agreement says “The initial activation is permanently tied to the first machine it was activated on” Or in legal terms;


a. One Copy per Device. The software license is permanently assigned to the device on which the software is initially activated. That device is the “licensed device.”

The interesting part is this is not a new change. This change was introduced with office 2010 and the Key card activation. If you purchased the keycard, then your activation is only good for that computer.

The price difference between the keycard and the retail version was about $45. Most were not aware of the limitation. Even those that did chose the cheaper price not fully aware of the long term costs.

Going forward, you will either have to purchase a new licenses for office for each computer, or sign up for the office 365 annual subscription.