Microsoft backtracks on harsh Office 2013 license transfer restrictions

In the tech world, you’ve got bad decisions, and you’ve got really bad decisions.

Microsoft’s move to block Office users from transferring their Office licenses to new computers falls into the latter category. Now, the company is reversing the decision after customer feedback made it loud and clear that they weren’t happy with the move.

Here’s how the company put it in a post on the Office blog:

Based on customer feedback, we have changed the Office 2013 retail license agreement to allow customers to move the software from one computer to another. This means customers can transfer Office 2013 to a different computer if their device fails or they get a new one. Previously, customers could only transfer their Office 2013 software to a new device if their PC failed under warranty.

Essentially, the new terms are more or less identical to those for Office 2010 and are a welcome change from Microsoft’s previously draconian “You may not transfer the software to another computer or user” language with Office 2013.

Microsoft’s move comes as the company is transitioning to a subscription-based model for Office with Office 365, which you can use on multiple computers for a monthly fee. But while subscriptions may work for some, lots of people still aren’t particularly crazy about subscribing to software, no matter how hard Microsoft pushes it.

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