Office 2013 License Prohibits Changing Computers

by Sean P. Aune | February 16, 2013

Microsoft Office 15 (2013) - Logo - Red

If you plan on picking up a copy of Microsoft’s Office 2013, you had better be sure you’re installing it on a computer plan to be using for a very long time.

Computers have a tendency to break down, and it is uncommon for someone to just buy  a new machine and begin the time-consuming task of moving all of their software to a new environment. You grab your software keys and you get to work, but for those of you with Office 2013, you’re going to find this task a bit more difficult. Nigh, impossible.

Computerworld has confirmed that Office 2013 is permanently locked to the original machine it was installed on. While you can re-install it on the same machine should it crash and you need to re-install, you will be unable to move it to a new machine should the need arise. To make sure that everything was clear, the author asked Microsoft, “Once an Office 2013 retail license is assigned through activation to a PC, it’s connected TO THAT PC, correct? Just as is Windows. That then means it cannot be reassigned to ANOTHER PC owned by the same individual, correct?” Microsoft’s reply was a simple, “Correct.”

Microsoft has made it fairly clear that it is now far more interested in getting consumers to sign up for its Office 365 product that works off of a subscription plan. Since this can be accessed from just about anywhere it would eliminate the need for re-installing a copy of Office that involves a license.

While it is understandable that Microsoft may want to push customers towards a product that not only gives it a constant revenue stream while cutting the expenses of producing physical media, this certainly seems like a path that may anger consumers more than enticing them to change.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...