Microsoft yesterday confirmed that a retail copy of Office 2013 is permanently tied to the first PC on which it’s installed, preventing customers from deleting the suite from one machine they own and installing it on another.
The move is a change from past Office end-user licensing agreements (EULAs), experts said, and is another way Microsoft is pushing customers, especially consumers, to opt for new “rent-not-own” subscription plans.
“That’s a substantial shift in Microsoft licensing,” said Daryl Ullman, co-founder and managing director of the Emerset Consulting Group, which specializes in helping companies negotiate software licensing deals. “Let’s be frank. This is not in the consumer’s best interest. They’re paying more than before, because they’re not getting the same benefits as before.”
This hardly seems user-friendly. So much for Microsoft as consumer advocate, right?
I doubt that Google will launch its own equivalent on the Scroogled campaign, but I’d argue that Microsoft’s own practices here are much more questionable than any bogus Gmail “reading” going on.
Note to Steve Ballmer: The consumer is king these days.