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Microsoft Restores Transfer Rights To Office 2013 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the putting-right-what-once-went-wrong dept.
New submitter gewalker writes "Bowing to significant unfriendly customer feedback regarding its new 'no transfer' license for Office 2013, Microsoft has reconsidered and will now allow Office 2013 licenses to be transferred between computers. Actual license language will not be reflected for a few months for shipped products, but Microsoft will allow transfer of license effective immediately. Calls to customer support will be necessary, as the activation servers won't be updated for a few months."
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Microsoft Restores Transfer Rights To Office 2013

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  • Great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @02:56PM (#43095761) Homepage Journal

    This is a step in the right direction. Now if only unfriendly customer feedback would get them to retract Metro we'll really be in business.

    Seriously though, how obvious was it that there would be a huge negative reaction to the change of licensing terms for Office? As usually, the more MBA's you get involved in things the dumber the collective IQ of an organization gets.

    • by eneville (745111)
      Too true. In reality, perhaps they employed a sensible one this time? The MS business was built around piracy, if it were not for people swapping/trading disks all the time in the early day they wouldn't have such a grip on the market now. Move ahead a few decades and people are pissed off with install times, slow boots and difficult migrations.
    • by jkrise (535370)

      how obvious was it that there would be a huge negative reaction

      With Chair-Man in charge of things, MicroSoft's arrogance knows no bounds. They are past caring any more; and seem intent on bringing down as many competitors on their way down to ir-relevance.

      In the new markets such as smartphones and tablet devices Microsoft is not even 5% as relevant as in desktops. So now instead of competing on merit on desktops, they are trying to force desktop makers to ensure competing OSes are very difficult if not

      • I see no big changes in MS conduct from Gates to Ballmer. The difference in effects is huge but you should thank GNU, Linux, and mac users for that.

        Last time I thought it was an OK company, I was using applesoft basic...

        • by nwf (25607)

          Last time I thought it was an OK company, I was using applesoft basic...

          Nah, Word 5 for Mac OS was pretty nice. Fast, logical and it worked. It's been downhill ever since. Word is now slower on my 3 GHz box than my old 16 MHz box from 20 years ago.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lcam (848192)

      It seems they don't really have a concrete business model for their core business anymore.

      They are more about tweaking their assets and trying to milk it.

      Maybe in Windows 9, they will retract Metro due to customer feedback, then declare their new changes innovative and declare it a success.

    • Re:Great (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:15PM (#43095967)

      When you have this kind of marketshare you keep pushing to the edge until consumers make you stop. Its all about trying to get away with as much as possible.

    • Re:Great (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:18PM (#43096015)

      The more I see of metro, the more I like it.

      On touchscreen devices.
      The person that suggested using it on things that do not have a touch screen should still be shot.

    • But they just might be doing so. Unlike a "policy" they really can't retract an entire product like that; but early scuttle of this "Windows Blue" thing DOES seem to have some UI fixes in it. Depending if MS can hold to real timetables or not these days, it is "sorta scheduled" for maybe late this summer.

    • Colin Chapman (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @04:10PM (#43096605)

      Seriously though, how obvious was it that there would be a huge negative reaction to the change of licensing terms for Office?

      It's like how Colin Chapman designed car frames: keep taking out pieces until it collapses under its own weight. Put the last piece back in. Do something outrageous and walk it back just one step, getting almost all of what you wanted.

      Simple Business Sociopathy 101.

      • The exact opposite of how Rolls Royce used to design cars - test to destruction, make the part that failed stronger and repeat.
    • I just got classic shell, and now Im over it. In every other way Win 8 is better.

      Granted, that doesnt make it more palatable to businesses, but I think that bridge is already burned.

    • This is a step in the right direction. Now if only unfriendly customer feedback would get them to retract Metro we'll really be in business.

      Seriously though, how obvious was it that there would be a huge negative reaction to the change of licensing terms for Office? As usually, the more MBA's you get involved in things the dumber the collective IQ of an organization gets.

      Wait to you see the blinding white of of Office 2013! [blogcdn.com] May god have mercy on your soul if you have a flickering flourscent light 60 mhz CRT you stare at all day with it.

      Other than that it has some nice improvements under the hood. Cloud integration, an app store with app addons like Firefox has with its browses, GPU acceleration, detailed collaborative editing, and Metro support. I have the dark theme which is a medium gray (it is void of all colors) and I have been running it for almost a month.

      It is cool b

  • Fucking sleazebags (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NettiWelho (1147351) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:03PM (#43095861)
    Trying to chip away customers rights at every chance and backing away only when the blowback gets unbearable, just to wait for another chance.
    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      Yeah, seems like they were testing the waters.
    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      Sort of like, well, every other tech company.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, it seems like a lot of company's are trying very draconian things just to see what they can and can't getaway with and if the heat gets too much well then 'Let's back off that for now, maybe in another few years we'll try again'.

      The ultimate, lets see how badly we can screw over our customers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not just "a right". The ability to resell wares that you have bought is for instance in Finland protected by the constitution. Microsoft's rule was actually straight illegal in Finland. They have been in the court (including the Finnish supreme court) over the very issue in the past and they got their asses handed back to them...

      • by ynp7 (1786468)

        It's legal to sell warez in Finland as long as you paid for it from someone else first?

    • Unless an ugly license, and the generated furor, is a low-budget advertising campaign. How else would I know that MS is out peddling the same codebase since Office95, with whatever fresh UI cock-ups this version will bring?
      • re: the generated furor, is a low-budget advertising campaign.
        .
        Sort of like starting "New Coca Cola", getting the furor as publicity, and pretending to revert back to the old fornula with "Classic Coca Cola" and looking like they're the good guys for listening to their buying publick: meanwhile, they secretly substituted corn syrup for the cane sugar originally used as the sweetener. A little sleight of hand here, a little misdirection there, and the guillible ol' public thinks "hey, this big ol' corpor
      • by afidel (530433)

        Uh, Office 2007 was basically a complete rewrite, there's some of the old code included to translate XLS binary format into native 2007 XLSX format, but other than that very little legacy code is left.

        • I contend that if you light off the VBA editor and browse the object models across the apps, you'll notice that the APIs are relatively constant, despite the alteration of storage format.
          I'll check to see if my pet Word bug, where you turn on Track Changes, select some text, and use SHIFT+F3 to cycle the case, and Track Changes is oblivious, is still kicking. Because I think that one is as old as Word for DOS.
    • You what is stupid?

      Why do the rest of us have left XP ages ago while the corps live in the past with ancient kernels and internet browsers? The answer is because of costs and migration hassles.

      So what does Microsoft do? Put at $179 charge on upgrading in edition to Windows! Think that will get Windows 9 and newer tablets out the door in 2015? Nope. If I have to blow an addition $179 for something I already have in addition to investing in new hardware then fuck it! Windows 7 still works fine and so does Off

  • by mschaffer (97223) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:20PM (#43096041)

    Maybe more rational thinking is returning to the Big M.
    Now, if only they would rethink the Windows 8 mess on desktops.

    • by acoustix (123925)

      Now, if only they would rethink the Windows 8 mess on desktops.

      If you think the Win 8 interface is horrible, just wait until you try Server 2012. Metro. On a server. For reelz.

      Why? WHY???????

      • That's just sad.
        Did Steve Ballmer have a stroke?

      • If you think the Win 8 interface is horrible, just wait until you try Server 2012. Metro. On a server. For reelz.

        Why? WHY???????

        Because someone in the Windows Server area either said, "y'know what the future is? touch screens...on a server!", "We want to end the concept of companies hosting their own servers and spur along 'cloud migration' REALLY bad", or "Server 2008R2 is an excellent platform that will serve our customers well for years to come". The one guy who stood up in that meeting and said, "y'know...most people who administer servers do so over Remote Desktop or Powershell" was promptly killed by a flying chair.

  • just say goodbye.
  • The car analogy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:26PM (#43096101)

    I bought some tires for my car and they came with locking lug-nuts. The lug-nuts are weird in that, once fastened, nobody can undo them except for the tire manufacturer. If I want to use the tires on another car, I have to call them and they will allow me to move the tires to a different vehicle.

    And I would choose to buy these tires why?

    • by Githaron (2462596) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:36PM (#43096199)
      Because the only way to guarantee that your tires are 100% compatible with the roads on the way to work is to buy those tires.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EvanED (569694)

      And I would choose to buy these tires why?

      What if the tires gave you better traction on the road in your common driving conditions than the alternatives? In such a case, why wouldn't you buy those tires? Do you have two cars but only one set of tires, and you move the tires back and forth depending on what car you want to drive?

      (Just to clarify, I'm not arguing that MS Office is better than the alternatives for everyone or everything. But I do think it's better than the alternatives for some things, just li

      • In such a case, why wouldn't you buy those tires?

        Well, maybe, just maybe, because the increase in traction doesn't improve the driving experience or the safety of the drive to the extent that "upgrading" would outweigh the inconvenience of locking nuts on the wheel? Because your incidence of having a flat tire is higher than your incidence of skidding due to loss of traction? Because I don't drive like a freaking maniac on the way to and from work and, thus, don't need "better traction"? I can think of a l

        • by EvanED (569694)

          Well, maybe, just maybe, because the increase in traction doesn't improve the driving experience or the safety of the drive to the extent that "upgrading" would outweigh the inconvenience of locking nuts on the wheel? Because your incidence of having a flat tire is higher than your incidence of skidding due to loss of traction? Because I don't drive like a freaking maniac on the way to and from work and, thus, don't need "better traction"? I can think of a lot of reasons, most of which indicate that someone

    • Re:The car analogy? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by poofmeisterp (650750) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @04:59PM (#43097101) Journal

      I bought some tires for my car and they came with locking lug-nuts. The lug-nuts are weird in that, once fastened, nobody can undo them except for the tire manufacturer. If I want to use the tires on another car, I have to call them and they will allow me to move the tires to a different vehicle.

      And I would choose to buy these tires why?

      It guarantees that your tires are "Genuine". They haven't been secretly swapped with other tires with similar names or have shoddy workmanship. They are 100% unquestionably AwesomeTires(r)(sm).

    • by QilessQi (2044624) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @05:03PM (#43097151)

      ...can someone explain that post using a computer analogy?

    • And don't forget: In this analogy tires outlive a car by a big factor, although most people throw them away with the car after a couple of years.
  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:37PM (#43096223)

    Calls to customer support will be necessary, as the activation servers won't be updated for a few months.

    A few MONTHS for a simple business-rule change?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We are all forever in your debt! Where would the computing world be without Microsoft's amazing software and generous licensing terms?

  • Several months? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sydin (2598829) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:43PM (#43096273)
    I applaud the change itself, but stretching the timeframe to actually having a good system implemented will do Microsoft no good. I hope they're okay with rampant piracy, since it will be more convenient to just pirate a new copy of Office 2013, rather than fumble around with Microsoft's customer support for a day while they double check my name, phone number, social security number, hair color, and genome sequence to make absolutely sure I really am the same one who bought that license in the first place.
  • I was going to buy Office 2013 for my current machine, planning to move it to a new one soon. Then the no move dictate came out. So, I didnâ(TM)t buy 2013. Now, I may upgrade. Microsoft just screwing with their users again.
    • You do not want Office 2013. It is blinding white and very very ugly. Unless you colaborate with large groups of people with salesforce and cloud apps used in the office 2013 appstore there is no reason.

      I like the appstore and new free developer tools for it! But I view it like Vista/Windows 8 where it is unbaked but a new groundwork to work from there. Office 2015 will fix this I am sure with Windows 9.

      If your hardware is old just do what XP loyalists and corps do. Put Windows 7 and Office 2010 on. It will

  • by MLCT (1148749) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @03:55PM (#43096431)
    They tried to make MS office 2013 a rental rather than a purchase - and by doing that they make an office365 rental a psychologically easier next step for ordinary users.

    If they had gotten away with it then all they would have done is driven people to libreoffice (and by people I mean average people, not corporate or SOHOs) - as an average person is not interested in home computing becoming a rental experience. MS need to accept that, even if they donâ(TM)t like it.

    There is still the unresolved question of what happens if MS disappears in 15 years time and I want to install a copy of office 2013 that I bought. Does whoever buys the assets of MS just say "tough, get lost and buy something new", do they say "ok we will activate it, but pay us a $20 handling fee", or do they say "sure, no problem".
  • Who would have guessed?

    So now I might take advantage of the 2013 upgrade offer that came with my Office 2012 Student and Home pack I bought recently.

    This makes me hate MS less. Still ticked off about when they bought Bungie though.

    • by gewalker (57809)

      Hey, no reason to back off on Microsoft Hatred just because of this.. Feel free to hate them for the rest of eternity -- I plan too.

      Of course, since I am going to heaven, I don't expect to see much of Bill Gates or Steve Balmer (or Steve Jobs, or Scott McNealy, or Larry Ellison, or Mark Zuckerberg etc.)

    • by kms_one (1272174)
      This was going to be the nail in the coffin for future upgrading of office. Already at work I've been using 2010 for a few months and it just isn't as good as 2007. Going from 2003 to 2007 was a big learning curve with the new ribbon, but 2010 changed the behavior and keyboard shortcuts without adding any features that I've found.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @04:34PM (#43096871) Journal

    No. Microsoft doesn't give a rat's ass about negative customer feedback. The only reason they changed their tune on license transfer of Office 2013, is that the EU has fined them over half a billion, reminding MS that someone is watching. Someone with a big, scary stick.

  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @04:59PM (#43097097)
    That still doesn't make Office a good buy. I'd still rather download Libre Office and get going now for free.
  • I ain't gonna buy that bloated pig anyway!!
  • by JasoninKS (1783390) on Wednesday March 06, 2013 @11:59PM (#43101233)
    Too many companies just refuse to "get it". Fifteen, heck even 10, years ago you could screw with customers, they'd write in, and that would be the end of it. You may or may not do anything different. But this is a vastly different world now and companies just don't understand that! It use to be that 1 happy customer might tell 3 friends. An unhappy customer would tell 10 friends. But with the internet and social media, 1 happy customer can tell 20 friends, but 1 hacked off customer can tell thousands in an instant! It was one thing if you got 10 letters back in the day, waaay different if you hear thousands of customers ripping on you in hours. And tech companies seem oblivious to the fact that when it comes to technology in today's world, customers often have free or less expensive alternatives that are, fairly often, pretty equal in quality or features.

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