What's all this about Office 2013 "dying"?

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What's all this about Office 2013 "dying"?

If you buy Office 2013, there's the possibility you won't be able to re-install the same copy if you switch to a new computer in the future.

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge on Microsoft’s new Office 2013, then take note of a "gotcha" eagle-eyed fine print readers have spotted.

Adam Turner reported for The Age that all the retail editions of Microsoft’s Office 2013 are a single license, meaning the software is "non-transferrable" between PCs.

In other words, as various web sites are reporting, you can run Office on the one specific computer and you cannot at any point re-install the software onto a different computer.

This isn't necessarily a big deal for all users, but it might be good to be aware of it.

As the sites we've linked to above have pointed out, it also means that if your computer "dies" then in effect your Office license "dies" with it.

This isn't a new concept. We're not going to delve into the fine detail of licensing stipulations, but for those interested we highly recommend you read Adam Turner's article.

As we've pointed out before - the new Office is available in two types. While Office 2013 comes with the single computer restriction, Office 365 (which you pay a yearly fee for), gives you up to 10 licenses.

Our advice

How the new Office icons look on a Windows 8 tablet

As we've outline in various articles about Office 2013 and 365, there are pros and cons to both.

The positive for users of both versions is the new tablet-friendly interface and built-in feature for saving everything online.

Office 365 is a good choice if you want to be able to install the new Office on two different computers (perhaps a laptop and your main desktop computer) or the peace of mind that you will be able to use it on a new computer should you buy one.

If you have one computer, don't see yourself needing a new computer for a couple of years at least and don't want to pay a yearly fee, then perhaps Office 2013 will be more attractive.

Overall though, it's clear that Microsoft has stacked the deck in favour of Office 365. Not only can you install it on more than one computer, but there are other perks, like automatic updates without you needing to fiddle around with the software.

Of course you can always stick with an older version of Microsoft Office such as the 2010 edition. Keep in mind though, that according to Adam Turner's article, some versions of Office 2010 cannot be installed on more than one computer either.


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