Microsoft has changed its mind about a policy that made a lot of consumers angry.  The company previously announced that if you purchased Office 2013 and the computer it was installed on failed, you were just out of luck. You would not be permitted to install Office on another computer. This was part of a push to encourage users to switch to the subscription model Microsoft Office Home Premium 365 , which costs $99 a year for a license good on up to five devices in your household. The one-time purchase products ranged from $140 to $400.

Now Microsoft says you can transfer your Office license to another computer that belongs to you or to another person’s computer as long as both of you agree to the terms of use.  You can still only license it to one computer at a time. If your computer fails or you just upgrade to a newer model, you can put the program on another computer. You’re only allowed to do this every 90 days unless there’s a hardware failure. This is effective immediately, so if you’ve already purchased Office 2013, your program is included.

The company says it’s responding to consumer feedback (a polite way of saying “lots of angry people”) and that a key ingredient to the company’s success is listening to their customers.

So, if you’re deciding between a single-license Office and the Office 365 Home Premium subscription, concern over losing Office for good if your computer crashes or is stolen, no longer has to factor in that choice.  I’m in the trial period of Office 365 right now myself and this has certainly given me food for thought.

~ Cynthia