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Microsoft Office Installation and Use Rights

A common question we hear is “I have a copy of Microsoft Office. Why can’t I just install it on all of my employee’s computers?”

Microsoft’s Installation and Use Rights do not allow for this type of use. If your business is caught installing Office illegally, you could face fines up to $200,000! To do things legally, you will need to purchase special licensing for the product. Licensing can be a bit confusing, so this post will hopefully clear up some of the confusion. To read an online copy of the licensing agreement, click here.

At ACF, we offer 3 different types of licensing for Microsoft Office.

  1. Original Equipment Manufacturer

    This type of licensing is for pre installed versions of Office software that come when buying a new computer. If you planned to upgrade the computers at your office and needed to have Microsoft Office installed on them, this may be the licensing option for you.

    Pros: Reduced price

    Cons: The copy of Microsoft Office cannot be transferred to another computer. If you had a computer that did not have Microsoft Office installed on it, you could not legally install a version of it using this type of license.
  2. Retail

    Retail licensing stays with the software, meaning that if you upgraded your computer, you could legally install Microsoft Office on the new machine. It allows for use on one desktop and one laptop

    Pros: If you have a desktop and laptop, you can install Microsoft Office without buying another separate license.

    Cons: Two different users cannot legally use the software. So if you installed Microsoft Office on your desktop, you would have to purchase another license to install it on your wife’s computer.
  3. Volume Licensing

    Volume licensing is for commercial use. It’s the best option for a business that wants office installed on their machines, but doesn’t want to upgrade their computers.

    Pros: Multiple people can use Microsoft Office legally. Easy to maintain licenses.

    Cons: Sometimes more expensive, but the legal option.

If you need more information about licensing for Microsoft Office, or you are unsure of which licensing you should purchase, please contact our IT department at 813-235-6357 and choose option 1.

1 comment:

  1. Add this, to the fact that Supreme Court just ruled, "first sale doctrine" cannot be extended to software, and software licensing agreements are considered first (not the possessor).

    It's very important and helpful to know what you "bought" when you paid for a copy of a software.