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Is the new Office 365 Licensing the Future?

03/04/2013 by: The SunView Team

Updated 3/6/2013

The licensing plan for Microsoft Office was introduced over a month ago now. There are 2 new versions - Office 2013 and Office 365. You can check out a cool infographic on what's in and what's out. Well, the new plans have caused more than a few eyebrows to rise. It has also raised some serious questions about where the software industry is headed. And of course the IT Organization has to determine how to respond to all of the changes.

In past posts, I have talked about the new Windows 8 OS and interface and how the BYOD paradigm may force the IT Organization to adopt the new OS in spite of their best intentions. So, how is the licensing plan for Office going to drive change?

In a TechRepublic poll question: Will you subscribe to Office 2013 or get a standalone version? 52% of IT pros prefer a standalone version.

"Even though the standalone version costs more for less features, it is the way readers prefer to receive their software - at least for now. It will be interesting to see how the responses change over time. Is it possible that next year more readers will be subscribing rather than purchasing standalone versions?"

You can read more about the new licensing in Ed Bott's blog post, "Big changes in Office 2013 and Office 365 test Microsoft customers' loyalty."

  • The Office 365 subscription or the single user copies of Office 2013, comes with no physical media, you receive a product key code.
  • Simply navigate to office.com/setup where you download the applications.
  • A single user copy of Office 2013 is not actually licensed to a user instead the software license is PERMANENTLY assigned to the device where the software is originally activated.

We live a world that is constantly changing and part of that change is how we interact with technology, or how it interacts with us. We in IT have been more comfortable than most with the ever increasing time we spend "plugged-in." Remember, not everyone is a techie, even friends who are gamers or sci-fi fans, may be intimidated by the amount of time that we IT types are plugged in.

Yes, most of our friends are now so addicted to touching their smart phones, that they have withdrawal symptoms if they are forced to leave their phones behind during dinner!

But the new plan from Microsoft goes one giant step further. Nobody likes to update software, as a matter of fact, we don't care if we own it. Obsolete before the disc is burned at the factory, as we install the software, we have to update it. Why? I don't want to have the best, newest, fastest, oh, actually I do. So, the best way to have that, is to not own a physical copy, but have a virtual copy. That way, I will always have access to the newest, fastest, best, coolest - oh, enough about me.

So does an annual licensing plan make sense and how will this move impact the IT Organization?

I would like to hear from my readers on this licensing change.

Well, Microsoft heard me loud and clear and has changed the Office 2013 licensing. You can read more about it here.

Flickr Image: Paul Keller

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