Microsoft confirmed a few days back that the new licensing terms in Office 2013 does actually tie a perpetual license of the suite to a computer on which it was installed first – meaning that if a PC is dead the Office license dies along with it. This confirmation led to an internet frenzy prompting websites across the web suggesting alternatives to Office 2013.

In a blog post that details the licensing terms of Office 2013 and how it compares to Office 2010’s terms, Redmond does admit that the license of the latest office productivity suite is indeed tied to a single PC but has clarified that it would allow users to transfer license if their computers failed while under warranty.

“An exception is granted when the software is on a PC that is replaced under warranty,” Microsoft noted in the blog post. There is a catch here though. Users whose systems fail just days after the warranty period has expired will have no other choice but to go for a new license.

Microsoft was lambasted for the manner in which it went about explaining and equating the licensing terms of Office 2013 and Office 2010. It went on to compare full retail copies of Office 2013 with that of Office 2010’s Product Key Card (PKC). It was understood and agreed upon by all users that OEM versions and PKC licenses were non-transferrable. But Microsoft did allow users to install a Full Package Product (FPP) version of Office 2010 on two or three systems. Beyond this the license was even transferrable in case PC was replaced.

Another point worth noting in the blog post is Microsoft’s explanation about consistency of Office 2013 license with that of Office 2010 PKS. Microsoft notes, “It is important to note that Office 2013 suites have consistent rights and restrictions regarding transferability as the equivalent Office 2010 PKC, which was chosen by a majority of Office 2010 customers worldwide.”

So considering this, Office 2013 license should have been transferrable but, it is not. This is where it is difficult to understand how Office 2013’s retail license is comparable to that of Office 2010’s PKC. The absence of PKC in Office 2013 complicates the things further as the latest version has only two variants – an OEM version and a perpetual off-the-shelf retail version.

What’s your take on this? Let us know in the comments section.