Microsoft Office 2013 vs. Lease License

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Microsoft Office 2013 is strictly a Node Lock License – however, it can be compared to a Lease License. Office 2013 licensing specifically allows a license to be moved from one computer to another every 90 days. As described in a Microsoft blog post :

Can I transfer the software to another computer or user? You may transfer the software to another computer that belongs to you, but not more than one time every 90 days (except due to hardware failure, in which case you may transfer sooner). If you transfer the software to another computer, that other computer becomes the “licensed computer.” You may also transfer the software (together with the license) to a computer owned by someone else if a) you are the first licensed user of the software and b) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement before the transfer. Any time you transfer the software to a new computer, you must remove the software from the prior computer and you may not retain any copies.

Let’s compare this to a Lease License with a 90 day duration. Under the Microsoft terms, you could use Office on Computer A on days 1-90, then move the license to Computer B on day 91 and use it there. Under the 90 day Lease License though, if you used the software on days 1-90, the lease would be extended through day 180. If you only used the software on Computer A on day 1, then the license would be returned on day 91 and could be used for Computer B. So here the Lease Licenses is actually more strict. This does guarantee though that when the Lease license is returned, it has certainly been 90 days total since it was first on Computer A.

Under Microsoft terms, you are specifically required to uninstall the software on computer A. While a Lease License will automate reallocation of licenses in a way that satisfies the 90 day rule, it will not do anything to uninstall software. So to maintain compliance you would need to do manual followup. We have an internal report, Node Lock (PLCY x comp), that shows each computer that has software that is controlled by a Node Lock license. In cases where the license is not locked, and has not been used recently on a computer, this report advises that it should be uninstalled. In the next version of the report that we release, 7.0.1.4, it will also have an option to “Include Lease Licenses”.

So, the policy itself would take care of reallocation, then an administrator could use this report to make sure the uninstalls are not forgotten. It is important to note that even before the software is uninstalled, it will not be allowed to run, unless the computer is able to once again receive a Lease License. If the Lease is now full, attempting to launch on the original computer would result in a failure message.

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2 Responses to “Microsoft Office 2013 vs. Lease License”

  1. GuestOctober 28, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    In terms of uninstalling the software to comply with their terms – there is the argument that could be made of what constitutes an “uninstallation”. If the software is installed but unable to launch (due to K2) doesn’t that satisfy the requirement? That is, even if there are Microsoft office files on a PC, but they are rendered useless due to K2 – isn’t that enough? Perhaps it won’t be known unless it is ultimately tested in court. However, I believe using K2 as the “software librarian” does enforce the spirit (if not the letter) of the law.

    True, if the K2 client is uninstalled and the software was controlled as unkeyed, then the K2 “librarian” is disabled, and therefore the need to uninstall Microsoft would be needed.

  2. GuestOctober 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    In terms of uninstalling the software to comply with their terms – there is the argument that could be made of what constitutes an “uninstallation”. If the software is installed but unable to launch (due to K2) doesn’t that satisfy the requirement? That is, even if there are Microsoft office files on a PC, but they are rendered useless due to K2 – isn’t that enough? Perhaps no one will ever know unless it is ultimately tested in court. However, I believe using K2 as the “software librarian” does enforce the spirit (if not the letter) of the law.

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