Customer Reviews: Office Home & Student 2013 Key Card 1PC/1User
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on February 3, 2013
I have never been a Microsoft hater, as many are. But the love is certainly gone. Welcome to the beginning of the end of an economical Office purchase (with one exception, which I'll get to later).

Ready to get your new 2013 Home & Student with 3 licenses? Forget about it: they're gone forever. Pay Microsoft your $140 and they will give you a THIRD of what they used to give you for that price: 1 license, not 3.

It gets worse: Are you familiar with Microsoft's big push for "Office 365"? Get familiar with it because this is the last time you will even be able to "buy" Office: you RENT Office 365, you don't own it. It's a subscription service. And it is the future of Office. Don't like the fact that you now have to pay $280 for your desktop and notebook copies of Office (1 $140 license for each)? Say hello to $100 PER YEAR for Office 365. And that will be at LEAST $400 if you use it for more than 3 years.

The one positive aspect of 365 is that it covers up to 5 PC's, so a family will probably save money on the deal. However, if you are single or a couple with 2 or 3 computers, you will pay at least $300 over the average 3-year lifespan of an Office edition. Go one day over 3 years (requiring a 4th-year subscription) and it's $400. For something you paid $125 or so for until now (Office 2010 H&S with 3 licenses was $125).

Yes, I'm giving Microsoft 1 star: Forget about the merits of Office 2013, it's the greed and manipulative practices of Microsoft that need to be exposed here. One day in the not-too-distant future Microsoft will make sure "owned" editions of Office (perpetual licenses) will not work with new editions of Windows (e.g., Windows 10) so that you MUST subscribe to 365. Worse, you will have to ALWAYS subscribe if you want to read and edit your Word or Excel docs, use OneNote, etc.: the apps are DISABLED the minute your subscription lapses. This IS their plan. So, I encourage others to give Office 2013 a 1-star review to voice your displeasure over this 200% price increase and Microsoft's nefarious plans on making Office an extortion racket (they will be able to demand higher and higher 365 fees because you can't say no - unless you're willing to lose years worth of documents).

P.S. One other reason to hate this change in Office: the one license you get is now machine-specific, tied to that machine ID upon install. If that computer dies or if you decide to get a new PC, you now must buy another copy of Office: no migrating/transfering allowed anymore. Another $140. Nice.

ADDENDUM 5 May 2013

Many who loathe the idea of renting Office have asked, 'Do I abandon Office and find a free suite [OpenOffice, etc.] now, or wait until I'm forced into Office 365?'. Well, just so you know, MS recently announced that it will continue to support Windows 7 to at least 2020, probably longer. That means that if you have Office 2010 or 2013 and run either W7 or W8, your owned (perpetual license) Office product will run fine until probably 2025 or later, as long as you keep W7 or 8 as your OS (and, who knows, perhaps Windows 9 will be compatible as well). If you have Office 2007 or earlier, I would get my hands on a 2010 with 3 licenses, pronto. There's nothing earth-shatteringly special about 2013 and many hate it compared to 2010, even aside from the pricing/licensing nonsense.
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on February 2, 2013
Let's face it, if you've used Microsoft Office in the past then you know pretty much what you're getting with this software. There is nothing revolutionary or life changing about the 2013 version of this software. There are minor tweaks here and there, but nothing to get excited about. It works as it should.

But, the biggest difference that I noticed was that this new version is non-transferable between computers, and you can only install it on 1 PC. In past versions, you were able to make one software purchase and outfit your whole household (up to 3 PCs) with Microsoft Office. No more.

This 2013 version clearly states that it is only for 1 user, and 1 PC. So, if you have more than one PC in your home, you will need to make multiple purchases of this software. Also, if your computer dies or you decide to replace it with a new one, guess what? Yep, you guessed it, you'll spend another $140 to re-install Office2013 on your new computer.

I am a fan of Microsoft Office programs, and I've used them for many years, but this new "non-transferable" policy is an important thing to know when making a buying decision. I hope this review has been helpful.

UPDATE 3-19-2013:
Microsoft has recently changed its user agreement allowing you to transfer the software to a different computer. If your PC dies or you get a new one, you can transfer the software license to the new computer. While this is a step in the right direction, unfortunately this is just a half-measure. The policy still only allows installation on just 1 PC, contrary to previous versions which allowed installation on up to 3 PCs. Those who have more than one PC will still have to make multiple purchases.
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on April 7, 2013
I have been a loyal Microsoft customer since Windows 3.1. This will be the first Office suite that I will not buy due to the changes in licensing. This is a feeble attempt at pushing people to the cloud, but guess what? I won't be using the cloud either. As a person who upgrades and builds his own custom PCs, the new licensing policy is cost prohibitive. I highly recommend saving the money moving to OpenOffice instead. I am also responsible for software decisions at my place of employment, and we will be avoiding Office 2013 in favor of Office 2010 and OpenOffice, depending on individual requirements. Microsoft made a very poor decision changing their licensing policy.
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on February 17, 2013
Lets face it, there hasnt been a single major development in spreadsheet layout, features, tools and commands since EXCEL 2000, everything added has been either cosmetic or bug fixing or OS driven.... Same goes by the way with Apple's Numbers spread app.. both boring for the last 10 years, maybe because tables arent supposed to be rich? Anyway I have never seen such an arrogant approach from a software developer and here MS is the king Greedy I, no upgrading prices for the millions of loyal owner of MS Office ?? No even for the academic users?? I wonder if Gates and Balmer really meant that MS was committed with improving education because if this is how they are contributing to this goal, it doesnt look good.

I purchase one license to test for myself how great and improved 2013 versus 2010 is... surprise surprise it is more than 95% the same so DONT BUY 2013! If you want to buy a MS Office buy the 2010 3 users or better yet just simply download OpenOffice for free and be happy .
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on February 18, 2013
This is just one former customer's view but I suspect it speaks for many.

When the new version of Windows came out in 2012, I tried it and hated it so much that I switched to a Mac laptop. Now that MS Office 2013 has its "One PC policy", my relationship with Microsoft has come to an end. I've now bought my last MS product of any type. I shouldn't have to purchase the same software again just for upgrading my computer system -- and in fact, I won't. I also dont' feel like being forced into an endless subscription service just to maintain access to my own data. The current fees are reasonable but I can't predict what sort of terms or pricing MS may seek in the future. Further, I travel all over the world and often do not have access to steady Internet connections. This makes any setup where I have to keep regular Internet access a huge negative.

I do not intend to purchase this product (despite my affection for MS Office in the past) and plan to upgrade all future computer purchases to Apple. The Windows-based purchases for my household have come to an end as I don't intend to upgrade any Windows operating systems in my family.

I suspect there is a good Mac software package that will give me basic word processing and spreadsheet abilities. I can easily learn to live without the rest. I'm going to transfer all my data to a non-Microsoft proprietary format and strongly suggest all other customers do the same. Microsoft does not own my data and I shouldn't have to rent access to it, which is what this licensing is really designed to do. None of the customer base should tolerate such restrictions. Given Microsoft's attempt, even if they change this policy, I won't be returning to them as a customer.

As for any specific improvements in MS Office for 2013, I can't say what they might be or whether they are worth the price as I fully admit, I don't ever intend to purchase this product, for the exact reasons stated above.
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on February 25, 2013
I wish I could make this "0" star. This is highway robbery and greed. Rich Microsoft is just trying to rip off customers with this 1yr/1PC mess. It is already difficult trying to educate our kids, so suppose you have several children who need PC's for school. Even my 1st grader is required to have a PC and do her homework on it now, take it to school, etc. And with so much homework for each child, they cannot share a PC. Also, computers get "old" real fast and we have to buy new ones---and them a new Office product each time!! Come on!!! This is one big ripoff by Microsoft. Apple-here comes a lot of traditional Microsoft users.
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on February 12, 2013
I'm disgusted to find out today that I COULD NOT get to documents that I needed for work b/c my Microsoft had "locked" them. We have two computers, and are a small business. I find this kind of business tactic appalling and greedy beyond the pale. To hold my documents hostage like this is unbelievable. It is my hope that someone out there is developing a fairer system that allows one to truly own their work product and the means to working on them. I'm wondering how many people with kids and extended families, and those you are more economically disadvantaged will be able to work on computers? Shame on Microsoft.
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on February 28, 2013
The price of this one product key that is tied to one computer has skyrocketed. I just bought office 3 years ago and then my computer died, so on top of having to buy a new laptop, I have to either subscribe to Office 365 for $99 a year or pay $140 for this - which will soon be obsolete and if my computer breaks or is stolen, I lose my office too! I miss the days when office was affordable and if my work didn't absolutely require me to have Office, I would not spend a dime on this. I will be pushing for change at work asap and I will not buy Office on our other computers.
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on February 19, 2013
Produc key seemed convenient, but yikes. This was a major farkup. Got the key and tried to install. Wouldn't work. Was told by Microsoft tech that it's because I use a wi-fi connection for internet. Said nothing of this on the box. SO, I ended up spending about 4 hours on the phone over two days with Microsoft, two of those hours at my parent's house, so that Microsoft could download the program onto my computer for me. They were very nice, but was a pain. Works great, I suppose, though I don't think I like Windows 8. Oh well...
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on July 25, 2015
I have Windows 7 and had a problem downloading the software. I go to to load it, click on "Get Started", and from there you have to create an account before you can download. Then it tells you "Email sent - The Microsoft account team just sent a message to your email address. If it's not in your inbox, check again in a few minutes or check your junk mail." This is to confirm you email address. The email came in my junk mail from Microsoft account team In the body of the email you see "Verify" (your email address) "or you may be asked to enter this security code:___". There is nothing else to tell you what to do next once you click on your email address because it composes an email with your email address. I never received a confirmation so I couldn't set up an account. I thought I was doing something wrong, and tried to verify about 5 times. You can't chat or call anyone for assistance. So, I returned this crap. I received product on time, and is not a reflection on the Vendor. I blame MICROSOFT for not providing clearer instructions in their confirmation email.
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