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Microsoft's big U-turn: Office 2013 licenses now transferable to new PCs after public outcry

Microsoft has reversed course and will allow Office 2013 users to transfer their licenses to another PC in the event that their computer dies or they buy a new machine.

Initially, Microsoft said that an Office 2013 license would only be transferable if the PC on which it was installed died while under warranty. Complaints from customers, however, prompted the Redmond-based company to change that policy.

The change is effective immediately and applies to Office Home and Student 2013, Office Home and Business 2013, Office Professional 2013, and the standalone Office 2013 applications.

Customers, however, can only transfer their Office 2013 license once every 90 days (except in the event of hardware failure).

"At Microsoft, we strive to make Office the very best product to help busy people and families get things done," Jevon Fark with the Microsoft Office team wrote in a blog post. "A key ingredient in our formula for success is listening to our customers, and we're grateful for the feedback behind this change in Office licensing."

As ZDNet pointed out, Microsoft tried to limit transfers with Windows Vista back in 2006, but complaints prompted it to drop the idea.

The subscription-based Office 365, meanwhile, is accessible on up to five devices.