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The Thieves at Microsoft

See Loathing for Microsoft — Product Key.

I just want to use the software I paid for (that is, the license I paid for allowing me the user of the software).

There is no way to deactivate Microsoft Office from an old computer so as to use the license on a replacement. From

You will only be able to remove Office from the first machine but you can't deactivate it. Microsoft has no method for deactivation so they give you a bit of leeway and assume you're changing machines when trying to activate on another computer.

I am out of licenses, even though I use MS Office on only two computers, now down to one as I switch over to the new MacBook Pro Retina. And soon down to zero, as the main computer will change soon also (any boot drive change kills one license).

When I called, Microsoft refuses to add licenses even though all of them have been long since vaporized (old machines, etc). There is no “reset and let me reauthorize”.

I cannot deactivate the prior laptop to use Office on the new one, because Microsoft provides no way to do so.

This is just plain simple theft. As in stealing, as in taking from me what I have paid for. The technical reasons are irrelevant; Microsoft has taken my money, then taken back what I paid for (by their willful incompetence).

I call this stealing, because it deprives me of my property (the right to use the software on my computer, not the software itself of course). My only two options are:

  1. Call Microsoft (India over garbled VOIP). Beg to activate one license (this worked once). Waste 20 minutes of my time doing so. But my time is quite valuable and hardly “free’; it is an economic loss to me. This is THEFT of my time. And it has to be repeated over and over.
  2. Buy a new Microsoft Office pack, with more keys. This is an infuriating way to go, I’d rather ditch Office entirely, but I have years of investment in MS Office spreadsheets, and they do not convert well, especially graphs. This too is THEFT, since I already paid for keys that have been stolen from me by Microsoft incompetence (providing no way to deactivate).

I will lose more keys as I switch boot drives in the future. So Microsoft will continue to steal what I have paid for. A pox on Microsoft.

One reader lectures me that I should have read the license agreement (where does it say that I cannot change machines or even machine configuration?!) and/or negotiate other terms with Microsoft (ummm, sure that’ll work great), or never installed it, that I “had my chance” to read and reject an agreement (that only a trained IP attorney could possible understand, and BTW it does not address this isuse other than to say I am allowed to do what I am asking to do!), etc. I don’t know what fantasy land that reader lives in, but pass the bong and inhale I guess.

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