Microsoft has stated for years that they would like to move Office users to a subscription-based model. They’ve gotten some push-back on this issue before, but now it looks like they’ve gotten serious about it. If you purchase a boxed copy of Office 2013 it will be tied to a single computer. You won’t be able to transfer it to another computer. If something happens to your computer? Tough luck, you won’t be able to activate it again, ever. (Oh, and if you’re using Office on a Mac, Microsoft has a 17% price hike just for you.) In order to move users to the subscription-based Office 360, Microsoft is offering the full Office suite for $99/year and the ability to install it on up to five PCs.
No one should be surprised at Microsoft’s heavy handed tactics. This is what they do. Microsoft has taken this bull-headed attitude toward users for years.
The good news is that there are free alternatives out there. Personally, I use Google Drive (formerly Google Docs). It’s free, it gets the job done and I can access my documents from anywhere I have an Internet connection. And, if you have a Gmail account, you already have Google Drive. Looking for a better version of Microsoft’s OneNote? Check out EverNote. To replace Office from your life completely, take a look at Open Office or LibreOffice. And if that’s not enough for you, Wikipedia has a comparison of office suites.
My question is, why are you using Office? The software just isn’t that good and Word, for example, is way more word processor than what 95% of users need. Maybe you’re stuck with it because of work? Give me your thoughts in the comments.