Microsoft not actually upgrading Office 2010 purchases

Like many users in the realm, I became frustrated with lost features provided by my old Outlook 2003, retained when I installed Office 2007 Home and School.  Now seemed like an excellent time to upgrade, since I could obtain a “Free Upgrade” to Office 2013 with my purchase of the 2010 product.

I have several computers; however, I chose Office 2010 Home and Business, [T5D-00417], that includes a license agreement to install the system on my two primary computers, one desktop and one laptop.  I waited for Microsoft to announce the upgrade, but became suspicious of the “download only” nature of the offer, so I contacted their customer support to verify I could update both products.

I purchased every version of Office since the '95 product, including versions of the complete “Professional” package.  In the past, Microsoft offered mail-in upgrades to the newer product during a published period, making the waiting game for a new product unnecessary.  The upgrades always included complete licensing and products comparative to the original purchase.

It was a good thing I asked for a verification of their current policy; this is their reply confirmed in a second Email:

Microsoft Store Email Support: “ . . . Regardless of the version of Office 2010 that you purchase the licensing for the 2013 Upgrade only allows it to be installed on one computer and it cannot be transferred to another computer in the future.  I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Sheila K”.

The policy was confirmed by a second Email, signed by “Jerry K”.

They are not offering an upgrade of the license, they are providing one non-transferable copy of the new software.  My wife will confirm, at times I can be a little blind; however, I could not find this information on their site or promotion.

I believe it is disingenuous and deceptive for Microsoft to refer to this as an “Upgrade”, a term that implies it conforms to the license use agreement of the original product.  As stated, this is at best a provisional license that cannot be re-installed.  Based on their comments: if your PC with Office 2013 dies, you may be out of luck.  In addition, I suspect any corruption of the download install will be at your own risk.

I suggested to Microsoft this process was unfair to individuals who purchased multi-install licenses, and they should re-label their new offer as: “One Download Copy of Microsoft 2013 Available After Purchase of Office 2010”.  Needless to say, they did not respond to that component of my request.

It seems Microsoft is in the process of altering their business model to “Pay for Use” Office 365, where you will pay an annual fee similar to current anti-virus programs.  I do not consider that an option.  Norton continually attempts to charge $75 per machine when I can purchase 3-PC licenses on sale for $20.

If you are unhappy, let Microsoft know []; but most of all, if you are considering purchasing Office 2010 as a road to obtain the 2013 product, beware! If you are thinking of taking advantage of the Microsoft program to upgrade Office 2010 packages purchased after October 19th, please read this first, then make your decision.

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