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Office 2011 for Mac requires activation?

updated 11:00 pm EDT, Fri October 22, 2010

License limited to one Mac, can be "reassigned"

Among the many changes in Microsoft Office 2011 is the arrival of product "activation" done via internet or by phone -- a first for Office on the Mac, a recent blog post from Office for Mac Help has revealed. The site, which is an unofficial resource for Mac Office users, cites the Office 2011 End User License Agreement (EULA) as its source. The activation ties the use of the software to a specific device and reveals other information (such as the IP address and hardware configuration), but can be reassigned to another device any number of times, limited to once every 90 days.

The Home & Student Edition of Microsoft Office 2011 (Family Pack version) still has three licenses, but in the 2008 edition each license was good for one desktop and one laptop install, meaning up to six Macs in a household could run the software. The 2011 license limits each activation to one device, cutting the number of allowable machines in half. Home & Business editions offer a 1-license and 2-license version.

Information sent to Microsoft during the activation process includes the version, license version, language and product key of the software as well as the IP address and hardware profile of the device. The post did not specify the details of what's included in the "hardware configuration" report.

Licenses can be reassigned to different devices, but are restricted from doing so more often than once every 90 days. If a device is "retired" (ie will not be used again due to sale or failure), users can contact Microsoft to reassign licenses sooner. [via]

by MacNN Staff





  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yup, it's sadly true

    I installed it on a test machine in our shop yesterday to see what it looked like. It activates at the end of installation.

    And it has the same ugly interface as Office 2007.

    Might be time to switch to iWork after all.

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No joy

    The EULA is moot because I will never buy Office again. I lived in Excel - - 20 years ago, before it became so bloated. Two decades of bloatware drove me to Open Office and Numbers; Powerpoint -> Keynote; Word -> Text Edit, Pages, Omni Outliner and InDesign.

    I really do want MS to provide good products and add competition to the tech space, by MS appears to be toast. MS is losing market share in every category, and based on the quality of what they are doing I see no end to that trend.

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft, you lost me at activation

    Office 2008 is the last version that I will pay for from Microsoft.

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MS Office or an Office

    My problem with MS Office is just one: Compatibility with other software.

    Microsoft designs is Office Suite, in a functional way to work only and most with Microsoft products. If you have to work with other systems, or even other Office Suites they will difficult your work as must as they can.

    Try to open a Document created on MS Word with iWork, or OpenOffice, or StarOffice. You will found some write formatation problems in most situations. But if you create a DOC or XLS file on OpenOffice or iWork and try to open on MS Office, it will work. And this happens because Microsoft does not want to use international standards or approved norms, as other use.

    So my opinion about MS Office, is that is a good product to work with Microsoft products, but lacks compatibility and international norms, so is like a web trap. Once you fallow there you will struggle always to escape from it.

  1. infowarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's not that bad (office 11) but ...

    ... the only reason I'd use it is because iWork has little niggling stupid things that preclude it from being a serious contender as an Office substitute, even for routine tasks at home. Most annoing, why doesn't iWork allow folks to save as an RTF or DOC or DOCX format automatically instead of forcing users to click through the 'export' function? That's just stupid imho.

    I've played w/Office 2011 and find it much better than 2008's look and performance at least on my initial playing arund with it. ... if you turn off the ribbons and such, it can look almost like Office 2004, which is what I'm moving from at home.

    Activation is something contrary to the Mac way of life ... tho I'm not thrilled with the idea, even though I pay for software that I use.

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wow Microsoft just sunk to Abobe's level.

  1. cartoonspin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can you imagine...

    If your mac dies after installing office, you try getting a new computer and you can't install the software that you just purchased? Yeah, I agree MS Office 2008 is the last for me. I'm moving on to open office...

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Activation? Really?

    That's so 20th century

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thanks, Microsoft...

    ...for helping along iWork.

    While I was surprised that iWork didn't get rev'd last week, I have no doubt that a new version of iWork is forthcoming, and will bring along much needed performance enhancements (notably 64-bit, which Office isn't, and additional compatibility & features.

    One more revision of iWork, and it's effectively "Buh Bye" Office.

    Oh, and Entour.... Outlook for Mac? Still sucks as much as Entourage did -- what a predictably S***** job from the MacBU...

  1. gskibum3

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's the Issue?

    If this is such a deal breaker, then just use different software!

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