Office 2000 (the upcoming version of Microsoft Office) will be the first
Microsoft application to include mandatory registration. In other words, if
the copy you just installed is not immediately registered by serial number with
Microsoft it will soon disable itself. Microsoft feels the rising cost of
Office will increase the temptation to make "unauthorized" copies.
Since large Windows products like Office must be formally installed (because they make undocumented changes in the registry and elsewhere) it is no longer practical to simply copy them to the hard disk on another machine, so mandatory registration is, effectively, copy protection.
"Home use" (installing an office license also on a home computer) has been in violation of Microsoft's license terms for some time, but most people still consider this "fair use". Now it will be impractical.
Due to licensing changes, price increases and other factors, Gartner Group has warned its corporate customers to plan on a 50% increase in the cost of Microsoft software over the next 3 years. Some companies are already paying several times as much for MS Office as they previously did due to Microsoft withdrawing concurrent licensing. Previously if you had 20 users of Word, but only 5 were ever using it at the same time, you needed 5 licenses. Now you have to have 20 licenses.
Automation Access Recommendation: Unless you must use Microsoft Office because you exchange a lot of actual Office files with other companies or agencies, seriously consider switching to Star Office. Star office is very similar to MS Office (reducing training), costs less, has more liberal licensing and upgrade policies, imports and exports MS Office files, and runs on Windows95/98/NT, OS/2, Linux, Unix, Apple Macintosh and Java based NCs with full file compatibility. Contact Automation Access for details and pricing.
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