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Not Even Office Gets to Undermine Windows Store Rules

You can learn about Office 2013 in the Windows Store, but you can't buy it there

Microsoft’s latest Office suite is listed in Windows Store, the online storefront for Windows 8 and Windows RT. But because it’s a desktop application, you can’t actually buy it from Windows Store. And that’s exactly as it should be … until or unless Microsoft changes the rules.

You can find Office 2013 by searching for Office and sorting the results by newest.

(Note that Microsoft is trying to get away from version numbers on products, like Office, that will be updated like online services going forward. So if you search for Office 2013, you won’t find it.)

I recently opined that Microsoft should sell carefully curated desktop applications in Windows Store and open up desktop applications to Windows RT as well. (The recent issues with Outlook RT, related to battery life, partially explain why this isn’t currently feasible. But realistically, Microsoft is moving past the desktop as well.)

But until or unless Microsoft changes its policies, developers can list—but not offer for sale or download—desktop applications in Windows Store. That’s because (Metro) apps sold through this store have to abide by a strict set of licensing rules, which include letting users install those apps on five PCs and devices. Office 2013 is only licensable for one PC. (Office 365 Home Premium, of course, provides for 5 Office 2013 installs per household, and Office 365 Small Business Premium provides for 5 per user.)

Anyway, not a big deal. Just nice to see Microsoft following its own rules and not creating an in-house exception.

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