Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

OneSecondStreet
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Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by OneSecondStreet »

Hello all, New here. Only found this site yesterday after searching for a batch file method of backing up firefox bookmarks etc. Apologies if I inadvertently break rules or protocols... I have one main question, and some sundries also.

Can someone please help me understand the current licencing of Office products? Years ago, (in simpler times) I remember purchasing a disc or something and you "bought" a licence for, say, Office 2010 or similar. You installed it on your computer and it asked for your key and that was that. It just ran on your computer for as long as your computer didn't die. Now, it seems it's almost impossible to do that, and I have to essentially rent a licence from them on a yearly basis. I don't want to do this (if for no other reason than it sounds creepily like you'll own nothing and be happy). I want my own copy (in as much as whatever "my own copy" means in all the licencing fine print.) Obviously, I'm trying to spend as little as possible because it's more important to get food on the table than a software licence, but I want to do things legally. Can I still buy my own copy? (My essentials would be word, excel, outlook)

For context, I work in an educational institution and so I have my own microsoft account (and email address etc) through there. I've heard that I can use this to have office on my personal computers at home, but I don't understand how that all works. Assuming this is true, is there a way to have office on the computers at home, but have nothing to do with onedrive, or the cloud? I don't want any of our personal files anywhere near onedrive or the cloud in general. (Yes, I'm one of those who understands that the cloud is someone else's computer. I have my own backups on external drives and I'm more than happy with it.) I'm also not clear on, if I were to do that (have office on our personal computers but not backing anything up to the cloud), whether my employer, or microsoft, or anyone else, would suddenly have access to all our personal files. There's nothing that we'd particularly want to hide, there's just nothing we want anyone to see. Any clarity around all this would be great. And now the extra things.

* I've repeatedly gotten pages not loading (even while previewing this) with messages such as "User eileenslounge already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections [1203]". I know sql so I understand what it's on about, but is this normal for this site?
* How do I reply to a private message? I can't see any button anywhere that says "reply". [To the person who PMed me, I'll reply when I figure this out]
* I also can't see any button in the portal that says "Active topics", which would be something like the currently active 30 topics or similar. Is there one?
* I set my notifications to email when PMs were received, but nothing was emailed. I only knew I had a PM when I came back to the site. Is there something else I need to do?
* Finally, is this site basically a general "anything about computers" sort of site? I read the About but I'm not familiar with what Woody's Lounge was.

Thankyou.

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DocAElstein
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by DocAElstein »

Hi, OneSecondStreet (Welcome to Eileen’s Lounge from me).
I can answer just some of the simpler sundries things for now, to get those out of the way for you.. (Things don't move too fast here, so i won't ruin your chance of getting a fuller reply, by me making my reply, as happens in more busy forums).

Email notifications have been a bit quirky here for a while. I have noticed that to be an increasing trend generally in forums and similar internet help site things and comment sections, in recent years. So something perhaps we may have to live with, and just get in the habit of checking in if you recently posted a question. (But make sure you have both of the settings that have something to do with enabling Email notifications, Edit posting defaults and Edit notification options
( https://eileenslounge.com/viewtopic.php ... 73#p315973
https://eileenslounge.com/viewtopic.php ... 74#p274474
)
( Don't get too excited if EMail motifications start working for you. It is quirky. So may not last. I have been around the circle a few times, thinking I could get them working, then they stopped again )


Some SQL ERROR things have been around recently, and a bit more noticeable in recent days. Here is the recent Portal page, and you can see we are currently discussing it in the Lounge Matters sub forum.


Portal page.JPG

The refresh button or key F5 currently seems to mostly get rid of the SQL thing


That Portal page shows some of the Threads most recently replied to. I don't think there is another one, or something like you were asking about, ( Edit: I stand corrected :) ) , ... but the Board Index will show the most recent reply in all the sub forums. Probably just the last reply date is the best to know if the Thread is currently "active". In addition to some experts here most days, I think some very good experts make a pass by here every week or once in a while, and check out the areas of their interest, so you may get a few quicker replies and possibly another a week or so later.
Board Index.JPG


I am also not familiar with the exact origins of Eileen’s Lounge, as I am not one of the originals. It is Office / Windows based, but JIMHO a bit less single minded and a bit in the direction of "anything about computers" , ( and check out the Scuttlebutt , which is just about "anything about anything", Lol )
On a good day, this is a nice friendly human place, against the world wide trend to AI controlled quick short message and answer Zombieness, JIMHO, :)


PMs may be restricted initially, to a new member, as part of some anti – spam thing. I think probably once an Admin notices you are kosher, then any initial restrictions of that sort may be removed, but I am not totally sure of this forum’s software workings in that respect.


Your main question I am a bit nervous myself about discussing, at least not yet. Sorry.
I am hoping that some time in the future I can help people better to get a legal stable stand alone older version, but I am not quite there yet. It is possible, but controversial. I am not quite at a confident enough level to discuss it, just yet.
I think Microsoft are all out to organise that you effectively rent from them and that the thing in front of you is a terminal connected to a Microsoft main frame or similar, (maybe to compete with Smart Phones, that "have you" from day one)
I have a good set of stable older stand alone Office versions in the range from Office versions from 12 - 21 years ago. I have some hope they will last and work for me as I want them to for as long as I last…
Some professionals who, at work, are forced to use the latest Office versions, and possibly also have to use at work the "on line" or "subscription versions", they prefer to use older stand alone versions at home. But not all. Opinions vary, mine are just mine, :)
I believe there are still stand alone newest Office versions. I am less familiar with them. Just my personal experience, that's all, - any improvements after 2013 did not out way problems I personally experienced. I expect the newest stand alone versions may be organised a bit to somehow "get you" behind the scenes.
Alan
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Last edited by DocAElstein on 09 Jun 2024, 12:22, edited 11 times in total.
I seriously don’t ever try to annoy. Maybe I am just the kid that missed being told about the King’s new magic suit, :(

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by ChrisGreaves »

OneSecondStreet wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 03:44
* I've repeatedly gotten pages not loading (even while previewing this) with messages such as "User eileenslounge already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections [1203]". I know sql so I understand what it's on about, but is this normal for this site?
You will find some recent discussion around This Post
The main thing to note is It's not your fault; you are not causing this particular problem. :grin:
I also can't see any button in the portal that says "Active topics", which would be something like the currently active 30 topics or similar. Is there one?
Just below the large text "Eileen's Lounge" you will see a command button labelled "Quick Links".
Click there and then choose "Active Topics"
I hope that this helps.
Cheers, Chris
By definition, educating the client is the consultant’s first objective

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DocAElstein
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by DocAElstein »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 08:52
Just below the large text "Eileen's Lounge" you will see a command button labelled "Quick Links".
Click there and then choose "Active Topics" .....
I stand corrected :smile:
I seriously don’t ever try to annoy. Maybe I am just the kid that missed being told about the King’s new magic suit, :(

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HansV
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by HansV »

Microsoft offers two different Office licenses:

Microsoft 365 is a subscription service. In exchange for a monthly or yearly fee, you can download and install the Office apps on multiple devices (desktop computers, laptops, tablets, phones); you can be logged in to your account on a maximum of 5 devices at the same time. The Microsoft 365 apps get new features from time to time; they will be installed automatically.

Office 2021 is a one-time purchase. You can install the Office apps on one desktop or laptop only - if you need them on multiple devices, you have to buy a separate license for each of them. The features of Office 2021 were "frozen" when it was first released in 2021; you get only security updates and bug fixes, no new features.
Microsoft will release a new version, Office 2024, at the end of this year. It will contain many of the new features of Microsoft 365, but it will not receive new features after the initial release.

See Office Home & Student 2021 and Office Home and business 2021

As others have already remarked, we're experiencing server problems - this forum is run on a shoestring, and too many guests are visiting us at once. And unfortunately, our email notifications have always been unreliable. We apologize for the inconvenience!

Active Topics can be selected from the Quick Links drop-down:

S2554.png

We have forums for Office applications, Windows, browsers, other applications, and for general chitchat. Take a look around the Board Index.
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Best wishes,
Hans

OneSecondStreet
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by OneSecondStreet »

Thanks to both DocElstein and ChrisGreaves, Just to quickly deal with one thing, the PMs. I tried to compose a message and it went to this:
Compose message

We are sorry, but you are not authorised to use this feature. You may have just registered here and may need to participate more in discussions to be able to use this feature.
:sad:
Also, I had a PM telling me it's the 4th button along the top to the right of the Title of the PM. I only have 3...
pic.png
:bummer:
I'll admit I find this quite bizarre. Most weirdly, the imprecise "more discussion". How many more?! :hairout: I've been on a few bulletin boards in my time, never seen this.
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OneSecondStreet
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by OneSecondStreet »

HansV wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 09:40
As others have already remarked, we're experiencing server problems - this forum is run on a shoestring, and too many guests are visiting us at once. And unfortunately, our email notifications have always been unreliable. We apologize for the inconvenience!
Thanks HansV, no inconvenience at all, just making sure I hadn't been doing something wrong.

Genuine question: how much extra money would it take per year to make the site NOT experience server problems?

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by ChrisGreaves »

OneSecondStreet wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 09:46
We are sorry, but you are not authorised to use this feature. You may have just registered here and may need to participate more in discussions to be able to use this feature.
Also, I had a PM telling me it's the 4th button along the top to the right of the Title of the PM. I only have 3...
... I've been on a few bulletin boards in my time, never seen this.
OK. I am tempted to make three separate replies, for you to make three separate separate-replies and bump up your count, but I have compost bins that must be emptied; grass-clippings are now arriving at an increasing rate ...

I don't know the number of discussion you need to enter; perhaps we are not privy to the magic number to discourage Bots and spammers from ramping up to reach the number.
You might want to spend ten minutes in the Scuttlebutt forum replying to casual posts in that forum.

Well, it will be the fourth button when it appears "any day now".

I am currently registered on <insert number here> bulletin boards and have been BBSing since around 1985. I am using four "phpBBS" boards on a regular (more than once a week) basis.

I can assure you that there is no BBS that I am aware of that is as friendly and generous as Eileen's Lounge. I have had the good fortune of meeting half a dozen members face-to-face over the years, between Pickering Ontario Canada and Amsterdam in The Netherlands. I am currently trying to work out how to extend my FTF coverage as far west as Texas, stopping off in Ohio along the way ...
Cheers, Chris
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HansV
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by HansV »

@OneSecondStreet: you should be able to send and receive private messages now.

I don't know how much it would cost to upgrade our server.
Best wishes,
Hans

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 10:42
I don't know how much it would cost to upgrade our server.
Now's your chance, Hans :evilgrin: :evilgrin: :evilgrin:
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by JoeP »

@OneSecondStreet: you should be able to use your work account to install Office at home. Check with your IT folk at work. They should be able to give you a download link for the software. As long as you are employed there and they maintain an Office account you should be able to use it at home. You use your work account to establish the license but setup your personal account in Outlook. You are not forced to use OneDrive. You can save everything locally.
Joe

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by JoeP »

If you store everything locally, then no one has automatic access to the data. It is as secure as your system is. The licensing aspect of Office does not give Microsoft or anyone else automatic access to the data.
Joe

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by OneSecondStreet »

Thanks all for such quick and helpful responses. :grin:
HansV wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 10:42
@OneSecondStreet: you should be able to send and receive private messages now.
Thankyou kindly! Yes, I can.

DocAElstein wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 07:34
Email notifications have been a bit quirky here for a while. I have noticed that to be an increasing trend generally in forums and similar internet help site things and comment sections, in recent years.
I got two notifications but then no more. :laugh: On another BB I'm on, notifications worked perfectly for 10+ years, then they stopped working for a few select lucky people (me being one of them). Turned out it was some change the hosting company had made to "combat spam" or something. Took about 8 weeks of back and forth between the Admin and the company to get it working again.

ChrisGreaves wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 08:52
Just below the large text "Eileen's Lounge" you will see a command button labelled "Quick Links".
Click there and then choose "Active Topics"
I hope that this helps.
Perfect. That's exactly what I was looking for. Embarrassed that I couldn't find that one myself (despite looking...)

HansV wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 09:40
Microsoft offers two different Office licenses:
Thankyou Hans, for the birds eye view of things. That aspect at least makes more sense. I could be wrong but it seems that the price you pay for the privilege of a standalone version is MUCH higher than it used to be (not counting cpi etc etc)

ChrisGreaves wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 10:25
I can assure you that there is no BBS that I am aware of that is as friendly and generous as Eileen's Lounge.
Well, so far, I can't disagree.

JoeP wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 20:39
@OneSecondStreet: you should be able to use your work account to install Office at home. Check with your IT folk at work. They should be able to give you a download link for the software. As long as you are employed there and they maintain an Office account you should be able to use it at home.
OK. I'll check this out.

JoeP wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 20:39
You use your work account to establish the license but setup your personal account in Outlook.
Thanks for your responses Joe, Can you explain this a bit more? What do you mean by my personal account? I don't have any microsoft email or account, apart from my work one. Am I going to need to make one? Or are you just meaning my personal (eg gmail) email account details within outlook?

JoeP wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 20:39
You are not forced to use OneDrive. You can save everything locally...If you store everything locally, then no one has automatic access to the data. It is as secure as your system is. The licensing aspect of Office does not give Microsoft or anyone else automatic access to the data.
This sounds perfect. But how exactly do you set things up like this? My assumption is that microsoft will automatically try to get everything backed up to the cloud straight away. Are there settings where you tell it to 1) not backup to the cloud, and 2) keep everything locally? All this sounds very promising, and cheap (that is, free) while I'm working at my job.

Last question to anyone: I looked for this (but my record is not great so far), but is there a "Who Are You?" thread or "Tell us More About Yourself" thread? Or does it just happen organically?

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by HansV »

OneSecondStreet wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 22:52
This sounds perfect. But how exactly do you set things up like this? My assumption is that microsoft will automatically try to get everything backed up to the cloud straight away. Are there settings where you tell it to 1) not backup to the cloud, and 2) keep everything locally? All this sounds very promising, and cheap (that is, free) while I'm working at my job.
You can specify in File > Options > Save in each of the Office applications that files will be saved locally by default:

S2555.png

You can choose to use OneDrive not at all, or only manually. I have only one local folder that is synced with the OneDrive cloud, and if I want to store a file there, I move or copy it there manually. None of my document folders is backed up automatically to OneDrive.
OneSecondStreet wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 22:52
Last question to anyone: I looked for this (but my record is not great so far), but is there a "Who Are You?" thread or "Tell us More About Yourself" thread? Or does it just happen organically?
We don;t have such a thread. Some of our members visit only to ask questions, others like to chat. The Scuttlebutt forum is intended for general chat. Frequent visitors get to know each other through the posts there.
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Best wishes,
Hans

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by OneSecondStreet »

HansV wrote:
10 Jun 2024, 07:04
You can specify in File > Options > Save in each of the Office applications that files will be saved locally by default:
Thanks heaps for this info and screenshot Hans. I'll try this on my wife's computer first. :wink:
Two other questions I thought of in the meantime.

1) On my home desktop (running Win 10 Home) I have Office 2010. If I install the 365 on this, will it delete the 2010? Or will I just set it to default to 365 when I open word or excel etc? And if I ever remove it (or, say, leave my job which would amount to the same thing...) will there be any issues then? Or will things just return to their current state of Office 2010?

2) Since the licence is basically the microsoft account, which has to be "on" the whole time, doesn't this essentially mean that while you are using the computer, Microsoft will have access to any and all websites, cookies, etc etc that you visit?
Last edited by OneSecondStreet on 10 Jun 2024, 07:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by DocAElstein »

OneSecondStreet wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 22:52
....On another BB I'm on, notifications worked perfectly for 10+ years, then they stopped working for a few select lucky people (me being one of them). Turned out it was some change the hosting company had made to "combat spam" or something.
Understandably the various anti-spam measures and other things to combat things considered to be undesirable are not usually discussed by those creating or enforcing them, and then there are often a lot of false positives, often just accepted as collateral damage, so it can lead to a lot of frustrations for any individual. I expect that is something one has to accept, and I doubt that will get better as AI takes over.
The result of quirky notifications at more busy forums is that quite often people posting just once or a few times looking for help, never realise they may have an answer, as they assume notifications work.
I have always found it slightly strange that some helpers seem unconcerned with this, often the more prominent amongst them . But I guess they have their motivations for posting answers… unhealthy addiction in some cases, getting as many quick answers in as possible, Lol. - Depends on the subject area, Excel seems to be one that can get a bit addictive. That behaviour does not always encourage the best answers or furthering the subject, or encouraging people to learn, JIMHO.
Warning of unreliable notifications is something I would probably include somehow in a registration process or have a heads up in any posting techniques tips.

( Edit BTW. About your 2010. Just my 2 cents: I would try to keep that, so far its one of the most stable I personally have found. I am not sure how the using of 365 may effect that. I have had 2003 2007 and 2010 in the same computers or variations of that. The installation gave the option to keep the older one. I rarely have issues as a result of having multiple versions of the stand alone versions on my computers. My gut feeling is that newer versions might introduce problems as Microsoft will want to do things to discourage the working of your older versions, or simply they will not take care to avoid the newer versions chucking a spanner in the works with your older versions, since they no longer support the older versions, so they would not check to see if anything effrected them badly. I don’t know for sure, someone smarter will answer that for you better I expect.
Newer versions, from about 2013, have a click to run thing. I don’t understand that, but a quick Google says it does things like … pushing updates …. runs secretly in the background. That alone scares the xxxx out of me, based on previous experience )

Alan
I seriously don’t ever try to annoy. Maybe I am just the kid that missed being told about the King’s new magic suit, :(

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by StuartR »

OneSecondStreet wrote:
10 Jun 2024, 07:42
2) Since the licence is basically the microsoft account, which has to be "on" the whole time, doesn't this essentially mean that while you are using the computer, Microsoft will have access to any and all websites, cookies, etc etc that you visit?
You need to be careful when you log in to specify that the Microsoft account is to be used for Microsoft Apps only. The process does try to get you to allow that acccount to be used for other things and you may need to clear check-boxes on some forms before you click OK. Read every form carefully before you click any buttons.
StuartR


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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by HansV »

You can keep Office 2010. The installation of Microsoft 365 uses a different method; it is kept completely separate from that of Office 2010.
You will be able to use either.
There is one caveat: only one version of the email client Outlook can be used, so as long as Microsoft 365 is installed, its Outlook will be the email client.
Best wishes,
Hans

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by OneSecondStreet »

Thankyou Hans, Stuart and all others. Really helpful stuff, I feel much better about doing all this. I'll give this a crack as soon as I get a spare couple of hours.
HansV wrote:
10 Jun 2024, 09:19
You can keep Office 2010. The installation of Microsoft 365 uses a different method; it is kept completely separate from that of Office 2010.
You will be able to use either.
There is one caveat: only one version of the email client Outlook can be used, so as long as Microsoft 365 is installed, its Outlook will be the email client.
This is perfect, as one of the reasons I'm trying to do this is that I can't get Outlook 2010 to connect to my gmail.

I do have one question that wasn't touched on yet: if I install this, and then have to remove it later, what will be affected? Any documents? Or do things just return to how they are now?

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Re: Trying to get my head around Office Licencing

Post by HansV »

Documents will remain untouched.
But... several of the Office applications in Microsoft 365 have new features. For example, Excel has lots of new functions, and the way formulas are evaluated has been drastically overhauled. Workbooks that make use of this should still open in Excel 2010, but some or most formulas will not work. So if you want to keep compatibility, make sure that you don't use those new features.
Best wishes,
Hans