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I'm running Win XP on Parallels on my two home computers (iMac and MacBook Pro). I'm planning to buy Office 2010 Student version and install it on my virtual XP.

How does licensing of MS Office work on virtual machines?

I'm worried about the scenario where I have to re-install virtual machines (which happens some time), and because of that I have to install Office 2010 Student version many times. I think that the licensing of MS Office Student version allows installation only for three times?

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2 Answers 2

up vote -1 down vote accepted

It doesn't matter how often you install, the limit is having three installations running at the same time. For instance it is allowed to share your copy of Office Home & Student with two of your family members. There is no reason for you to be concerned about using it on a virtual machine.

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Thank you very much for the information! –  keijo Apr 4 '10 at 9:35
1  
Downvoted for being wrong. From the EULA: "2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. Before you use the software under a license, you must assign that license to a device. That device is a “licensed device.” A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device. a. Licensed Device. You may install one copy of the software on three licensed devices in your household for use by people who reside there" –  ta.speot.is Apr 4 '10 at 10:02
    
This was true for Office 97 (also with single-user licenses). I indeed doubt it's still true for later versions. –  Arjan Apr 4 '10 at 10:43
    
I was trying to say the same thing. By saying "running", I didn't mean having the office program open, but having it installed. I tried to clarify this by mentioning that you can share your copy with up to two family members if everyone is using it on one computer only. Anyways, the main point is that running it in a VM shouldn't pose a problem, even when reinstalling often. –  akid Apr 4 '10 at 13:03

Akid is incorrect, the EULA does not allow you to have "three installations running at the same time" on an unlimited number of hardware devices. You must assign a license to a device.

  1. RETAIL LICENSE TERMS
    1. OVERVIEW. These license terms permit installation and use of a copy of the software on three devices, along with other rights, all as described below.
    2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. Before you use the software under a license, you must assign that license to a device. That device is a “licensed device.” A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device.
      a. Licensed Device. You may install one copy of the software on three licensed devices in your household for use by people who reside there. The software is not licensed for use in any commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating business activities.

According to the wording, your laptop should count as one "device", regardless of the number of VMs you run on it. If there is an activation issue you can call Microsoft and explain that it is one copy installed a number of times on different VMs, but on the same hardware device.

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That's not how I read it. Yes, "your laptop should count as one "device", regardless of the number of VMs you run on it", but installing on one device multiple times surely violates the "You may install one copy of the software" clause. –  Jack Douglas Oct 22 '12 at 17:31

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