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I just got a new Dell laptop with Office 2010, and I went to install Office on my desktop but it won’t activate. It says the product has already been activated. I thought I could have it on both. Any Ideas?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, you almost certainly bought your Dell with an OEM version of Office 2010, which only allows you to activate it once, and only on the computer it came with. With a retail license, you can put it on both. Here is a link to the Office 2010 EULA.

The relevant parts:

OEM: “a. One Copy per Device. The software license is permanently assigned to the device with which the software is distributed.” (there is no provision for a portable device as with the retail below)

Retail: “c. Portable Device. You may install another copy of the software on a portable device for use by the single primary user of the licensed device.”

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Yup. Retail FTW. I remember this being a big selling point for buying retail copies of Vista and 7. I could resell those bad boys. But don't tell anyone. Shhhh. – surfasb Jul 21 '11 at 23:08
@surfasb Yes, retail is the way to go, imo...for businesses, volume license is even better though. SOOO much easier to keep track of. – KCotreau Jul 21 '11 at 23:17

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