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How can I tell how many installations/uses are on a Microsoft Office license?

Posted on 2014-07-12
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Last Modified: 2014-07-17
I currently have Office but a version without Access.  I just bought an Office 2007 Professional upgrade on eBay.  The listing says that it was used but they don't know how many users.  Is there a place I can go once I have the key, to find out how many installations the key will give me?  I've googled about but if it exists I just haven't hit on the right keyword combo yet.
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Question by:FrancineTaylor
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40192279
I hope you did not pay a lot, because the users could still be using the license. My license for Office 2007 Pro says 2 users.  

Try to install it with the key you were given. If it fails, contact Microsoft (there will be a phone number) with the story above. If the users gave up their license you are in luck. If both uses are still active, you probably have nothing.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40192633
1 installation work and maybe 1 home installation.
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Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 40192642
You need to read the license carefully.  Office 2007 Pro Upgrade is likely for ONE USER to POSSIBLY install on two computers - PROVIDED that the one user uses BOTH computers themselves and doesn't share them with others.  This is often viewed as a work computer and a home computer or a work computer and a laptop computer.

Further, if you bought the license, then, strictly speaking YOU now own the license and the prior owner, if still using, would be violating the license as they have officially and legally given it up.  It should work for you. I agree - if you have problems, contact MS and hopefully they will activate for you.  That said, I NEVER advise people to buy used software because while it MIGHT be legit, there are too many unknowns and too many questions as to whether or not the license grantor will view the issues your way and allow you to use it.  It's just not worth the headaches in my opinion.

Finally, you need to understand, a key is not a license.  The key enables you to use a license and is a method of preventing TOO MUCH abuse of any single license.  But if you are an honest person who doesn't believe in stealing, you will follow the license, which if you read it, DOES tell you when and how many copies may be installed.
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by:FrancineTaylor
ID: 40200256
What I was worried about was that previous users had "used up" all the licenses.  I had assumed that Microsoft keeps track of how many times a particular key was used and after that key reaches its limit no more installations can be done.  Is this an incorrect assumption?  If I buy a copy of Office and it has two licenses, does that mean I get to use both of them and the previous owner is no longer legally allowed to be using that version? And is there anything that enforces that, which I might run afoul of when I try to install?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40200304
If I buy a copy of Office and it has two licenses, does that mean I get to use both of them and the previous owner is no longer legally allowed to be using that version?

It depends on who you buy from and how you buy. If you buy second hand, previously used software, it is up to the seller to say he or she has cleared the license and you can have your two. It really is buyer beware.

If you buy new from a legitimate reseller, then you get your two uses.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40200715
You seem to have missed what I said:
Finally, you need to understand, a key is not a license.

If they transferred the license to you, then it should be fine.  They would be in violation if they kept it.  No where in the license agreement of Office 2007 does it say how many activations you get.  In fact, the ONLY thing that has a PUBLISHED limit on activations is a volume license key.  All others are speculation based on experience.  Microsoft does not state how many activations retail, OEM, or other product lines give you (if they recently changed this, I would ask someone to post MS official documentation/links to state otherwise.   Indeed - how can anyone be certain there IS a limit... perhaps it's just a limit on activations over a given period of time?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 40200980
MIcrosoft does limit how many times a particular product key can be activated on different hardware using the automatic activation. There after you have to activate by phone and attest that you are only using this product key on X machine.  The exact # of activations is not disclosed but if you tried to actiate a particular product key a few hundred times then you will have to justify why and microsoft may black list that key.
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