Microsoft’s latest Office suite for the Mac now includes mandatory product activation.
New users of Office for Mac 2011 must enter a 25-character activation key within 15 days of installing the product otherwise the product will refuse to launch. At the end of the grace period, Office for Mac 2011 refuses to launch. “[It] becomes unusable,” a Microsoft spokesman said to Computerworld recently.
Computerworld says that the grace period and after efforts of not activating Office for Mac 2011 are much stricter than Office 2010 for Windows. Office 2010 gives users 30 days to activate and provides a grace period of up to 180 days providing you reset the grace period countdown clock.
Microsoft has long been criticised for its approach to anti-piracy. The activation technology originally debuted with Office XP in 2001. Microsoft uses the technology across a number of its boxed products, including Windows and Office. Microsoft’s official stance is that Product Activation “tries to reduce counterfeit software, and to make sure that Microsoft customers receive the software quality that they expect”.