A licensing loophole lets you use the full Office on iPad without a 365 subscription

Microsoft hopes you won't exploit this loophole, but is leaving it open (for now)

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Microsoft announced (finally) Office for iPad last week, to much fanfare, but there was one big gotcha: To get full editing capabilities (instead of just view-only access), you needed to have an Office 365 subscription, which starts at $100 a year for consumers. Well, there's a way around that.

All you need is to have someone who does have an Office 365 subscription sign into your Office app on the iPad once and then you'll have full access in all the apps going forward.

This goes against Microsoft's licensing agreement, which grants 365 subscribers rights to install Office on five computers as well as five tablets, but there's no hard limitation to keep users from adding more than that. 

Microsoft tells CNN, which first reported this loophole: "Similar to our commercial use rights, we do not strictly enforce the limit on tablet installations, but trust that our users respect and understand the device limits outlined in the EULA [end user rights agreement]." The company could enforce stricter licensing checks in the future, but for now there's nothing stopping family members from activating the full Office apps on iPad for others in their household or friends.

Read more of Melanie Pinola’s Tech IT Out blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @melaniepinola. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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