Office 365 Home/Personal activation changes make sign-in better

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Microsoft is improving (fixing?) the activation system for Office 365 Home and Personal customers.

This comes a few weeks after they announced the same changes for Office 365 Enterprise customers.

The per device activation limit will be handled in a much better way.

Each Office 365 user is limited to login/activations on five each of desktop programs, tablet apps and smartphone apps. That’s a total of 15 devices with a single login to Office.

When one of those ‘per device’ limits is reached, you have to log out of an existing Office app/software before being allowed to login on a new device.  At the moment you have to either logout on the device or go to your Microsoft account devices page and choose ‘Sign out of Office’ (previously called ‘Deactivate’)

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From August 2019 that will change for all Office 365 customers, Home, Personal and Enterprise.

Once the login/activation limit is reached, the least used of the current activations will be dropped (signed out) automatically so the new activation will work right away.

That’s a lot smoother and faster for everyone. Instead of messing about, finding a device etc, it’ll all be handled quickly and elegantly.

It’s so obvious you have to wonder why it wasn’t done this way in the first place?  The error messages and need to manually sign-out was confusing customers and annoying support staff.

Least Recently Used gets signed out

The ‘least recently used’ Office login will likely be on an older, maybe even discarded device.  Most people don’t bother signing out of Office on an old tablet or smartphone.  If that’s the case, the automatic sign out won’t make any practical difference to the customer.

Office 365 Activation problems remain

Activation problems remain which could be easily resolved by Microsoft.  The list of Office activated devices does not show the last activation date which is an important detail. The upcoming change makes that detail even more important.

Office activation lasts for 30 days which is important for anyone working offline for extended periods.  The new Office 365 licensing continues to be a problem for these customers because they don’t know when Microsoft starts the 30 day count.

The Devices list (see above) should show the last activation date for each device.  Offline customers would then know how long they have before needing an internet connection.  Other customers nearing their ‘five device’ limit could see which Office 365 install will be deactivated if a new login occurs.


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