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With the recent demise of my Mesh PC and the arrival of a brand-spanking-new Dell, I assumed my nice boxed edition of Office 2007 could be transferred across. I was wrong.

First of all, I thought I’d check whether I could, so I’d contact Microsoft – their EULA didn’t appear specific enough. Their contact page shows an 0844 number for contacting them (0844 800 2400). However, this appears, through a near-endless selection of options, seems to direct you to websites or to pay them to answer a technical query.

The option for activating licenses simple gives you a freephone number (0800 0188354), but this is an automated system for activation.

In the end, I emailed them using the address on the aforementioned contact page. They got back to me and, after much discussion on how I got the software and what the packaging looked like, I was told it was specific to that PC. You see,  when I bought the Mesh I plumped for the option for them to install it and send me the licence key. This would be easier than buying it separately, although it was about the same price.

I then sent off, for a small additional cost, to receive the DVD with the software on. So I now have a very official looking Microsoft DVD box, containing DVD and key. But Microsoft won’t transfer the licence.

So much for saving money.

Thankfully, my daughter has been saving for a laptop and wanted Microsoft Office – a retail 3 user licence is only £5 more than a 1 user licence. So I now have it on my home PC and on my Netbook (and my daughter will have it on her new laptop when she gets it). And, because it’s the retail edition I can transfer the licence keys.

But, I still have a perfectly good copy of Office 2007 which I can’t use or even sell. And Microsoft wonder why people don’t seem to like them? Grrrr.