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Windows 7: Office 2010 continually prompting for license key for "trial" programs

24 Jan 2020   #1
EmeraldShard

Win7 Pro x64
 
 
Office 2010 continually prompting for license key for "trial" programs

So I was looking into email clients, because I have Thunderbird on my laptop but I'd prefer something a bit more lightweight for my new desktop build. But when nothing I researched seemed to fit the bill, I thought I'd look at my Office 2010 install using the Change function in appwiz to see if Outlook was available for addition. Turns out it is - as are Access and Publisher, which also were not installed. So I figured, what the hell, go ahead and install all of them.

My Office 2010 license is the Home & Student edition, and I can't recall how many machines it was supposed to be licensed for, but to date I think this is the fifth machine I've put it on without complaint. I've just never tried to install anything but Word/Excel/Powerpoint yet.

Anyway, when Outlook first loaded it prompted me for the license key. I thought this was a bit weird, but I entered it and it said configuration was successful (though for some reason it generated a duplicate set of shortcuts for all my Office apps on desktop, renamed exactly the way I made my first set). Then Outlook tried to launch proper, and I ran into issues getting it to connect to my Gmail for awhile (I know, I know - it's a holdover from years ago and I'm going to switch to something less spyware-y shortly). Once I gave up on that effort I happened to try launching Outlook again, and I got prompted for the license key a second time.

Ran Access... got prompted for license key. Put it in, Access launched. Closed Access, launched again, bam, license key prompt. Ran Outlook again, bam, license key prompt. It never gave me any error message on activation, just went right through every time, but it never seemed to take (and every once in awhile I got another duplicate set of desktop shortcuts for no reason). If I cancelled the license key prompt it just told me the program couldn't start.

At that point I figured I'd uninstall the whole suite and reinstall with all the apps in place from the start. That's when I learned that Outlook, Access and Publisher were only included with "(Trial)" next to them in the customization screen (something which did not appear when I ran the Change command on the initial install). So I haven't bothered reinstalling them yet.

So, questions are as follows:
  1. If I ever got these "trial" apps to work properly, would they stop working after awhile? Or - remote possibility - would they continue to work due to Office 2010 being out of support now? I don't intend to pay anything for this, so if this whole thing is a fool's errand, then I'm happy to drop it.
  2. If they are able to work, then what was the deal with the recurring license key prompts?
  3. If they won't work - what's everyone's preferred email client for Win7 x64? Personally, the only features I need are routing rules and the ability to send HTML email if necessary. Otherwise I'm fine with something lightweight and minimalist. (Better question for the email board, I know, but I figured I should address the Office issue first)
Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jan 2020   #2
Bree

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by EmeraldShard View Post
I thought I'd look at my Office 2010 install using the Change function in appwiz to see if Outlook was available for addition. Turns out it is - as are Access and Publisher...

My Office 2010 license is the Home & Student edition...
Your Office 2010 Home and Student licence does not include Outlook or Access, so if you managed to install them they will need a new key to activate them. See the 'Comparison of Microsoft Office 2010 editions' here:

Microsoft Office 2010 - Wikipedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2020   #3
EmeraldShard

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bree View Post
Your Office 2010 Home and Student licence does not include Outlook or Access, so if you managed to install them they will need a new key to activate them. See the 'Comparison of Microsoft Office 2010 editions' here:

Microsoft Office 2010 - Wikipedia
I considered this, but wouldn't it have rejected my key in that case? It took my key and validated it, and I even left the "attempt to activate online" checkbox on. It said configuration was successful and then launched the program normally (aside from the Gmail account weirdness).

Wouldn't be the first time a MS product was misleading, by far, but I just thought it was odd.
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24 Jan 2020   #4
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 1909 - 18363.657 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
 
 

Also the licence shipped with Office 2010 Home and Student is either for one user or Three users. Normally with Microsoft software this licencing refers to active (in Use, at the same time ) rather than number of installs
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24 Jan 2020   #5
EmeraldShard

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Also the licence shipped with Office 2010 Home and Student is either for one user or Three users. Normally with Microsoft software this licencing refers to active (in Use, at the same time ) rather than number of installs
Well, that would explain why it hasn't cared that I've installed it on five machines. Dare I ask how MS tracks how many are in use at once? I mean, if it's just the occasional ping to an MS server to be sure there aren't more than X number of pings from the same license in Y minutes, then that's not too bad (though I'd definitely be interested in a way to disable that, if one exists). I know MS isn't exactly a beacon of privacy, but I always got the impression that the late-aughts/early-teens era products (such as 7 in general) were light-to-none on the tracking stuff.
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24 Jan 2020   #6
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 1909 - 18363.657 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
 
 

Every company has the right to protect their intellectual property, and it is not this forums place to discus ways by which it would be possible to circumvent the mechanisms in place to achieve this. Blocking licensing checks is a form of software piracy and is not allowed here
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24 Jan 2020   #7
EmeraldShard

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Barman58 View Post
Every company has the right to protect their intellectual property, and it is not this forums place to discus ways by which it would be possible to circumvent the mechanisms in place to achieve this. Blocking licensing checks is a form of software piracy and is not allowed here
Fair enough. If it wasn't clear, the license I have is legitimate, of course, and I would expect any licensed software to validate its license upon install and/or first run. It's the ongoing validation that I have more of a distaste for, but that's par for the course of using MS software these days. I was more interested in making sure there wasn't anything going on other than that occasional basic ping for license check - in other words, something which would reveal an immediate need for me to abandon what I thought was an otherwise relatively tracking-free piece of software (at least when compared to its modern contemporaries). But if discussing even that would skirt the rules, then I digress.



In general, I am still interested in the reason for the recurring prompts - and why the software loaded at all without errors, if my key was invalid for the trial versions - if anyone has those answers.
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25 Jan 2020   #8
RoWin7

Win 7 Ult 64-bit
 
 

Bug. I've been using Thunderbird over 15 years, and the same version maybe 5 years, and last week it asked for my password.

If you want a lighter Thunderbird, try v. 52.9, which still uses XUL extensions. It's not asimportant for email programs to be updated as it is for browsers. It's your ant-malware programs that count.
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25 Jan 2020   #9
EmeraldShard

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RoWin7 View Post
Bug. I've been using Thunderbird over 15 years, and the same version maybe 5 years, and last week it asked for my password.

If you want a lighter Thunderbird, try v. 52.9, which still uses XUL extensions. It's not asimportant for email programs to be updated as it is for browsers. It's your ant-malware programs that count.
What's a bug specifically - the behavior it displayed when trying to get my gmail to work? Because I've since attempted to use another email client with the same gmail account, and it kept returning errors that the server rejected my credentials (these being the same ones I logged into the webmail with five minutes prior). Are you getting something similar?

I read something the other night which claimed that Google might be ending all access for "less secure" apps (read: apps which don't specifically use Google's authentication method) within a year or so. Could totally believe that this is just some shit Google's pulling in the interim.
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26 Jan 2020   #10
RoWin7

Win 7 Ult 64-bit
 
 

I guess it's a bug if it keeps asking you for the license key, although I'm not a programmer. It's not storing it and maybe it can be fixed with a registry tweak. TB asked me for my PW only twice, but TB's a lot easier to fix than Outlook because it stores nothing in the registry or Windows folder. Everything's in the userchrome.css file and pref.js file, and I can access it from about:config.
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 Office 2010 continually prompting for license key for "trial" programs




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