I bought new tablet that was supposed to come with Microsoft Office 365 (free 1 year subscription). I'm hoping the latest Word has a number of problems fixed that I have experienced in Word 2010 and 2013.

I'm trying to use office, but I keep getting prompted to activate it. I'd like to use an offline registration method to avoid sharing any data with Microsoft or the need for a Hotmail account. Or I would like to modify the registry and add the "activated bits" (or whatever they are using to indicate activated).

How do I activate Office without contacting Microsoft or utilizing a Hotmail address?

Related, why was a product key or license key not provided during packaging/installation or the point of sale?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Mokubai May 22 '15 at 11:36
  • Thanks Mokubai. I knew I should not answer the "why would you do that" question in the comments.... It was bike shedding bait, and I went for it... – jww May 22 '15 at 17:24
  • There's no real problem with answering comments, but we really would prefer that discussions happen in chat rather than the main site. The comment above is an automatic one that gets put there when we convert a chain of comments to a chat thread so apologies if it sounded harsh, it's just meant as a prod to prevent the main site being bogged down with lengthy comment threads. – Mokubai May 23 '15 at 12:59

I bought new tablet that was supposed to come with Microsoft Office 365 (free 1 year subscription).

The tablet you purchased came with Office 365 Personal. Office 365 requires an internet connection in order to activate. Every version of Office requires you to activate your license. Specifically Office 365 Personal is a subscription based service, that allows you to always have the current version of Office installed, for the length your subscription is active.

This is how Costco describers Office 365 Personal on the product page for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Bundle which comes with Office 365 Personal as

Microsoft Office 365 Personal activation code is included in the package. Please follow the instructions on the code to activate Office 365 Personal.

Here is the product website for the two consumer versions of Office 365.

Is Internet access required for Office?

Internet access is required to install and activate all the latest releases of Office suites and all Office 365 subscription plans. For Office 365 plans, Internet access is also needed to manage your subscription account, for example to install Office on other PCs or to change billing options. Internet access is also required to access documents stored on OneDrive, unless you install the OneDrive desktop app. You should also connect to the Internet regularly to keep your version of Office up to date and benefit from automatic upgrades. If you do not connect to the Internet at least every 39 days, your applications will go into reduced functionality mode, which means that you can view or print your documents, but cannot edit the documents or create new ones. To reactivate your Office applications, reconnect to the Internet. You do not need to be connected to the Internet to use the Office applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, because the applications are fully installed on your computer.

Here is Microsoft explaining the difference between Office 2013 and Office 365

Office 2013 suites include applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook; they are available as a one-time purchase for use on a single PC.

Office 365 plans also include the applications plus other services that are enabled over the Internet, including online storage with OneDrive and Skype minutes for home use. With Office 365 you get the full, installed Office experience on PCs, Macs, tablets (including iPad® and Android™ tablet) and phones. Office 365 plans are available as a monthly or annual subscription.

How do I activate Office without contacting Microsoft or utilizing a Hotmail address?

You cannot It is not possible. All you actually need is a Microsoft Account, but since all Microsoft Accounts, even those connected to another email service come with an Outlook Mail account both are not possible.

The product page at CostCo has a footnote that explains what is meant by the free 1 year subscription.

Activation required by 12/31/16. Subject to License Agreement, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/useterms/default.aspx.

License Agreements have been upheld in court numerous times. If you want to be able to use Office without a Microsoft Account, the only thing I can suggest is to, purchase the full version of Office 2013.

English - Office 365 Personal - License

  • I appreciate you providing the obvious answer but I don't think it'll ever be accepted, and consequently this question will keep showing up in the Active queue. – Karan May 22 '15 at 0:45
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    @Karan - Don't let your personal opinions get in the way of the Stack Exchange network. They are two separate things. I don't abuse the Stack Exchange network for spite. And I refuse to downvote someone just because I disagree with them, which seems to be a common modus operandi on the Stack Exchange network. I don't ever recall doing it. As a matter of fact, I often upvote people for a quality answer, even when I disagree. Ramhound got one from me. – jww May 22 '15 at 1:08
  • @jww: So are you going to accept this, even when you clearly don't want NO for an answer? – Karan May 22 '15 at 1:09
  • @Karan - the way the Stack Exchange network operates is: ask a question, and wait for answers. I still need to give it a few days to see if anyone has an answer. For example, someone may say, "call this 800 number to get a code, and then enter it from the command line". Or someone may say, "add this registry key to kill the nags and enable the functionality". – jww May 22 '15 at 1:12
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    @Ramhund - I awarded the answer. In the end, my fix to the problems caused by Microsoft was to delete Office from the tablet since the terms are so disagreeable. If someone provides a non-mainstream method, then I may revisit the answer. (Just giving you a heads up so you don't think I'm doing things out of spite). Thanks again for all your help and different perspective on the issues. – jww May 22 '15 at 21:54

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