Shared Computer Activation for Office in Microsoft 365 Business

May 1st, 2019
Shared Computer Activation for Office in Microsoft 365 Business

This article was originally posted in the Microsoft 365 Tech Community blog.

We are excited to announce the ability to enable shared computer activation for Office by Microsoft 365 Business subscribers

Normally, users can install and activate the Office 365 Business Client only on a limited number of devices, such as 5 PCs. Using the Office 365 Business Client with shared computer activation enabled doesn't count against that limit.

This helps in scenarios where multiple users are connecting to the same remote computer at the same time. The users can each run Office programs, such as Word or Excel, at the same time on the remote computer. Enabling shared computer activation for Office can also be useful in situations where multiple users share the same computer and the users are logging in with their own account. A few examples of where Office with shared computer activation enabled could be useful are:

  • Three workers at a warehouse share a computer, each worker using Excel on that computer during their shift to track orders & shipments
  • Five nurses at an outpatient clinic use Word on shared computers at the nurses station throughout the day to create encounter reports from a template
  • The business owners, billing clerk, and the accountant connect remotely to a Windows 2016 Server running Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to use Excel and the company’s accounting software.
  • Field service employees use Office on a computer that's located in a conference room to update/write reports when needed.
  • Remote medical billing coders and auditors working from home connect to Windows Virtual Desktops (WVD) in Azure with Office installed to work on highly sensitive medical records.

Please refer to this article for how you can enable shared computer activation for Office.

Please note that the ability to enable shared computer activation for Office is a Microsoft 365 Business entitlement and not a feature of Office 365 Business in general. The roll out of shared computer activation for Microsoft 365 Business customers will begin 4/30 and we expect the roll out to be completed in the next couple of months.