Does Office 365 consider the MS Surface Pro 4 a PC or tablet?

I just bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal.  My intention was to install Office 365 on both my laptop (a PC) and the Surface Pro 4 (which is marketed as a tablet).  I figured this would work, because Office 365 Personal is advertised as allowing installation on "1 PC/Mac + 1 tablet".  I installed it on the Surface Pro 4 first.  The installation process didn't ask whether the device I was installing on was a PC or tablet or something else.  After the installation completed, I went to office.com/myaccount to see what information it had.  Much to my surprise, it said that I had installed one license on a PC!  I contacted support by phone to ask how I could change that classification to a tablet.  They said that the Surface Pro 4 was considered to be a PC because it is running the full version of Windows 10 and nothing could be done to change the classification.  So now it appears that I can't have identical software on my laptop without paying for a second subscription or paying to upgrade to the Home version.  This is clearly a case of false (or inept) advertising!

Several posts in this area complain about the same problem, but they are all about two years old.  In some of them, there is mention of a PC World article from May 2014 where the reporter quoted a Microsoft spokesperson as saying that they were going to allow the Surface Pro to be considered as tablet for the purpose of installing Office 365 Personal.  However, nobody knew when or how this was going to be implemented, and I never saw any further discussion saying that it now works.  So my question is whether this policy change has been implemented and whether I will have any problem installing Office 365 on my laptop?

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I saw a similar article in zdnet:

http://www.zdnet.com/office-365-users-surface-pros-now-qualify-as-pcs-or-tablets-7000029190/

<edit>

that is the only reference I've seen to this definition of a tablet. But nowhere have I seen instructions on how to beat the MyAccount site into submission to accept your device as a tablet.

</edit>

Since deactivation is so simple on the MyAccount site, why not try the brute force approach. Install first on your laptop, then install on your surface pro.  Make sure to NOT have an external keyboard attached, use the onscreen keyboard for the install and activation.  Maybe by meeting the definition of a "tablet", that will be enough to convince the site to treat it as a "tablet".

Please let us know what happens, either way.

FYI: here is some more information about the things you can do on the MyAccount site:

Manage, download, back up, or restore Office 365 / 2016 / 2013 / 2010 / 2007

https://products.office.com/en-us/download-back-up-restore-microsoft-office-products   365 / 2016 / 2013 / 2010 / 2007 (you may have to scroll down)

http://office.microsoft.com/myaccount
- install and re-install Office 2016, Office 2013 and Office 365, or manage your Office 365 subscription, register Product Key

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Download-and-install-or-reinstall-Office-365-Office-2016-or-Office-2013-on-your-PC-7a28382b-7015-4b5a-9d9b-650d15742c95

Effectively all Office licenses allow you to re-install on the same computer, even after limited system changes like “upgrading” the OS or installing a new HD. Some, not all Office licenses allow you to “transfer” the installation to a new computer.

To re-install Office in general you need 2 things. Your unique product key and the matching generic installation file for the appropriate year and bundle.

These two elements can be found in a number of places, depending on your specific Year of Office and the bundle. For Office 2010 and earlier you need the key and install file, but with 2013 and later things have been changing

If you have Office 2016/365 then you can log in to the MyAccount page to re-install Office.  Office 2016 allows users to do all sorts of license management through the MyAccount page. Office 2016 forces you to associate your license to an email account so the original product key becomes effectively one-time use.

Sign in to My Account to re-install Office or manage your Office 365 subscription

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Sign-in-to-My-Office-Account-to-install-Office-or-manage-your-Office-365-subscription-959ac957-8d37-4ae4-b1b6-d6e4874e013f

Go to www.office.com/myaccount and choose My account. If you’re prompted to, sign in with the email address and password you used to set up Office. If you’re

choose Install.

If you need more information to install Office, see Install Office on your PC or Mac.

Help with Your MS Account – Manage MyAccount

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/accounts

What’s on the MyAccount page?

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Where-is-the-My-Account-page-959ac957-8d37-4ae4-b1b6-d6e4874e013f

Office 365 Consumer FAQ

https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-office-for-home-and-school-faq

Find answers to commonly asked questions about Office and Office 365.

What is Office 365 – Manage

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-is-Office-365-847caf12-2589-452c-8aca-1c009797678b

Office Support Sub Site for Office 365 – Manage

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Renew-Office-365-for-home-58f3d0f8-15c4-4ad8-8c5f-16d682e8b545

This sub site has the following major categories, with more detailed sub pages under them

Office 365 subscriptions

What's new in Office? – this has links to the pages with montly updates of New features in 365

Manage billing

Share your subscription

Manage your subscription

Switch Office 365 plans

Business admin help

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As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

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<edit: this stupid site has an edit button, but no longer seems to save the changes!>

that is the only reference I've seen to this definition of a tablet. But nowhere have I seen instructions on how to beat the MyAccount site into submission to accept your device as a tablet.

</edit>

.
*****
.
As computer scientists we are trained to communicate with the dumbest things in the world – computers –
so you’d think we’d be able to communicate quite well with people.
Prof. Doug Fisher

Was this reply helpful?

Yes
No

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for your feedback.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

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Thanks for your feedback.

 
 

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Last updated September 4, 2021 Views 8,766 Applies to: