We used to call it that, but most of the time this was not correct. You are/ where buying a license to USE the software. You did not own the software, but the upside was that you could keep using it without paying returning fees.
It’s different to something like: “Buying a car”, which you physically own after you payed for it, you can do whatever you want with it (as long as you don’t brake the law with it )… you can resell it, lend it out, etc. If you buy a license to use software you are only allowed to use it in the way the license permits its usage, which most of the time means you as a person have a license but are not allowed to resell it, lend it out, etc. It depends on what is allowed in the license (which most of us do no read anyway ).
Also consider how the licensing mechanism works. It might not be transferable to a new machine, so the “lifetime” might be the lifetime of the computer, not the software or your lifetime. Microsoft seems to work that way.
I’ve also had lifetime (presumably for purchaser) software fail to transfer to a new machine because the company was sold or went under and their license verifier server went away.
I am not going to enter the subscription versus single/upgrade debate since there are good (and bad) arguments on both sides. I do agree that the term “lifetime licence” whilst not technically misleading because you can have that licence for life, is misleading in real life because the surrounding ecosystem (macOS, etc.) does change on an annual basis plus there are so many plugins, add-ons and upgrades that also change and benefit the software over time. I tried to escape the MS ecosystem recently. My preference is not to have subscriptions. I will always look for non-subscription software. With MS, I managed to get out of all bar Word. As someone who deals with DOCX files daily and collaborates on them, there is just no software out there that does a good job of maintaining compatibility. I have used a lot of Word alternatives: Nisus, Mellel, Pages, LibreOffice, etc. They all break the drafting and collaboration at some point. It is a shame because I really liked Nisus. That is powerful software. With MS and a few others, I think you just have to bite the bullet to get the best out of them (depending on your needs). If you are attracted to the lifetime licence, just read the terms carefully and if it fits your needs (or fits them enough), even for just 12 months, you have a good deal IMHO. But, with the limitations on the lifetime licence, could your personal use mean that Pages fits your needs? The software market has become more difficult to make decisions about in recent years.
I have only seen third party sellers use the term “lifetime license” to describe or advertise Office 2021. Microsoft uses “perpetual”.
“Consumer customers can purchase Microsoft Office 2021 for Windows and Mac and commercial customers can now purchase Microsoft Office LTSC for Windows and Mac. Office 2021 and Office LTSC 2021 are the next perpetual releases of Office. They include improvements over Microsoft Office 2019 and earlier versions of on-premises Office.”
And while a perpetual license for Office 2021 may continue forever, support does not. That ends on Oct 12, 2026
Coming back much later to say thanks for posting this.
I bought a Mac license and a Windows license on a whim, but unexpectedly had use for them within a couple of weeks. The people I was helping were very happy to be paying $50 rather than a monthly fee to Microsoft. (I’m a happy 365 user myself.)
… to say that this deal is still available/available again:
I needed PowerPoint for some work I was doing (LibreOffice didn’t quite cut it). I’m impressed by the suite, and Outlook in particular. As others said a year ago, it’s nice not to have to pay a monthly 365 subscription for a service I don’t really need. I just need the software, and I’m sure this version will last me a while.
AFAIK, while this isn’t a bad price it’s only for the “lifetime” of MSO Mac 2021. As soon as Apple updates something that prevents it from running it’s game over.
“ What’s the difference between Microsoft 365 subscription plans and Office as a one-time purchase?
Microsoft 365 is a subscription that comes with premium apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access (Publisher and Access available on PC only). The apps can be installed on multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, and Android phones. Microsoft 365 also comes with services like 1 TB of OneDrive storage, 60 Skype minutes per month, and Microsoft chat and phone support. With a subscription, you get the latest versions of the apps and automatically receive updates when they happen.
Office 2021 is a one-time purchase that comes with classic apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for PC or Mac, and does not include any of the services that come with a Microsoft 365 subscription. One-time purchases don’t have an upgrade option, which means if you plan to upgrade to the next major release, you’ll have to buy it at full price.”
I believe this or similar offers are reselling a user license which becomes part of the business plan or subscription of a bigger Microsoft Office business license,
I bought similar plan also for $49 with 5T OneDrive storage. I try to use this as a cloud backup for my Synology cloud share. When I try to connect to OneDrive for personally use, it did not work. I end up connecting to OneDrive for business, then it connected.