PKCs first appeared with Microsoft’s Office 2010, when the company decided to change its upgrade policies, which allowed existing customers to acquire the latest version of the Office Suite for a lower price .
Online retailers like Amazon currently sell Microsoft Home & Student for $140 consisting of Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint and Word. The same retailers are selling a PKC for the same product for just $119.99, translating into 14% savings. The same story goes for other versions of Office, like Home & Business for $189.99 and Office 2013 Professional, where you can save up to $40 if you buy a PKC.
The only difference between a PKC and the standard version of Office is the way customers acquire the software, i.e. you will have to download a copy of the Office from Microsoft’s website and use the PKC to activate it, if you don’t already have a trial version installed on your computer.
Microsoft received a lot of heat after it confirmed that a perpetual license of Office 2013 is tied to a single PC. This effectively meant that if a user's PC was dead, the Office 2013 license died along with it. The Windows 8 maker later issued a clarification stating that a user can transfer his / her Office 2013 license if a computer failed while under warranty.