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BW Businessworld

Microsoft Can Snoop Windows 10 PCs For Pirated Software

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 update was released just a few weeks back bringing a much needed change in the UI (since Windows 8 was a disaster) and a much smoother and intuitive experience to the PC. While the new update has turned out to be success for Microsoft, there is a crucial matter that has stumped a number of users of the update. According to various reports, a specific point under the new End User License Agreement (EULA), Microsoft has mentioned that they could automatically disable counterfeit or pirated software, games and even hardware from your Windows 10 PC. This has created quite a buzz among Windows users, especially PC gamers.
The EULA states “We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorised hardware peripheral devices.” In simpler terms, Microsoft will be able to scan your copy of Windows 10 for unlicensed or counterfeit software and remotely disable them. Windows 10 comes with forced system updates, which unlike Windows 7 and 8 cannot be disabled. Thus, there is a good chance that the service which will be scanning your PC for unlicensed software cannot be blocked. Now this does sound big and could prove to be one of the biggest move by Microsoft to eradicate software piracy, but there is a catch.
The point mentioned above is actually not the Windows 10 EULA but comes under the Microsoft Services Agreement.  Which means that the scanning will be done for Microsoft’s various online and cross-device services like Cortana, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Xbox and Windows games published by Microsoft. So if you have any software, service or a game that has anything related to Microsoft, it will be scanned and checked for licensing and authenticity. You can check the Microsoft Services Agreement over here which also includes the list of all software and services that come under it.
It is safe to say that Microsoft will not scan every single software on your system, but it does raise privacy issues as Microsoft is clearly picking up data from your system at any point of time. This also proves that Microsoft wants to provide wholesome and clean package to users once they update to Windows 10