Microsoft’s new Services Agreement makes users feel uneasy

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
1 Comments
Download PDF

Microsoft Services Agreement

Microsoft’s new Services Agreement will entry into force on May 1, 2018. The Redmond giant already started sending notification emails to users informing them about about the upcoming changes.

After reading the entire Services Agreement and FAQ section, many users expressed their concern regarding the upcoming changes.

As a matter of fact, one of the upcoming changes reads as follows:

When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue.

This made many users feel uneasy especially taking into account the privacy controversy history around Microsoft’s services. As a quick reminder, Windows 10 users often criticized Microsoft’s privacy policy for collecting too much personal information about them.

For many users, the fact that Microsoft clearly states it reserves the right to review your content represents another reason of concern when it comes to privacy. As users pointed out, this means that Microsoft may occasionally watch and listen to your Skype calls when investigating alleged violations of the Services Agreement.

Microsoft Services Agreement issues

Second, users also stress that Microsoft didn’t define the infringements that could lead to your account being blocked.

Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity).

In today’s world when anyone can be offended by anything, many fear that these vague terms might sometimes lead to unnecessary censorship, as this user points out:

See I don’t agree with this, people aren’t allowed to use words freely because they’re scared of being banned. For example, me and and my friends call each other names, we’re all fine with it. Using ‘Oi c**t’ is just a normal greeting for us, yet I can’t use it privately on XBL just incase they report it as a joke.

Well, getting banned from using a service is one thing, but losing digital content that users paid for is a totally different thing. It remains to be seen how Microsoft will apply the new Services Agreement and how this will affect the overall user experience.

What do you think about the upcoming changes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Meanwhile, you can read what’s new in the upcoming Services Agreement on Microsoft’s official website.

RELATED STORIES TO CHECK OUT:

  • The terms, obviously are a response to FOSCA – a draconian reaction to irresponsible social media that had refused to accept responsibility for what went out on its platforms. Microsoft must take account of the considerable pre-existing resistance to its brand and the further damage it may sustain from the latest changes. Users already have grown weary of the unceasing dithering with Skype – whose every latest iteration and corresponding decline in user appeal, brings a new chorus of “I hate the new Skype.” My contacts, (as recently as today), ask me for advice about alternatives. Microsoft also needs to be wary of stepping on First Amendment rights, potentially triggering costly lawsuits. Even if the courts ruled MS had the right, to put a neo-Victorian clamp on free speech the damage to the company’s reputation would be irreparable. The threat that some pimply faced nerd wearing horn rimmed glasses may scrutinize a user’s entire history over a nude photograph exchanged between consenting adults should be enough to send millions of users fleeing Skype and Outlook. This new EULA could be the final gambit in the home market, for Microsoft, a shrinking global giant. Not to be forgotten is that Microsoft earned much notoriety from the way it treated home based users like non-persons, in the past. The company’s mission is toward corporate subscriptions. Microsoft may be ready to lose its home based customers, and shift its entire business model to servicing business clients, much as IBM has done.