Microsoft released their most recent Windows operating system last month to both fanfare and consternation. While Windows 10 improves the operating system in many ways through greater efficiency and a return to the Start menu, the new OS is also being heavily criticized for its lack of privacy protections.
Now we’ve gotten word that the “Microsoft Services Agreement” that you must sign in order to use Windows 10 gives Microsoft the ability to scan your computer for pirated games. Hardware that is modified may also be blocked. The details can be found in Section 7b, “Updates to the Services or Software, and Changes to These Terms.” It reads:
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 unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services. Such updates are subject to these Terms unless other terms accompany the updates, in which case, those other terms apply.
It should be noted that the company is — at least so far — only applying this technology to first party games and not to say, Microsoft Office. Less clear is how far Microsoft intends to go with this new strategy in the long term. Could third party software be next?