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Windows 10 can Disable Pirated Games and Unauthorized Hardware

Microsoft updated the “Microsoft Services Agreement” on August 1st, 2015 which prohibits the use of pirated software or unauthorized hardware. The new policy has a revision which clearly states:

“Sometimes you’ll need software updates to keep using the Services. 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.”

“Microsoft isn’t obligated to make any updates available and we don’t guarantee that we will support the version of the system for which you licensed the software.”

This means Microsoft can disable any software in a database it deems as illegitimate. One could argue that this isn’t a problem to users opting for genuine software and only applies to pirates. However, anti-piracy measures can often be a disaster and takedown genuine pieces of software due to a malfunction. Additionally, unsupported hardware could refer to a motherboard change, or using an unofficial controller. Although, I highly doubt the latter would be true.

Whatever the case, these terms are quite disturbing and emphasizes Windows 10 is more of a service than an operating system. Honestly, I can see this causing a myriad of problems in the future. Even applying game mods or fan-patches could flag as being pirated. Microsoft already adopts a heavy-handed approach with its UAC system and this measure does little to alleviate concerns about snooping.

John Williamson

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