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Windows 10 Can Disable Pirated Games, Unauthorized Hardware

Posted by: , 16:55 AEST, Wed August 19, 2015

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New Microsoft agreement has an alarming new clause that allows software and hardware to be disabled remotely
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An update to Microsoft's Service Agreement may allow the company to scan for and disable "counterfeit games" and "unauthorized hardware".

According to the updated clause under section 7b, Microsoft will retain the right to prevent you from using these unauthorised software and hardware. Section 7b 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."

The updated clause, first spotted by Alphr, seems to suggest Microsoft may want to retain the right to disable pirated first-party games (games published by Microsoft). There is no clearer definition for "unauthorized hardware peripheral devices", but the latter may mainly refer to unlicensed peripherals for Xbox consoles, as opposed to uncertified PCs.

The service agreement applies to Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. While the service agreement does not specifically cover Windows 10, it does cover Microsoft accounts, which is heavily relied upon in Windows 10 features, including Cortana.

The updated service agreement came into effect on August 1.


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