Microsoft to claim a right to rummage around in your Windows 8 hard drive

Windows Store comes with terms that allow Microsoft to kill, delete or change downloaded apps

By  

Microsoft is stealing ideas and a sense of entitlement from the overly-entitled-feeling smartphone application market to improve its own control over products customers thought they obtained legally.

One of the many things most people don't realize about the apps they download to smartphones is that many come with kill switches – commands that can be sent across carrier networks to permanently deactivate a piece of software that turns out to be buggy, infested with malware, insecure or insufficiently invasive of the user's privacy.

(Having these things covertly built into paid apps would seem like a prime indication you bought a piece of weaselware, if the whole Android and iOS markets weren't already thick with apps seeded with spyware abilities so extensive they would make Big Brother weep with envy.)

Microsoft, which has never shied away from using someone else's ideas if they offered the chance to sell more software, announced it will build a similar kill switch into apps bought from its upcoming apps store to run on Windows 8 devices.

In the terms of use for the Windows Store, scheduled to go live in February, Microsoft included a warning that also serves as a way to claim rights over someone else's computer that, in the real world, would be similar to giving an employer who pays by direct-deposit the right to withdraw as much as it wants from your bank account based on its objection to money you got from someone else.

"In cases where your security is at risk, or where we're required to do so for legal reasons, you may not be able to run apps or access content that you previously acquired or purchased a license for…

"In cases where we remove a paid app from your Windows 8 Beta device not at your direction, we may refund to you the amount you paid for the license." – Terms of Use, Windows Store, as quoted in Computerworld

I'm glad Microsoft is thinking ahead to what it would do if apps distributed through the Windows Store turned out to be buggy or infested with Malware or in some way unfriendly to Microsoft.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question
randomness