microsoft windows 10

A new story has been trending on the internet, regarding Section 7.b. of the Microsoft Services Agreement

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.

The original source appears to be an Alphr article that claims “Redmond can disable any games you’ve pirated or devices you’ve unlawfully hacked” and “Microsoft has practically baked DRM into the core of Windows 10”.
So what is all this? When we inspected we found that this is neither new nor a story.

It’s not new?

Well, it’s right up the top of Microsoft’s Service Agreement page:
Microsoft can disable your pirated games and illegal hardware

What are all these agreements and terms ?

Microsoft Software License Terms: applies to Windows (10) specifically
Microsoft Privacy Statement: applies to basically all Microsoft things
Microsoft Service Agreement: applies to listed Microsoft services

Does the Microsoft Service Agreement apply to Windows 10?

The Microsoft Service Agreement does not apply to Windows 10.
It is separated under Section 1.b. — Additional terms of the Microsoft Software License Terms that you agree to during Windows 10 setup:

Some Windows apps provide an access point to, or rely on, online services, and the use of those services is sometimes governed by separate terms and privacy policies, such as the Microsoft Services Agreement at ( You can view these terms and policies by looking at the service terms of use or the app’s settings, as applicable. The services may not be available in all regions.

Compare and contrast with the applicable Microsoft Privacy Agreement, mentioned under Section 3 — Privacy; Consent to Use of Data:

Your privacy is important to us. Some of the software features send or receive information when using those features. Many of these features can be switched off in the user interface, or you can choose not to use them. By accepting this agreement and using the software you agree that Microsoft may collect, use, and disclose the information as described in the Microsoft Privacy Statement (, and as may be described in the user interface associated with the software features.

The Microsoft Service Agreement lists the services it applies to under the last section, Covered Services. You will not see Windows (10) there.

These terms (“Terms”) cover the use of Microsoft’s consumer products, websites and services listed here (the “Services”). […] You accept these Terms by creating a Microsoft account or Skype account, by using the Services, or by continuing to use the Services after being notified of a change to these Terms.

What does Section 7.b. mean, then?

Covered Services in the section :

  • Xbox and Windows Games published by Microsoft
  • Xbox Live

So, the Section 7.b. making it clear by calling out “counterfeit games” and “unauthorized hardware peripheral devices” because it was written in regards to Microsoft’s gaming platform and associated IP on Xbox and Windows.
Interestingly enough, the current list doesn’t even call out the Windows Store, even though it is discussed in the store-specific Section 14.b.

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