Playing Pirated Games On Your PC? Windows 10 Could Block Them
A new services agreement from Microsoft states that the company can prevent people from using pirated software or unauthorized hardware.
The service terms, which went into effect on August 1, indicate that Microsoft can prevent users from playing pirated games. The terms apply to services such as Xbox Live, Office 365, Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive, Bing and MSN.
The terms also cover software connected to a Microsoft account, which means the majority of Windows 10 users will be affected by these changes. Windows 10 does allow users to skip registering with a Microsoft account, but most users will likely log into their Microsoft account in any case, if they want to enjoy features such as Cortana.
The terms specify that updates from Microsoft can bring further changes.
"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," Microsoft explains in the agreement. "You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services."
It's not entirely clear what the company means by the "unauthorized hardware peripheral devices" it mentions in the agreement, but that could refer to third-party Xbox controllers that Microsoft did not certify.
Counterfeit games, meanwhile, represent pirated software, and Windows 10 will have little tolerance for that.
It's worth pointing out that the terms will not only affect Windows 10 users, but also users of other Microsoft services and software. The terms cover updates to Windows Live Mail, Skype, Maps, the OneDrive and OneNote apps, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Games from Microsoft.
The company further reserves the right to change the terms at any given time, pledging to notify users when it enforces new changes. Users don't have to specifically agree to the new terms, as Microsoft will consider it an agreement if you use the services once the changes go into effect. As this has already occurred, your continued use of Microsoft services has been taken to mean that you agree to the terms.
But if you don't actually consent to these terms, Microsoft doesn't leave you with many options: you can stop using the services and close your Microsoft and Skype account.