When you upgrade to Windows 10, you're prompted to accept Microsoft's updated service agreement. However, if you read that service agreement – and let's face it, most of us don't – you'll notice some new language that allows Microsoft to not only detect pirated software and illegal hardware on your computer, but also disable its use in Windows 10.
This new language can be found under the service agreement's "Updates to the Services or Software," in section 7b:
"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 Service."
Alphr recently spotted this clause and pointed out that it basically states that this means that Windows 10 will spot any pirated video games, or other software, on your computer and keep it from running in the new OS. This also goes for any unauthorized hardware, although the definition on exactly what that means here is unclear.
It's also unclear if this applies just to games, or if cracked versions of software, such as Adobe Photoshop, also fall under this new clause.
This doesn't just cover computers, though. It covers any machine or device running Windows 10, including smartphones and video game consoles.
However, this clause doesn't seem to cover all the software on your machine or device, only Xbox and Windows games. So it seems that this does not cover third-party apps, such as Steam.
Microsoft recently stated a commitment to crack down on piracy and even refused the free Windows 10 upgrade to those who run previously pirated versions of the Windows OS. However, the company plans on offering upgrade promotional offers to those who currently have unauthorized versions of Windows.
Microsoft has not yet commented on this change in its service agreement, but hopefully will clarify its position soon. Meanwhile, over 27 million devices now run Windows 10, with that number increasing exponentially every day.
Photo: Eli Christman | Flickr