As the name suggests, this is the set of rules and regulations that governs your use of any product or service from Microsoft. From Skype to Cortana and from Windows OS to MS Office and others are all covered by the Microsoft services agreement.
The terms of the agreement do not apply to Microsoft’s business consumers. In other words, if you are a business entity, government organization or an educational establishment that is using Office 365, Yammer, Skype or Azure for business, this agreement will not apply to you.
Boy, it’s lengthy!
With 31 subsections and over 15K words, that is one lengthy document that you are looking at. Fortunately, your privacy and the safety of your content are covered in the first two sections. However, you may want to read other subsections as well based on your use of the company’s products/services. For instance:
- If you are a paid user, you should check out the sections that are specific to the product/service you are using as well as the payment terms.
- If you are using one of Microsoft’s free services, read through the subsection on your privacy, your content, service availability and code of conduct.
- If you have bought/are using one of the company’s software programs, take a look at the subsections on software license, use of service and support and payment.
Of course, it would be best to read all of it, but if you just can’t bring yourself to do that, minimum due diligence, as mentioned above, is highly recommended.
Raise your hand if you have read through the entire Microsoft Services Agreement!
Well, it goes without saying that Microsoft have covered itself on all fronts with this document. Although you are not legally obligated to read through the entire thing, your agreement to everything that the document states is implied.
This means that as soon as you use one of the company’s free or paid for services/products, you automatically agree to everything in this document, whether you have taken the trouble to read it in its entirety or not. If you don’t agree with the terms in the document, you cannot/should not use the services/products of the company.
So, what’s new?
Microsoft will send you an email about any changes made to the service agreement. The last time they did this was on May, 1, 2018. The most notable change to the policy was the company’s stand on the use of offensive language and objectionable media. Legalese removed, the agreement made it clear that the company would:
- Delete any cuss words and media containing nudity, violence or other forms of objectionable content generated by the user.
- Do this without your consent (Read no profanity or nude pics on skype, outlook or any other Microsoft app/tool).
The company also made it clear that posting such content could be grounds for account blockage and discontinuation of services (free/paid). The entire agreement is available here.