Many Microsoft (News - Alert) users received an e-mail last week telling them that the company’s terms and conditions for many cloud services including Office 365 will change. Users were told to closely analyze a lengthy terms and conditions document.
The document first laid out the products covered by the change, including Microsoft accounts, Bing, Office.com, SkyDrive, MSN, Hotmail, Movie Maker, Windows Live Messenger and Microsoft Photo Gallery.
Next, the new terms and conditions informed users that their accounts could be suspended for inactivity after 270 days of non-use, including permanent deletion of their data.
The technology giant clarified that all content uploaded by users was their sole responsibility including photos, videos and text. At the same time, the company reserves the right to alter the content such as saving, reproducing, adapting, modifying, distributing and displaying it to the extent necessary to “protect you and to provide, protect, and improve Microsoft products and services.
In addition to its content policies, Microsoft reserves the right to kick off subscribers who behave inappropriately. These behaviors include violations of intellectual property, late payments and lack of use.
Also, the company is keeping a close watch on users, reserving the right to upload information about customer machines, customer use of services and service quality. However, the Office 365 provider does promise to keep information private unless the information is requested by legal authorities or unless the information could prevent physical harm or loss of life.
Additionally, Microsoft has limited the use of its online software to one license per user. Users may download one copy of the software per device for use by one individual at a time.
Finally, customers who use cloud services give up the right to sue Microsoft. Any issues not resolved in small claims court will be subject to binding arbitration.
The new terms and conditions go into effect on September 27, only about a week away.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein