Hey, if you have ever felt like killing some time by boning up on Microsoft's terms of service, you're in for a right treat. The company has updated and changed its Microsoft Services Agreement. So, no longer do you have to worry about boredom with this riveting reading material.
Ok, so no one really looks forward to service agreements and most would outright skip them. However, the Microsoft Services Agreement covers the company's legal back more than anything. We guess if you are particularly concerned about how Microsoft runs itself, the agreement is worth checking out.
You have plenty of time to read them as the changes will not be put into effect until May 1, 2018. To make life a little easier, Microsoft has published a FAQ that highlights some of the differences being made to the Service Agreement.
The company has detailed some of the most important changes, which you can see below. It is worth pointing out the Microsoft Services Agreement does not cover several major products. Among them are Office 365 for business, education or government, Azure, or Skype for Business.
Below are some of the core changes made to the Services Agreement coming in May:
- In the header, we've updated the publication date to March 1, 2018 and the effective date to May 1, 2018.
- In the Your Privacy section, we've added details on our policies relating to Data processing under the Microsoft Privacy Statement.
- In the Your Content section, we've added references to broadcasts and sharing.
- In the Code of Conduct section, we've clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited. We've also clarified that violation of the Code of Conduct through Xbox Services may result in suspensions or bans from participation in Xbox Services, including forfeiture of content licenses, Xbox Gold Membership time, and Microsoft account balances associated with the account.
- In the Using the Services & Support section, and throughout the Terms, we've updated references to Skype accounts, which are now Microsoft accounts. We've clarified that we may provide service notifications through email, SMS or by other means (for example by in-product messages). We've also added a new section to clarify what happens when Services are cancelled.
- In the Using Third-Party Apps and Services section, we've clarified that Third-Party Apps and Services may include skills, integrations and bots. We've also clarified that Microsoft is not liable to you or others for information or services provided by Third-Party Apps and Services.
- In the Software License section, we've clarified that for certain devices, software may be pre-installed for your personal, non-commercial use of the Services.
- In the Payment Terms section, we've clarified that for recurring payments, you are authorizing Microsoft to store your payment instrument and process payments with it. We've clarified that we may remind you by email, or other reasonable manner, before any Services renew for a new term. We've also added a new section for bank account payment methods.
For customers living outside of the United States, Europe and China, we've also clarified that Skype calculates taxes based on the residential address associated with your billing information.
- In the Contracting Entity section, we've updated the Skype contracting entity for cost-free and paid Skype Services to Skype Communications S.a.r.l, 23-29 Rives de Clausen, L-2165 Luxembourg.
For customers living in Australia, we've updated the contracting entity for paid Services to Microsoft Pty Ltd, 1 Epping Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113, Australia. For customers living in New Zealand, we have updated the contracting entity for paid Services to Microsoft New Zealand Limited, Level 5, 22 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, PO Box 8070 Symonds Street, Auckland, 1150 New Zealand.
For customers living in China, for applications or other digital content acquired through the Windows Store in China (on devices running Windows 10 or later), we have updated the contracting entity to Hangzhou NetEase Zengying Technology Co., Ltd., located at Netease Building, No. 599, Wangshang Road, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, PRC.
- In the Limitation of Liability section, we've clarified that the limitation applies to a loss or a breach of agreement.
- In the Service-Specific Terms section, we've clarified that service-specific terms govern if they conflict with the general terms.
- In the Xbox section, we've clarified that when you sign up to Xbox Live or receive Xbox Services, information about your game play, activities and usage of games and Xbox Services will be tracked and shared with applicable third party game developers so Microsoft and the third party game developers can operate their games and deliver the Xbox Services. We've added new sections for Xbox's Arena and Mixer Services, in available markets, and a new section to address cheating and tampering software.
- In the Store section, we've clarified that these Terms cover the use of, and services provided by, Microsoft Services, but in some cases separate terms may govern the software. We've also clarified that the Ratings and Reviews section applies to all Digital Goods in the Store.
- In the Microsoft Family Features section, we've reminded you to carefully review the features and information provided when you purchase Digital Goods for family access.
- In the Skype section, we've added a new section for Skype's send and receive money feature, in available markets.
For customers living in the United States, we've clarified that if your Microsoft account is closed, any unused Skype credit associated with your Microsoft account will be lost and cannot be retrieved.
For customers located in Japan, we've clarified that if you buy Skype Credit from the Skype website, your Skype Credit expires 180 days after the date of purchase. Once your credit expires, you will no longer be able to reactivate it or use it.
- In the Bing section, we've clarified that Bing and MSN may make content available through Microsoft bots, applications and programs. We've updated the Bing Places section to include Bing Manufacturer Center. We've also moved the Microsoft Rewards Program into its own section.
- In the Cortana section, we've clarified that Cortana Services are for personal, non-commercial use. We've also clarified our terms relating to Cortana-enabled devices, Cortana software updates, and the use of third-party apps and services through Cortana.
- In the Office Services section, we've clarified that Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, Office 365 University, Office Online, Sway, OneNote.com and any other Office 365 subscription or Office-branded Services are for your personal, noncommercial use, unless you have commercial use rights under a separate agreement with Microsoft.
- In the Microsoft Health Services section, we've removed references to Microsoft Health, and we've clarified terms for Health Bots and HealthVault Insights, in available markets.
- We've added a new section for our Microsoft Rewards Program, in available markets.
- For customers living in the United States, in the Binding Arbitration and Class Action Waiver section, we've clarified that disputes to be arbitrated include those about advertising, marketing, communications, your purchase transaction, or billing. We've also summarized AAA Consumer Arbitration Rule R-14(a) that allows arbitrators to rule on their jurisdiction and other preliminary matters, and clarified that courts enforce your and our agreement to bring only individual arbitrations.
- In the Miscellaneous section, we've clarified that the Reservation of Rights and Feedback section survives termination or cancellation of the Terms.
- In the Reservation of Rights and Feedback section (previously titled Unsolicited Ideas), we've updated our terms relating to reservation of rights and feedback.
- In the Notices section, we've updated the copyright date to 2018.
For customers located in the United States, we've also added a tax notification page with relevant U.S. state and local sales/use tax information.
- We've made clarification updates to the Standard Application License Terms.
- Throughout the Terms, we've made changes to improve clarity and address grammar, typos and similar issues.