Our forum administrator Kerry56 has taken some time to review the terms of service of the Windows 8 App Store. He found some interesting points of which you should be aware when installing applications from the store. The terms for the store contain some disturbing clauses which might be good to be aware off before you use it. The first point Kerry56 raises is that you’ll be required to have a Microsoft account that you’ll use regularly. The terms state that if you don’t use your account every 270 days it can be deactivated and your data may be permanently deleted from the Microsoft servers.
Also when purchasing the software you’re buying a license to use it which allows you to use an application on (usually) up to five devices, if you try to install it on more, it will be removed from one or more devices, automatically. While restrictions on the installation of software have become pretty normal, this is the first time we’ve seen that a company states in their terms that it will remove software involuntarily and randomly.
Microsoft is also collecting data about you, if you agree on their terms then they’ll have the right to monitor service performance, your service use and your use of the Windows 8 system including monitoring all software on the device Windows 8 is running on and any devices or software communicating with it. The collected information is not only used to improve their own products, Microsoft states in their terms that they are allowed to share information about you with other companies that work on Microsoft’s behalf. While you now don’t have a clue where your data will end up, at least Microsoft will require the companies to keep the information confidential and don’t allow them to use the information for other purposes.
If that doesn’t scare you enough, Microsoft is, according to their terms, also allowed to remove apps for any reason. If you bought it from the store, they might reimburse you, but the software and associated data will be wiped. This means that if you buy an office like app, your documents might be gone, or your save games when they decide to remove a game for you. Microsoft also states in their terms that they’re not responsible for the loss of data and states that it’s your responsibility to backup your data.
Last but least, Microsoft is also allowed to change the terms any time for any reason, if you decide to not agree on the new terms your access can be revoked.