Why the Surveillance State is an Epic Fail
- by admin
By Peter DiamandisBloombergNew York—Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said it was suspending the sale of its Windows 10 operating system and shutting down its Office software business, amid a spate of criticism from privacy advocates over government surveillance efforts.
Microsoft, a global technology company, said in a blog post that it will start a new program that will remove Microsoft Windows from sale by April 10 and that it is taking steps to ensure that customers who have purchased Microsoft Windows 10 since October 2016 can continue to use it for at least three years.
“We’ve made it clear that we won’t be selling Windows 10 and our Office products for a period of time,” said Michael Pachter, Microsoft’s senior vice president for worldwide product management, in a statement.
“As we continue to develop a more secure operating system, we will be providing support services to customers who need them.”
Microsoft will also discontinue its Office 365 subscription services, Pachner said.
The Office 365 program is a subscription service that lets businesses manage, store, and share documents with one another and is available to businesses and organizations worldwide.
The company’s decision to stop selling Windows and its Office products follows a spate, which started with the announcement by the National Security Agency that it was secretly gathering information from the company’s servers in 2013 and 2014.
That led to widespread criticism of the NSA and a call by some tech companies to end the government’s warrantless surveillance programs.
Microsoft responded to those calls by saying the NSA has never asked for a warrant to access the company servers, but that the NSA had violated the terms of the software and privacy of the company.
The NSA did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Microsoft said the suspension of its Office services is a temporary measure, not an indication that the software is about to be shut down.
Pachger said Microsoft plans to continue to support the company with Office 365 services.
Microsoft’s decision comes after several companies have been criticized for shutting down the software after privacy advocates called on the company to stop its surveillance programs and for not fully disclosing the extent of the government surveillance.
The move follows a similar move by Yahoo, which on Tuesday stopped selling a version of its mobile app that allowed the government to spy on users without their knowledge.
By Peter DiamandisBloombergNew York—Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said it was suspending the sale of its Windows 10 operating system and…
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