“Microsoft Monday” takes a look back at the past week of news related to Microsoft. Last week, “Microsoft Monday” included details about Office 2016 for Windows PCs, a teaser about the Xbox One bundles, Minecraft coming to Oculus Rift, etc. This week, “Microsoft Monday” will focus on Windows 10 privacy concerns, the new Xbox bundles, Skype updates, Microsoft’s latest acquisitions, a patent partnership with ASUS and more.
Windows 10 Privacy Concerns
Windows 10 was released globally on July 29th and there have been concerns about privacy in regards to the operating system since then. To address concerns, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Windows and Devices Terry Myerson published a blog post last week titled “Privacy and Windows 10.”
Myerson said information collected by Windows 10 is encrypted in transit to Microsoft’s servers stored in secure facilities. What kind of data does Windows 10 collect? To improve application reliability, Windows 10 collects anonymous “telemetry data” like device IDs, device types and application crash data — which does not include content or files. Windows 10 customizes your preferences like your favorite sports teams to give you scores and updates. And Windows 10 also remembers the common words you type into text messaging conversations to provide completion suggestions. Privacy advocates may be thrilled to hear that Windows 10 does not scan the content of your email, files or other communications for targeted advertising purposes.
Fortunately, you can change around your Windows 10 privacy settings by going to Settings > Privacy. And you can adjust the privacy settings for each specific app through the Settings area within that app.
Myerson added that Windows 10 was designed with two privacy principles:
1. “Windows 10 collects information so the product will work better for you.”
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2. “You are in control with the ability to determine what information is collected.”
One of the benefits of information collection is quality control. For example, Microsoft noticed that a graphics driver was crashing on some Windows 10 PCs, which caused computers to reboot. So Microsoft worked with the graphics company to turn around a fix for Windows Insiders within 24 hours.
However, there is a feature that some privacy advocates believe is unnecessary. Microsoft Windows 10 has a feature that lets you monitor your child’s device use. Through this feature, you will receive regular activity report emails to your Microsoft account that summarizes how much time your children has spent on the PC along with the websites they visit, the games and apps they use and the search keywords that they enter into search engines.
Here is how Microsoft responded to the feedback about its family features:
“As an example of direct response to feedback we’ve received, all Windows 10 customers will receive an upcoming update to family features, with default settings designed to be more appropriate for teenagers, compared to younger children. Additionally, we’re working on ways to further enhance the notifications that kids and parents get about activity reporting in Windows.”
Windows 10 Activation: “Digital Entitlement”
Microsoft has recently created a website called “Activation in Windows 10” that provides clarity about verification. Windows 10 activation methods includes product keys or “Digital Entitlement.”
The digital entitlement activation method is used when you upgrade to Windows 10 for free from an eligible device that runs a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 or you bought a genuine Windows 10 copy from the Windows Store and successfully activated Windows 10. Or you bought a Windows 10 Pro upgrade from the Windows Store and successfully activated Windows 10. And finally you’re a Windows Insider and upgraded to the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build on an eligible device that was running an activated previous version of Windows and Windows 10 Preview.
If you bought Windows 10 from an authorized retailer or you bought a new device running Windows 10, then a product key is used as the activation method. Or if you have a Volume Licensing agreement for Windows 10 or MSDN subscription, a product key is necessary.
Windows 10 Hits 100 Million Installations
As a free upgrade, Windows 10’s growth has been rapid. Windows 10 already has 6.63% of of the worldwide desktop operating system market, according to Net Applications. And Windows 10 is the fourth largest desktop operating system behind Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows 8.1. As a whole, Windows has 95.37% of the desktop operating system market. Mac OS X has 4.91% of the market and Linux has 1.74%
About a month after Windows 10 was released, Microsoft reported that it was installed on over 75 million devices across 192 countries. Now it is running on more than 100 million devices, according to Petri’s sources. Microsoft said its goal is to have 1 billion Windows 10 installs within three years.
Microsoft recently rolled out a new By The Numbers website, which highlights company milestones. Some of the numbers that stand out includes more than 1.2 billion people use Microsoft Office and the company donates an average of $2.6 million in software each day.
“We’ve tallied some of the ways Microsoft is helping people all over the planet achieve more each day — and we’re keeping tabs on some less momentous stuff, too,” said Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Communications Frank X. Shaw.