Microsoft recently released a blog post to address some of the privacy issues people have raised concerning Windows 10. Here on the Htet Tayza Blog I examine the post to determine how effectively Microsoft responded to serious consumer concerns.
I’ve noted here on the Htet Tayza Blog that Microsoft recently decided to launch its latest product, Windows 10. It was hailed by reviewers as “a very usable and flexible operating system.” It reintroduced the popular “start menu” from Windows 7, whilst still managing to retain some of the most effective features from Microsoft’s previous operating system, Windows 8.
Windows 10 also introduced a range of other features. This included the “Continuum” software programme, which automatically detects whether a keyboard is attached to a device. They also used Windows 10 to introduce a new web browser, “Edge,” which gives users the ability to annotate web pages, and a new digital assistant, called “Cortana.”
One reviewer noted that “there are still bumps to iron out” in Windows 10, and that immediately became apparent when the product was released for public use. Many people found that the operating system impinged on their privacy, because it collected their most personal information.
Windows chief Terry Myerson has now addressed these concerns in a detailed blog post. Myerson wrote that “from the very beginning, we designed Windows 10 with two straightforward privacy principles in mind.” He revealed that these principles were that “Windows 10 collects information so the product will work better for you” and that “you are in control with the ability to determine what information is collected.”
He specifically talked about concerns over the content of application crash data. Myerson said Windows 10 doesn’t collect files or content, adding the firm takes “several steps to avoid collecting any information that directly identifies you, such as your name, email address or account ID.” Microsoft needs this data to release reliability fixes to Windows 10 “within 24 hours” of a crash.
Myerson also addressed concerns surrounding Cortana, whose integration has been causing further privacy issues. He said that when you enable the digital assistant, “you are in control of the information we collect for these purposes and can update your settings at any time.” But he didn’t talk about the fact that Cortana and OneDrive-related features still send data even when they’re disabled.
Furthermore, the Windows chief tackled fears surrounding the fact that Windows 10 automatically sends a child’s internet data history to their parents. This has been a particular issue for teenagers, with many people arguing that there are some instances where teens need privacy from their parents.
The blog said: “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.” It also explained that “additionally, we’re working on ways to further enhance the notifications that kids and parents get about activity reporting in Windows.”
Responding to customers
Myerson didn’t tackle every privacy issue with Windows 10. However with this post he did show that Microsoft is listening to their consumer base and responding to fears surrounding their latest operating system. In this way the blog was an effective response, since it shows people that Microsoft values consumer input and uses it to improve their products.