Last week, Forbes published an article stating that Microsoft planned to change its data gathering policy to enable users to control what data is shared. We reached out to Microsoft and were told that it has no plans to change its data gathering policies. A representative said, "There’s nothing new to share outside of this blog post." Forbes has updated its original article accordingly.
Starting with Windows 10, Microsoft substantially increased its data gathering services. Part of the data is gathered to optimize programs such as Cortana so that they can be more helpful to the user. Part of this data, however, is also gathered for advertising purposes.
Although Windows is still the leading OS used around the world, several new competitors such as Google’s Chrome OS, Android and other variations of Linux that are free to use have entered the market and chipped away at Microsoft’s marketshare. To combat these free OSes, Microsoft has been toying with the idea of making Windows a free service that collects advertising data from users to turn a profit.
Windows 10 was the first OS to start down this path, with Microsoft offering free upgrades to the operating system for millions of users around the world. The amount of data gathered by the OS, however, is intrusive, and it’s considered by some to be a violation of privacy. Many users have complained and requested the ability to regulate what information is shared.
For a more in-depth look at Microsoft’s data gathering policies, check out our coverage of the last policy update.