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Windows 10 can seek out and disable your pirated games

Sam Loveridge


Windows 10 Xbox

Microsoft has a new plan to clamp down on game piracy with Windows 10, according to a new discovery.

Microsoft has just updated its Windows 10 end-user licence agreement for Windows 10, and it reveals that the latest version of its operating system has issues with game piracy.

Windows 10 is actually capable of identifying when counterfeit or unauthorised software is running and will then disable it.

In 7B of the EULA for Windows 10, as spotted by Alphr, Microsoft outlines its ability to immobilise pirated software and hardware.

"We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorised hardware peripheral devices," reads the notice.

That basically means that any illegally acquired games running on your Windows 10 PC, Windows smartphones or tablets, can be totally disabled by Microsoft.

It isn't quite clear what's meant by "unauthorised hardware peripheral devices" however, but it might be something to do with modified controllers that give gamers an unfair advantage in games.

SEE ALSO: Best PC Games 2015

Piracy is still a huge issue for PC gaming, since even though services such as Steam have employed DRM to protect content, games are still shared through torrent sites.

Windows 10 is being positioned as a key part of Microsoft's games business, so it isn't a surprise to see the company taking steps to clamp down on game piracy.


August 17, 2015, 12:51 pm

This is great news, shame they can't do it for music too.

Hamish Campbell

August 17, 2015, 1:02 pm

" or using unauthorised hardware peripheral devices"

What's that about?

Malus Ultor

August 17, 2015, 1:03 pm

Quite baffling why anyone uses this operating system. It's a resource hog and a spying tool.

Malus Ultor

August 17, 2015, 1:04 pm

Could be arduino?

mark choletti

August 17, 2015, 1:08 pm

They should be focusing on operating system "quirks," rather than how people get their kicks on Windows 10. Cortana works one day, and now has decided not to listen at all to me. Maybe I should stop impersonating Kirky from Coronation Street though.

Malus Ultor

August 17, 2015, 1:17 pm

Yeah, it's not a though the music business has been shafting the populace for over 50 years with the crud they've been releasing.


August 17, 2015, 1:20 pm

Although I wouldn't deny the vast amount of music in the charts is 'crud', there is plenty of good music if you care to look (and listen).

It's hardly a valid reason to steal someone's art because the industry has released something you don't like. Nobody is forced to buy the crud.
It's counter-productive to steal something you enjoy. Vote with your wallet.


August 17, 2015, 1:23 pm

How exactly is Windows 10 a resource hog? It's been proven to be the lightest version of Windows since XP. Impressive considering the functionality and improvements they've built into it.

And if you're concerned about 'spying' I'd recommend not using any Microsoft, Google or Apple services at all. But then I'm sure you don't, do you?

Malus Ultor

August 17, 2015, 1:23 pm


Malus Ultor

August 17, 2015, 1:23 pm

Tor Browser.

Malus Ultor

August 17, 2015, 1:25 pm

Nah, i'll continue with the torrenting. 50 Cent can only drive any one car at any one time.


August 17, 2015, 1:29 pm

I'm okay with people stealing the crud.


August 17, 2015, 1:29 pm

This article needs to be updated. It has since been clarified by Microsoft that they will only take action against counterfeit titles from Xbox Live or the Windows Store (which can't be pirated yet anyway). This does not affect exe applications.

The EULA in question is the one for Microsoft Services, not the Windows 10 OS EULA.


August 17, 2015, 1:29 pm

Well, obviously!


August 17, 2015, 1:30 pm

And never visited used a hosted mail platform once!


August 17, 2015, 1:31 pm

Nope, it's much lighter and faster than any version of Windows post XP. Also, this article is incorrect. Microsoft will only take issue with pirated content from Xbox Live or the Windows Store. it doesn't affect exe applications.


August 17, 2015, 1:35 pm

Just a thought!!, with Microsoft successfully creating an XBox 360 emulator on the One, I wonder if this is so that they could use the emulator on PC's too?.. Opens up the back log of 360 games to a wider audience.

Malus Ultor

August 17, 2015, 2:05 pm

In microsoft? Not since i got sense.

Michael Becker

August 18, 2015, 3:58 pm

Linux is a *kernel*, it's not a complete operating system in and of itself. You'd better watch out if you're a tin-foil-hat-wearing privacy-maniac and you choose Ubuntu, because there have been privacy concerns about that particular Linux distribution and its cloud storage service...

Michael Becker

August 18, 2015, 4:00 pm

I would be quite upset if Microsoft started scanning my system for "unauthorized downloads" and deleted all of my FLAC files I ripped from my legitimately-purchased CDs...

An operating system is a means to interface with your PC - and PC stands for "Personal Computer". No third-party software should be secretly telling you what you can or cannot do with it, unless they want to remove the "Personal" from your Computer...


August 18, 2015, 4:16 pm

I know what your'e saying - but my point was only that I don't support piracy, and music is possibly the most heavily pirated media out there.


August 18, 2015, 4:16 pm

Good point, well made.

Effilya De

August 19, 2015, 12:50 pm

Well anybody with any smarts that is concerned about spying and security uses a Blackberry right? If not you should.


August 20, 2015, 5:33 pm

Companies, including MS, have a really bad history of erroneously identifying things as pirated, including Windows itself. Also I'm fairly confident that a pirated version of Windows would have this functionality disabled.

Most DRM and anti-piracy measures actually disadvantage legitimate consumers and drives them towards the pirated versions that aren't so limited and malfunctioning.

Also don't forget that it's once again illegal for you to buy a CD and rip it to your phone, even for strictly personal use. Do you really want to make it easier to enforce such a stupid law?

Fetchez La Vache

August 21, 2015, 1:07 am

Is that true? That is a tremendous relief. I'm not concerned about pirated software, but I was worried that Win10 might accidentally delete legit programs... and don't feel comfortable with my system being searched, anyway.

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