Microsoft is updating their Services Agreement, the rules we call agree to live with when using Microsoft’s many services. We found a few interesting things in the changes.
The Summary of Changes to the Microsoft Services Agreement is mercifully short. Compared to full agreement of over 15,000 words which is just one part of a series of interconnected agreements and statements.
Most of the changes confirm (“clarifying”) existing Microsoft practices rather than anything new. The revised agreement applies from 15 June 2021.
A few things caught our eye and interesting or, at least, things for customers to keep in mind.
Teams and emergency calls
Microsoft Teams is now mentioned in the “Skype and GroupMe” section.
Emergency Services calls (911, 999, 112, 000 etc) are not guaranteed via Skype, GroupMe or Teams. That’s the case with any internet calling service. A mobile or landline is best for emergencies.
Closed Outlook.com addresses not reused
Microsoft confirms that an email address or username is not recycled into our system or assigned to another user. In other words a closed Outlook.com account means that …@outlook.com address won’t be given to someone else.
Closing your Microsoft account
“We’ve clarified that when you ask us to close your Microsoft account, you can choose to put it in a suspended state for either 30 or 60 days just in case you change your mind.
After that 30- or 60-day period, your Microsoft account will be closed.
Logging back in during the suspension period will reactivate your Microsoft account.”
Clarification is always good. You have a choice to suspend for a month or two, seemingly there’s an option to close and delete immediately.
We don’t recommend closing and deleting an account. Better to move all your cloud stored documents and files plus copy any email folders (if email hosted or Outlook.com). Then leave the account suspended for a few months just in case you need it or there’s something you’ve forgotten.
What is European Electronic Communications Code (EECC)?
The EECC is a European Union directive that standardizes the rules for internet and electronic communications across Europe.
The new Microsoft Services Agreement is “… waiving entitlements that would otherwise be applicable to microenterprises, small enterprises or a not-for-profit organisations under the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC)”
The rules broaden the definition of electronic communications so the cloud services and even the humble smartwatch are covered by the same rules. The primer is a good summary.
Because the modern world is so interconnected, EU rules can have effects way beyond Europe itself. The GDPR rules that supposedly only applied to the EU ended up being applied globally.
Your files and emails could easily pass through EU based systems even if the sender and receiver are outside Europe.
Points 2 and 4 in the Summary of Changes seem to be Microsoft covering their legal behinds with some new wording to deal with EECC.