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Microsoft's IM letter means you agree to pay and upgrade

Read the EULA. Gee!
Wed Aug 20 2003, 11:54
END USERS OF Microsoft's Instant Messenger software that got multiple copies of a mail advising them to upgrade yesterday need to read the fine print of the firm's terms and conditions most carefully.

The end user licence agreement (EULA) for the new version of Instant Messenger has some clauses that suggest changes are afoot in the way Microsoft deals with this popular little software item.

By clicking on the new agreement, users promise to pay for future upgrades and to acquire future chargeable upgrades whether they're wanted or unwanted.

Read on.

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Replacement, Modification or Upgrade of the Software
Microsoft reserves the right to replace, modify or upgrade the SOFTWARE at any time by offering you a replacement or modified version of the SOFTWARE or such upgrade and to charge for such replacement, modification or upgrade.

In the event that Microsoft offers a replacement or modified version of or any upgrade to the SOFTWARE, (a) your continued use of the SOFTWARE is conditioned on your acceptance of such replacement or modified version of or upgrade to the SOFTWARE and any accompanying superseding EULA, and (b) in the case of replacement or modified SOFTWARE, your use of all prior versions of the SOFTWARE is terminated.

TERMINATION: ... Microsoft may terminate this EULA by offering you a superseding EULA for the SOFTWARE or any replacement or modified version of or upgrade to the SOFTWARE and conditioning your continued use of the SOFTWARE or such replacement, modified or upgraded version on your acceptance of such superseding EULA.

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What does this mean? It could mean that Microsoft may charge fees whenever it wants, and that you also have to stop using the software if the firm decides.

Always read the fine print. If Microsoft addes this particular clause to operating systems, everyone might be forced to utter "Hail Palladium" when the push came to shove. µ

 

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