Simplification of Legalese in Using Common Software

Recently, we wrote a post on the changes in terms of clarity and simplicity that the European Union regulators are bringing to the technology companies. Well, Microsoft has just announced in the US their first move toward simplification, aiming it to its consumer-based online products:

We are updating the Microsoft Services Agreement, which applies to your use of Microsoft consumer online products and services. We’re making these updates to clarify our terms and ensure that they remain transparent for you, as well as to cover new Microsoft products, services, and features.

These updates, which are summarized below, will take effect on May 1, 2018. If you continue to use our products or services on or after May 1, 2018, you are agreeing to the updated terms of the Microsoft Services Agreement.

The link to the Service Agreement for consumer (non-business) customers is here:

While still comprehensive, the agreement is better organized and written in a clear, straightforward language. This is a significant improvement over the increasingly inaccessible language and voluminous girth of another right to use software agreements that encourage a click-through without comprehension.

We hope that this trend continues, so companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple become more transparent. Apple’s terms have been reported to be approximately 25 printed pages. Moving forward companies long agreements should also be made more accessible to the individual in comprehending what rights and privacy are allowed in their terms of use.

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