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Microsoft can remotely disable Windows 8 store apps

updated 06:25 pm EST, Thu December 8, 2011

Kill switch designed to protect against threats

Microsoft is reportedly planning to equip its Windows Store marketplace with a security feature that will enable the company to remotely disable Windows 8 applications. The remote management capabilities were quietly revealed this week through documentation detailing the Windows Store terms of use, which includes a clause notifying users that some content may be disabled if it poses a security risk.

"In cases where your security is at risk, or where we're required to do so for legal reasons, you may not be able to run apps or access content that you previously acquired or purchased a license for," the terms read.

Remote deletion capabilities have proven popular with mobile platforms, including iOS, Android and Microsoft's operating systems going back to Windows Mobile. Before the security tool became commonplace in the mobile arena, however, Microsoft was pressured to remove a similar option from Windows Vista, though the implementation was designed to root out pirated copies of Windows rather than malicious apps from third parties.

It remains unclear if Microsoft will use the Windows Store 'kill switch' to help combat pirated software. The terms of use point out that content may be removed for "legal reasons," leaving open the possibility that content could be disabled if it is found to be running without valid licenses.

The Windows Store is expected to arrive alongside Windows 8 early in 2012. [via Computerworld]




by MacNN Staff

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