PSA: Microsoft’s ban on using its services to promote guns.

microsoft

Since 2009 Microsoft’s Code of Conduct has been applied to more and more of their online service. If a service is covered by this Code of Conduct, users of it are prohibited from using it in  “any way that promotes or facilitates the sale of ammunition and firearms” (See bullet point #13).

Almost all of Microsoft’s online services are by now covered under this “Code of Conduct”. These services include Windows Live, Office 365, Microsoft Sharepoint, Bing.com, Outlook.com, Windows OneDrive, Exchange Online, MSN and a number of other services.

The only major Microsoft services this does not apply to is, at the time of this blog post, Skype, Microsoft Azure and XBox Live. I expect Skype will eventually fall under the Code of Conduct.

Windows OneDrive, formally known as Microsoft SkyDrive, is built into Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8 for Phones and Windows 8 for Tablets. If you work in the gun industry you should avoid these products. You could wake up one morning to find your account terminated and all your emails, contacts, calendar etc. deleted.

Windows Live powers a number of Microsoft services including Microsoft’s cloud email and cloud Office suite. Windows Live, Outlook.com and Exchange Online power many large institutions including colleges and high schools. Don’t use any Microsoft-hosted email systems to buy or sell guns, unless you are willing to risk getting kicked out of college (especially if you have signed documents agreeing to abide by Microsofts Terms of Use)

If you use Microsoft Office in your gun business, make sure you do not use the Office 365 service to share business-related files.

Here at TFB the only Microsoft service we use is Skype. If Microsoft bans gun-related business over Skype, we will most likely switch to Google Hangouts.

It is sad to think that the Gun Club @ Microsoft was once a relatively large club. Point and Click no more.

microsoft gun club

Related

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Simon Turns

    This actually does apply to Microsoft Live, as you are unable to purchase any gun related items for your Avatar. you can purchase toy guns which are brightly colored and fire balls. but nothing that resemble and actual gun. http://kotaku.com/5870999/xbox-live-pries-the-guns-from-your-cold-avatar-hands

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Yea… But then again, you’d be a complete idiot to pay real money for clothing/items for your digital likeness.

      So… Really it’s not an issue for anyone but children.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      should be noted microsoft live and xbox live are not one and the same, microsoft live was phased out in favour of the global microsoft account whereas xbox live is simply the online services for the xbox.

  • Ralphie

    Who cares? Who is this Microsoft anyways?

    • BryanS

      The company that provides the software for 85%+ of the worlds’ computers?

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      Well, here at TFB we use Skype, which is now owned by Microsoft. I really don’t want to switch because I prefer it to Google Hangouts … but I will if they make me.

      • Jeff Suever

        If you use Skype as primarily an internal communication tool, may I recommend slack.com? A lot of us where I work use it and are pushing to move to it companywide. The challenge is getting others- especially those outside the organization to switch. It is a much better platform than Skype or Hangouts (we’re a Gapps shop). Ps- not affiliated in any way. I get no referral bonus. Just making a friendly suggestion.

        Btw- love the site, read 90% of the articles and even click on the relevant ads.

  • B.

    Normally I’d agree, but I’m to the point with all these companies coming down on gun owners that I’m past the point of caring and am just now saying “Fuck ‘em if they don’t like it, I’m doing what I want as long as it’s legal.”

  • Doopington

    I thought you were cool, Bill Gates…
    Can I still respect Warren Buffet about freedom?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      This code of conduct was not in place when Gates was running Microsoft. He left in 2008.

      Although he does still sit on the board, I’m not sure why would would look at a corporate policy and blame one person at any level.

  • Alex D.

    Politics, not firearms.

    • BryanS

      How is notifying manufacturers that the operating system and business software host that they may use changed their TOS to exclude their legal operations politics? This is good information, and deals with the industry.

      • dootdootbeep

        This TOS change is years old, why is TTFB posting about it now?

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      This is legal. Firearm industry companies are putting their data and business at risk if they violate the terms and conditions of the services they are relying on.

      Microsofts decision is no doubt political.

      • dootdootbeep

        I disagree, why are you singling out Microsoft? Why isn’t it a post about every big online company that prohibits similar behavior?

        • BryanS

          Mainly because those companies don’t have an immediate effect on the business dealings?

  • T.

    So? Meaning… I’ll use whatever I want so long as it furthers my end and I can get away with it, even in violation of their policy. Paypal is a fine example. I use Paypal all the time. Even for gun stuff. Obeying their policy on principle and subsequently “boycotting” them does nothing but impair **my** ability to function.

    I find it way more conducive to the promotion of my freedom to say fuck your policy I’ll do what I want.

    • uisconfruzed

      So what? Read the article- “You could wake up one morning to find your account terminated and all your emails, contacts, calendar etc. deleted. – That’s a bad day, especially if that’s your business.

      • Dr. Daniel Jackson

        That is not an issue if you forward all your emails to a secondary email address or backup your emails.

      • Christine Guinn

        If you are a business and are using ANY free email service like Outlook.com or GMail, or use a cloud based service to store business files, you are a moron!

      • T.

        I read the article. I gather you have little knowledge on how these things work on the back end, because if you did you’d know that that can AND DOES happen anyway. That makes the business foolish for not backing up their stuff. That isn’t at all relevant to the usage policy.

      • M.O.T.L.

        First, avoid anything “cloud” or “network”. Never ever put your private info on some cloud drive. Back up your email, keep everything local and off of your machine. More work? Yes. Safer? Yes.

        • Will

          Paranoid much?

          • jatb

            Did you really just call someone paranoid post-Snowden?

  • jeffw1978

    And Every other operating system corporation has similar rules (I am looking at you apple and to some degree linux.) I have come to the realization that if I boycotted every single company that has a policy preventing weapons or something similar I would not be able to shop just about anywhere. Every company has similar legal rules protecting themselves from libtards who would love to sue them for weapons proliferation. They aren’t worried about legal citizens buying weapons as much as they are bleeding heart liberal lawyers and advocacy groups. The Companies I have chosen to boycott have made political statements from their CEO (cough cough starbucks).

    • T.

      Starbucks wanted to be left alone, and a bunch of jackwads couldn’t do that. Is the end result such a surprise?

      • jeffw1978

        I get their position because of some aholes from Opencarry who is doing no-one a favor. I should have clarified I don’t have a problem with Starbucks rules be cause you can still conceal carry on their properties. I was speaking of other political statements by their CEO, relating to non-weapon political ideals. I have always had a thought that publicly traded companies should not be involved outwardly in politics. Private companies however have every right to.

        • T.

          Ah.

    • B.

      To be honest, it was no big loss to boycott burnt, overpriced coffee.
      Just saying.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      linux is a GPL licensed operating system kernel, has no such rules, even “to some degree”

    • http://suburbansdomain.blogspot.com Suburban

      “Every company has similar legal rules protecting themselves from libtards who would love to sue them for weapons proliferation.”

      You can’t sue a business for engaging in a highly-regulated and legal business. You can’t sue someone for selling, trading, or transferring private property in a legal manner. If a stolen car is sold on Craigslist, there’s no reason to take legal actions against Craigslist for the criminal actions of a user, unless somehow Craigslist was aware of the ad and knew the car was stolen, which would be extremely difficult to prove.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    The only real loss here is exchange/365.

    What is interesting is that I’m pretty sure Colt or Remington wouldn’t get kicked off of any MS services. But your Noveske, BCM or even DD I expect might want to consider in-house exchange.

    Really disappointing because inhouse exchange blows (compared to hosted) for companies under 500 people or so. Depends on what you’re doing I guess.

    • BryanS

      We got in the Outlook.com hosted email before they closed it down and pushed people to use 365. Since part of our business will be dealing with firearms, I guess I will ahve to look for a better email host than godaddy or MS. It sucks these days that the standard tools of business are all hosted by people who are anti-liberty.

    • Bob Sutterfield

      There are several other vendors of hosted Exchange services. Rackspace does a good job with it.
      I still prefer Google Apps over Exchange, but I don’t know if they have such prohibitions.

    • raz-0

      Why give them money if you don’t have to? Or start running it stuffs you previously rented in the cloud.

      I can recommend zimbra. Easy to admin and also available as hosted. Pretty solid outlook integration as well as all the active sync goodies.

  • HMSLion

    It’s not called Microshoddy for nothing.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Yea, probably because no one calls it that.

      • http://suburbansdomain.blogspot.com Suburban

        Back in the Windows 98 days, I called it much worse names.

        • Yellow Devil

          You obviously never used Windows ME. That was a real POS.

  • guest

    TFB… TTFB…TTAB…TTAG! :-D

    Good article btw!

    • Chief Homeslice

      I don’t think “The Truth About Blogs” would get very many hits…

  • Tim U

    Use Apple and Google products. Problem solved. These days Linux/Android, Apple, gmail, etc are all superior to Microsoft’s offerings.

    The only MS I would miss is the web server/.net stuff. And if it’s on your own server or a third party server it won’t get shut down by MS anyway.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      That’s all Steve and I use.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      mono, bam, no microsoft reliance on the .net stuff

    • joshua

      except that google has already tried to ban Firearm related material from their services, the backlash was so bad they relented, now Microsoft makes a habit of not giving a shit whether you like it so long as you pay them. but I trust Google less then I trust Microsoft, but the reality is their both compiling data, and are doing their best to ensure that you can’t function without one or both of them…

    • mikewest007

      Do not use Apple. Apple is the spawn of Satan and the epitome of digital totalitarianism. The user can’t do jack shit in Apple systems. Microsoft? Sure. Google? Yep. Apple? VERBOTEN! RAUS! HANDE HOCH!

  • curious

    Can you provide a link? I just did a text scan of several of Microsoft’s terms-of-services docs, and didn’t find this mentioned anywhere.

  • smartacus

    Hasn’t Blackberry purchased the corpse that is Microsoft yet?

    • Liquid55

      LOL…Blackberry is broke and is so crappy that no one wants to buy them.

  • Random FFL

    So basically, it’s ok to promote the sales of guns and ammunition with war and tactical shooting games on Xbox, because that makes Microsoft a ton of money. They just don’t want anyone else using their products to make money on guns. Seems just.

    • Michel_T

      Wonder if they’ll kick out the ATF, the Pentagon and most of Washington…

      -

      Ho, wait, just realized… these guys are doing everything to impeed the sales of firearms to “legal” owners…

    • Shady

      Seems like a liberal company to me.

  • MatKep

    I literally LOL’d when I read this. X-Box huh? You mean the same gaming system which plays Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, Call of Duty, et al.? Hmm, that anti-gun philosophical high ground seems a little shaky from down here .

    • Jeremy Star

      Yup, just like all of the anti-gun actors who headline big action movies where everyone uses guns.

    • Will

      They said except Xbox live.

  • Bp. David

    Ladies and Gentlemen, you have just witnessed the beginning of the demise of a once great American company. But don’t worry–there will be others to fill the void who DO love America.

  • JohnnyBGood

    I bet this will all be publicity, they won’t actively force any manufacturers out unless that manufacturer does something to warrant negative publicity. MS is just covering their ass, it’s pathetic, but not uncommon.

    • nadnerbus

      Yeah, Microsoft doesn’t strike me as the moral crusading type of corporation. If it isn’t hurting their profit margin, or threatening to do so, I don’t see them making any moves along this front. They are just keeping their options open if they have to go cowering in the face of an anti-gun backlash against a user or users if they get hammered for it in public. That is my guess.

    • Leo Atrox

      I agree. All this means is that they’ve got lawyers.

  • 11b

    That’s hilarious, because all of the military devices I’ve used in the past run largely on Windows XP. Quite the hypocrisy.

    • warezwolf

      …and they still do…lol

  • Holdfast_II

    All part of the de-normalization process.

  • Michael McCann

    None of this is actually true anymore – this entire article is pretty much incorrect and needlessly damaging to Microsoft.

    I don’t know where you got that old copy of code of conduct – but it clearly states at the top it is only valid for services that actually link to it, of which I couldn’t find any.

    I did look at several of the services you mentioned, the codes of conduct were easy to find, and contain nothing whatsoever related to firearms.

    Both OneDrive AND Office 365 link to this code of conduct which has no mention of firearms: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/microsoft-services-agreement

    It wasn’t that hard to fine – I went to onedrive.com and then clicked the “terms” link at the bottom. For office I went to office365.com and clicked the “Legal” link at the bottom.
    So please, just stick to stuff you know.

  • iksnilol

    If you are a gun company and use Microsoft, back up everything.

    • Tim Pearce

      Linux and Unix are both great options to MS operating systems, too. Some of them also have the benefit of being free *and* working better.

      • iksnilol

        Linux ain’t bad, takes some time getting used to but works well and is better optimized (faster performance for less CPU power).

    • Dr. Daniel Jackson

      If you operate any business you should be backing up everything.

  • John D

    Bill Gates is a left wing ideologue. It’s a shame that he has be able to build such an empire. Frankly, I think most Microsoft products suck.

    • http://suburbansdomain.blogspot.com Suburban

      XP was pretty good. I would drop Windows 7 and install XP in a minute, if they hadn’t stopped supporting XP. Windows 7 is crashing on me, and doesn’t work with some of my older hardware.

  • Rob Hill

    Since firearm ownership is recognized as a right, and since buying a gun is integral to that right, it’s clear that Microsoft is violating that right. Now for the part you may not like: Since public corporations are subject to the law, maybe we need a law that protects us from violations of our rights by these corporations. I know some people would say “keep government out. This is private.” But I say this is what government is for, to protect our rights. You should not have to be a particular race, religion, gender, or disabled to enjoy equal protection under the law, so why is it that all our rights get protection but the right to keep and bear arms?

    • Liquid55

      While I agree with you in principle, Microsoft is not violating your rights. They have rules, and you are not forced to agree to those rules – you can use other software and services. They should be able to operate their business in any manner they choose – people can then choose to patronize their business, or not.

      • Joseph Smith

        Apply your logic to a baker in Colorado who is forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

        Get it now?

        • Liquid55

          Oh, I get it, I assure you. My principles remain the same. The law and the interpretation thereof are the issues. That business should not be forced to operate in a way it doesn’t want to, either. I think that’s what we all need to get better at – finding the correct base principle to rely on, rather than looking at what we think is beneficial to us on any particular point.

      • Rob Hill

        My point is that nobody should have to surrender their rights as a condition of doing business with a corporation licensed by a state agency. And while the Constitution protects us against encroachment by the government, there are laws that extend and protect our civil liberties against violation in the private sphere. I suggest that gun rights are civil rights, and as such should enjoy the same level of protection as any other civil right.

        • Liquid55

          How is MS licensed by a state? Office 365 agreements are between individuals or businesses and MS. Your civil liberties are still protected – there is no guarantee that you get to do business with a company on YOUR terms. You can either choose to do business with them or not. In either case, you are in control.
          And BTW, I’m as rabid a 2A guy as you will ever find…but we need to be consistent – if we don’t want the government telling some businesses that they have to bake cakes for gay couples (like I don’t), then the government shouldn’t be able to force others to do things we like.
          If enough people tell MS to shove it over their dumb policy, then the policy will be changed.

        • Liquid55

          FTR…I do not believe that the assumption made by the author is correct. The code of conduct in the link says that that code applies only to services which display a link to it…and Office 365 does not display a link to that code of conduct. I believe that code only applies to their various public forums and message boards.

        • Liquid55

          My position is that other civil rights should be treated the same way. Your civil rights are not violated if a business doesn’t want to do things your way – THEIRS are if you force them to do business in a way that’s inconsistent with their beliefs. You are free to do business wherever you like – they should be free to do business however they like. Freedom should apply to everyone.

  • Mike – SSO

    first of all i hate this …….it is about legal gun owners, second of al these gun owners or users are keeping those guys from microsoft participating in their own f***ing halal event.

    i don’t get it.

  • bbmg

    That’s a bit rich coming from a company who would lose massive profits if guns were to be removed from Xbox games.

  • VirginiaGunSafety

    Thats interesting because just last week I got an email from a company selling a firearms industry module for MicroSoft Dynamics. If I can find it (I may have deleted it) I’ll post a link

  • dntmkmecomoverther

    ..but I’m sure I can use any of Microsoft’s ‘goods’ to promote beastiality, porn, or any other bunch of lunatic activity. But anything to do with supporting the founder’s vision of liberty is a no no. Well, MS, you just gave be the best reason and incentive to leave your sorry products behind for open source product. Thanks much you bunch of losers.

  • The War Wagon

    I just pinched a loaf of “care” this morning, about what Microflaccid thinks of anything… FUDGE ‘em.

  • gunslinger

    great

  • dootdootbeep

    Did you ever consider that this policy is so they don’t inadvertently run afoul of any local, state, or international laws?

  • John Everett Walker

    MIcrosoft has its own sense of business ethics. They regularly direct customers toward internet fixit services that implant spyware, virus and web hijackers on the victim’s computer. They allow other such services to claim relation ship with them without regard to MS reputation. The corp is probably too big to fail and indifferent to ethical concerns.

    • dootdootbeep

      What are you talking about? Where’s your evidence of this? Please stop spreading FUD

      • mcrognale

        Troll alert!

    • Callum King-Underwood

      they don’t allow it at all, what the actual fuck are you on about? They even publish messages to state that they have no association with these people. The relationship between microsoft and the internet fixit services is the exact same as with apple and child pornography, ie there isnt one.

  • sunsense

    pcLinuxOS is a good alternative. Very windows like and complete. I’ve used it for several years and converted many to it.

    You can dual boot. Leave windows and add pcLinuxOS.

    A separate hard drive makes things easier.

    You can run it off the CD for testing, but its obviously slower.

    Give it a whirl.

  • Bowserb

    As the generations-old answer to dares goes, “Let’s don’t and say we did.” The “moms demand” wackos hit up MS, “You should help us fight against guns!” Microsoft says, “OK, we’ll make it against the rules to promote guns.” Done. “Now, let’s see if we have time to FIX SOME OF OUR CURRENT REALLY CRAPPY SOFTWARE!”

  • Limonata

    First off, the terms of conduct are for using its public services. Nothing stops you from having your own private computers. It is not hard to setup your own private mail server etc. While not cost effective to use MS products, they are not stopping you from using your private computers. In the case of OneDrive, who cares you can purchase your own cloud enabled SAN Storage that can be setup in 10min and gives you more storage than you get with OneDrive.
    That said, this is a growing development that I do not like. The tyranny of the majority. The belief that social order can be had by banning things we do not like. While gun owners are easy targets these days, what is to stop the tyranny of the majority of wanting to ban say religion — since that seems to be a social theme as well.
    Are corporations now going to be in the business of social engineering and morality police?
    This policy and the policy of Google and Apple are all BS. We are all free when we are allowed to go about our own business. When you start banning you start discriminating and then technology becomes the social cop? When these companies do this often with pressure from the government, they are then an extension of government policy.
    All in all, this is a crappy policy for all of technology.

    • Robert Kalani Foxworthy

      We should sue them from violating our freedom of speach, and the right of Free Enterprize, they are opperating a “public venue”. no diffrent than a farmers market. essentually the internet is a public place least not forget that corperations were not alllowed to even have private commercial site intill the mid 90′s. As the governement onlly allowed educational and non profit. before that it was a millitary communcations network as well as science and other achedemic endevors. Those electronic addeniums to terms of use agreements are not theorically binding even if you check. One could argue that they should notify you upon the act of purchase before it is paid for to bring up terms of use. you cannot force a contract after a transaction.

      • Wayne Moore

        Yawn.
        I should program a macro for posting this:
        The amendments prohibit the government – not businesses or private parties – from interfering with your rights. Businesses are not capable of interfering with your right to free speech. If you are not on their property, they have no control, and if you are, their rights on how you use their property trump your right to speak.
        If you don’t like their restrictions, find another venue or create your own.

        • Edohiguma

          I was about to say that. Thank you.

  • mcrognale

    I stopped using M$ years ago. I went MAC and never looked back. Gates got rich by stealing software from developers beginning with the original disk operating system that he copied from the college and patented. I have no use for him or the company.

    • Mike

      Jobs stole everything that wasn’t nailed down, and if it was he burned the building down so nobody else could use it.

  • La Crika De Tu Mai

    They didn’t ban promoting guns, as far as I can tell you can still play Call of Duty on Xbox.

  • Tim X

    Microsoft Exchange server is what Godaddy is using when you buy a domain through them and add email services tied to that domain. It sounds like this dictate would ban their ability to sell anyone their email service attached to a domain. If so, this effectively shuts Godaddy out of hosting any gun related business. I would encourage anyone interested to call Godaddy support about this.

  • rickc

    I switched to a Macbook last year to avoid the XP fiasco- made sense since I already had an iPad. I have better on-line security and my Macbook Air replaced a dell Inspiron AND an HP desktop.
    The iPad and Mac both fit into a messenger bag for travel and both sync all my apps.
    I haven’t used a Microsoft product for 11 months and don’t miss them.

  • Dan-O

    I doubt MS will impose anything this stupid. Y’all interweberz need to remember that the bottom line supersedes any dumbass code of conduct, especially when faced with pissed of board members. There next step is to move into the “software as a service” platform, meaning you pay a yearly subscription and get access to the MS goodies. Do you REALLY fucking think some bleeding heart fuck-tart can convince a board group (mostly comprised of money raping members) that a forfeiture of billions of dollars in lost opportunities just because some people find guns to be icky? I seriously doubt it. I’m pretty sure legal teams in the gun industry would’ve caught that in the EULA had it been a real threat.

  • Rogier Velting

    Sounds like it’s time for Linux in the gun industry. Or Mac OS, but that’s expensive. Might be time for more people to switch, since the only advantage Windows has ever had was in gaming, and big software, and now that gaming support for Linux is increasing, maybe more will follow that example.

  • http://www.jabarihunt.com/ Jabari Hunt

    @TFB…at this point, you guys should switch to Hangouts anyway. Why continue supporting any part of a company that is actively undermining you?!?!? I’m not 100% sure of Google’s stand as a company, but I do know many of their execs and employees are avid shooters.

  • J.W.Y.

    Bill Gates is a philanthropist, he spent more of his own money in the past decade to help others than millions of Americans combined will earn in their lifetines. He is also an American who chooses to exercise his right as an American to influence others as he chooses on issues he believes in. No one faction is absolutely correct in this. If you don’t want to use their products then don’t, if you are soo pro gun and in tune with those who oppose your rights and beliefs why are you still using Microsoft products. Just because I am pro gun and raise my children in hopes of their supporting the same when they are adults doesn’t make me right or just, it simply makes me an American who chooses to do so. Exercise your vote, educate your friends, family, and others with the truth about firearms and let them decide for themselves. If they choose to opose you, so what, they are Americans and have the right to do so. If your Government tries to impose things that impede your rights against the constitution, then you have a right to be concerned and stand up for what you believe in as many are doing now. No I am not a fan of Bill Gates, no I am not a fan of Microsoft. Just exercising my right to an opinion as an American. And yes it is hipoocritical to have games with guns on the X-box system. And no my children do not play shooting games , they do however know how to safely fire, handle, clean, and store firearms. Good impartial article! Thanks for the heads up!

    • GeneralSpecific

      No offense meant whatsoever, but if you look at the genesis of Bill Gates’ philanthropy you’ll find that it originated with his parents and wife insisting that he give to charity. He was as tight as the workday is long until they drilled it into his head that he should contribute some of his wealth to the world. I think every person’s wealth should be theirs to do with as they please, but I cringe a bit when I hear the term philanthropist and Bill Gates’ name in the same sentence without qualification. You’re dead right on everything else though.

  • Zebra Dun

    It’s funny really, I mean microsoft sucks and everyone BUT microsoft knows this.
    If a website such as paypal won’t do the business I wish to do, I simply delete paypal and move on. I can always write a hardcopy check, get an envelope and mail what I wish by snail mail explaining to the receiver why it’s in the mail instead of paypal.
    Same with microsoft, I use what works when it doesn’t because microsoft has a political agenda I have no loyalty to microsoft.
    Say it loud! MICRO SOFT SUCKS, WE USE IT BECAUSE RIGHT NOW IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO GO, TILL SOMETHING BETTER COMES ALONG!” And when it does, it’s adios microsoft.

    • Wayne Moore

      Depending on what you need, something better might already exist.
      I use Linux Mint as my day-to-day operating system. It has everything I need except for one work-related application…. which I can use on the computers where I work.
      There are plenty of different distributions out there to suit your particular desired style, and most of them are almost infinitely configurable. It’s even possible (though not easy, by any means,) to configure a distro to have exactly the same look and feel of a windows system. Why anyone would want to do that….

      It’s faster than windows, no anti-virus to worry about, no automatic updates to shut down my system randomly, (I can update when I want it to update!) and best of all, it’s completely free!

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Normally I try to write something pithy, factual in rebuttal terms and well thought out on stories like this. But really, this just deserves a simple… Microsoft blows.

  • BingBong

    Use Linux and run Windoze in a VM if necessary.

    • Daily Beatings

      Been doing that since January 2005. Hardly ever use Windows except for DRM media that won’t run under Pipeline.

    • Wayne Moore

      Unfortunately, the army uses outlook web app for email, which only runs on internet explorer. Pretty much everything else has a Linux equivalent which can export to the ubiquitous ms office formats that are officially required. Thus, I have a VM with w7 and ie; about 4GB of space on my drive just to use my email.

      I do have a couple of programs that are designed for windows. They run okay under wine, but less than perfect.

  • 101nomad

    I don’t buy firearms or ammo from M$.

  • Kefka

    All of the xbox games with guns will be replaced by banana “handguns”, potato “grenades, pumpkin “rocket” launchers, and lets not forget about the hot dog “knife”……all of this is just another reason why I don’t like microsoft at all…. : (

    • Mike

      Pistols get replaced with walkie talkies, just like in ET.

      • Kefka

        That’s right I forgot all about that…..

  • Tim X

    Considering the pervasive reach of Microsoft, this is kind of like AT&T limiting your ability to promote firearms or sales over the phone. They are an information conduit, an infrastructure provider not unlike a phone company. What’s next, Comcast or TWC saying you can’t use their connections to promote firearms sales? Seems like this may be an infringement of free speech.

    • gunslinger

      they may be infringing on speech. but i doubt it’s illegal.

      the “first amendment” only applies to government, and Federal at that. most states have a free speech amendment as do most cities, but once again, it’s for government, not private/public companies.

  • Tim X

    TFB- Don’ be surprised if Google goes the same way.

  • http://www.survivalboards.com/ Kevin Felts

    I wonder if microsoft will extend that service ban to military personal? We would not want someone driving a tank and using a microsoft powered smart phone, now would we.

  • Robert Beck

    I just ordered a new Apple computer, I will never own a PC ever again! Truth be known I like Apple over PC anyway, this just sealed the deal.

    • Mike

      Microsoft doesn’t own PC’s.

    • warezwolf

      ..because Apple isn’t run by any pompous, judgemental hipsters!

      • robotprom

        Apple’s ToS only denies you using their products to create nuclear weapons. Everything else is fair game.

  • Sir Engineerington.

    You shouldn’t be using cloud services anyways, you have absolutely no way of verifying where your data is going.

  • strangeknight1

    Goodbye microsoft. I will simply find another product to use from here on out. Its not really about the guns, per se. But if you start banning one thing, next you will start banning more things. I want freedom to choose for myself, thankyou.

  • HKmaster

    Another reason why I use a Mac…

    • brainy37

      No, you use a Mac because you decided to sell your soul to the Apple ecosystem and can’t really get out of it without serious hassle. Apple has been a long standing anti-gun business for decades now.

      Windows operating system is fine. There are plenty of other programs that do a better job than many Microsoft based products.

      • dan citizen

        MAC, the easy bake oven of computers….

  • maodeedee

    Microsuck sucks big time. Always has always will. And they don’t give a rat’s Arse about what their customer base thinks about anything they do because they figure they’ve got us all by the short hairs.

    A pox upon the elitist chisling bastards. I’m finally going to have to get a MAC. I’m so sick of their planned obsolescence with them changing their operating systems every couple of years and each new system being worse than the one before anyway and If I’m going to have to learn a new system it might as well be a MAC

    • Callum King-Underwood

      planned obsolesence might aswell be patented by apple, they do it big time whereas microsoft have only done it twice (xbox 360 to xbox one backward compatibility and windows phone 7 to windows phone 8, both due to technical limitation).
      My dads partner has a mac mini which cannot be upgraded to mavericks, why? apple didnt want it to be upgradable to mavericks. It is a normal intel core i5 processor with 100% compatibility with the later model mac minis but apple want you to buy new hardware. The same applies across the iPhones, iPads (these 2 due to more rapid hardware change are more understandable at least), macbooks and mac pro. Windows 8 on the other hand I have just installed on a 9 year old laptop without issue, seriously, it runs, it bitched about lack of UEFI secureboot once but lets you install without it anyway.
      Just a minor fyi, mac isn’t an acronym and is not stylised in upper case. It has always been “mac”.

      By all means get a mac, get linux, get a god damn solaris workstation if you must. But planned obsolescence is not what is occuring here nor is it a thing microsoft particularly do.

  • Jim Brown

    I think you have an outdated copy of the MS document. By coincidence, I got an e-mail from them today announcing a new service policy. There are only 8 prohibited activities, and the ammo and firearms issue is not among them.

  • Yellow Devil

    Ironically, one of the linked related articles is the Microsoft Gun Club from seven years back.

  • Harbard

    Switch to Linux! Free and Open Source Software. That way you do not have to put up with any of that crap.

    • Django

      Excellent post!

  • Denver Garkie
  • Roger

    Sounds like it’s time to hit Microsoft with a freedom of speech lawsuit. If a private baker business owner can be forced to serve gays against his wishes, this should end with the same results.

    • GunTotingLib

      You only have a freedom of speech from government intervention….”Congress shall make no law respecting …abridging the freedom of speech”…. the government may not censer you or limit your speech. That is the legal limit to your freedom of speech. You have no freedom of speech in the workplace, private non government school or private business. Tell your boss to Eff off and try to hide behind free speech.

      • Django

        How is the 2nd amendment not protected, as it is a birth right in this country? It is AS protected as the 1st amendment! Microsoft is trampling on businesses that profit from the second amendment just like newspapers and media make a profit off the 2nd amendment!

        What part of SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED does Microsoft not get? The 2nd amendment is the only part of the constitution that has this sort of absolute language! Meaning do not f@ck with this one!

        • GunTotingLib

          What you seem to not understand is that the constitution and bill of rights ONLY protects you from government action. Your freedom of speech or religion or to keep and bear is not protected in a private environment. MS is free to restrict speech and arms unless a particular law exists that forbids private parties from doing so, and none do. For example I can forbid you from bring guns in to my home or business and not be in violation of the 2nd because I am not the government. Just as I can limit your speech in my home or business.

          First let me say I support the private right to keep and bear as do most people BUT as far as the “absolute language” of the 2nd it is the ONLY amendment with qualifying preamble…”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, “that combined with article 1 section 8 clause 12 and the general knowledge of our founding fathers thoughts on standing armies allows for a good argument to be made that the 2nd is in place to allow for well regulated government sanctioned militias and not out lining a ” birth right”.

          • Django

            You seem not to understand that my RIGHTS are not subjugated when I or anyone else NOT part of a government agency or to the government in general; enter a “private” place! I cannot get ARRESTED for speaking, which is a RIGHT! I may get fired atmy job if I say something wrong to my boss, BUT I HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHAT I WANT! I do not have a right to be employed! I can practice ALL of the amendments in a private place without fear of incarceration! I do not have fear of speaking my mind in ANY private place without fear of being arrested! UNLESS I WAS TRESSPASSING!
            Am I not allowed to wear a cross, star of david, or Crescent moon in a private place, such as Walmart, a restaurant, or a Car dealership, how’s about in my office at work? Would I be ABLEto speak my mind and not get arrested, would I be able to petition in favor of Unionizing?
            On what grounds can you arrest me for bringing a lawful firearm into your home if I was invited?

            Where in the Constitution does it say YOU can limit my rights? How would you enforce this? Will I be arrested if I do not comply with you limiting my speech, PLEASE? On what grounds?! Not only will I not be arrested for speaking my mind, I would not be arrested for expressing any other of my rights! I may be kicked out, but not prevented for expressing my rights!

            Now on the other hand if you LIMIT my Natural Rights, you are in fact breaking the law!

            Who constitutes a militia? How are they? THE PEOPLE make up the MILITIA? I do not see how leftists get around this? Militia and “THE PEOPLE” who take up arms are synonymous! You cannot have one without the other! That ids the whole point of a MILITIA!
            Or in other words is the militia regular army? Are they “The PEOPLE” If not, who are they? What different rights do militia have over a regular citizen of which they are?

          • GunTotingLib

            If you could be arrested for your examples than it would be a violation of your freedom by the government because it would be the government arresting you for breaking a government law. My point is your freedom of speech is not protected from consequence expect those from the government( arrest) . Just like when the Duck Dynasty dude got suspended for his speech many said his right to free speech was violated. It was not , he was free to speak , but a suspension from a private entity for your speech is not a violation of your freedom of speech.
            You are hung up on being arrested. My point is using your freedom of speech can have consequences other than arrest that is not a violation of any protection of speech. Microsoft has no power to have you arrested for your speech, but are within their rights to say if you practice speech they disagree with than you may not play in their sandbox. Just as I have no grounds to have you arrested for speech or guns in my home, but I have to right to revoke your invitation to be in my home.

            Re militias. People use the term militia inaccurately today to describe a group of citizens taking up arms as a milita.In 1791 our founding fathers added the 2nd amendment to our constitution. Those same founding fathers ,5 months later ,passed an act to define what a militia was, called the militia act of 1792 and was signed by Pres G Washington. It sets for a militia of citizen soldiers , lead by government employed and paid officers answerable to the government. A WELL REGULATED MILITIA as set forth by the 2nd. You and your buddies can call yourself a militia BUT you are not a militia as set forth by the 2nd Ad and the first congress of the US. Later in the militia act of 1901, the term militia was changed to the National Guard. the national Guard are citizen soldiers, well regulated and led by government assigned officers just like it laid out in 1792. Armed gatherings of people may call themselves militias, but by the 2nd amendment and following militia acts they are merely an armed mob. There is nothing WELL REGULATED about them, and are in violation of the spirit of the 2nd

          • Django

            You are confusing the right to speak with what the framers intended! That is NO penalty BY THE GOVERNMENT to impose incarcerations! Everyone knows this!
            The DUCK DYNASTY “dude” as you so eloquently called him not only spoke, but as everyone can comprehend used his viewers freedom of speech to protest his bosses at A&E (disney) to settle the dispute!
            Again NO ONE has a right to be employed! The best use of the 1st amendment is to defend speech that is not popular, it is also used for NON compliance in other words boycotts as in the fans of the duck dynasty “dude”, or the 2nd amendment hero’s in CT., CO., and N.Y. who are NOT complying with bullsh!t unconstitutional gun registering laws and magazine bans, and are threatened with incarceration or confiscation!

            What you Marxists do not understand is that there is NO difference between a militia’s (free armed men) and “The People” who consists of them! For example they are not barred from weapons or type of weapons before or after they join a militia! They train and use their own weapons, the states even paid for armories do you know what they are, a storage or safe house for the militia to store their arms and munitions? It is not for boxing matches or concerts!
            1. In 1939 the supreme court ruled ” the militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense….ordinarily when called for service these men WERE EXPECTED TO APPEAR BEARING ARMS SUPPLIED BY THEMSELVES AND OF THE KIND IN COMMON USE AT THE TIME!
            2. If the 2nd amendment only protected the national guard, then the Supremes would have thrown out Miller’s case (as in Miller v. United States) of court for lack of standing since Miller an Oklahoma BOOTLEGGER was plainly not a member of the National guard. YET< the supremes never ruled that individuals cannot RAISE 2nd Amendment claims! Instead the Supremes sent the case back to the trial court for fact finding about whether Miller's particular firearm a – SAWED OFF SHOTGUN – was a militia TYPE WEAPON!
            THE MILLER CASE ILLUSTRATES EVEN TO COMMIES LIKE YOURSELF THAT INDIVIDUALS MAY RAISE 2NND AMENDMENT CLAIMS, EVEN THOUGH THEY DO NOT BELONG TO THE NATIONAL GUARD OR A MILITIA!
            3. In 1990 U.S. v. Verdugo -Urquidez, Chief justice Rehnquist wrote that "people" seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the constitution, having in all cases the same meaning – namely a right of individual members of the American community.
            4. In 1991 in the supreme court case Planned Parenthood v..
            Casey The supreme court discussed the Due Process Law of the 14th amendment, the clause that makes the Federal constitutional rights of individuals enforceable against the states. Justice O'Connor's MAJORITY opinion explained that, among the rights protected by the due process clause are "THE SPECIFIC GUARANTEES ELSEWHERE PROVIDED IN THE CONSTITUTION – [ such as] the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms." That quote was also used in a 1980 ruling Moore, v. E. Cleveland!
            5. In the Heller case Miller was cited in the decision,"Americans have the right to bear arms that have a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia" that are part of the ordinary military equipment " or that the use of which could contribute to the common defense".
            6. McDonald verse Chicago the court ruled or extended the 2nd amendments protection of the right to bear arms through The Due Process law of the 14th amendment which provides "No state shall make or enforce any laws which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the U.S.: nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within it's jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"
            McDonald with it's ruling made ALL 50 states Issuers of CCW permits as before the ruling Illinois was the last "NO ISSUE" state. Meaning all 50 states have the right to bear arms in their state constitutions! In 1995 there were only 43states! All of whom cited Miller to gain or GET THEIR 2nd amendment back using the militia as a means to do it!
            7. The adoption of the 14th amendment was due in part to some states to DISARM newly freed African Americans after the civil war! Too bad lefties like you are trying to use illogical or unconstitutional wording to usurp not only the 2nd, but also the 14th amendments! IT IS TOO COMMON in BOTH parties today that we have such ignorance in the face of tyranny!

          • gunslinger

            the “right” you have to speak your mind is not always a 1A right. it’s a simple fact you can flap your gums. substitute “Right” with “ability” there and i think it makes more sense. i have the ability to tell my boss to ‘f off’ and he can’t stop me. well unless he physically restrains me and prevents my vocal cords from making noise.

            as for the duck dynasty dude, people on The Blaze, CNN, Fox News, local news, facebook…hundreds of them all saying “free speech, it’s his first amendment right” “sue AE for 1A breach” “where’s this guys’s 1A right to speak” so i don’ think that “everyone knows’ this” is accurate.

  • Arch

    Buy a Mac. Microsoft is so 20th century.

  • http://urbanarmed.com/ Urban Armed

    I haven’t used Microsoft products in over a decade. Use Linux / OSX. They can suck on it.

  • Shady

    I’ll continue to use their shit — that I bought and paid for — however the fuck I want. Sue me.

  • mr_Sug

    Does this mean the US defense department military branches procurement offices. Federal and local police forces and academies can’t use MS software to procure resources? Sounds stupid

  • Django

    With over 100 million gun owners in this country either BOYCOTT Microsoft, or going in the reverse direction, this is a great opportunity for a PRO 2nd amendment gun software manufacturer to start a business as a competitor to a socialist business model!

    I do not know how microsoft can legally get around an amendment of the constitution that is protected by everyone? Can they limit or disrupt their service to a religion they do not like, can they refuse their product to certain newspapers or radio stations that they do NOT agree with politically?
    If a baker gets sued for not baking a cake for a GAY wedding because it was morally offensive fro him religiously, than I do not see how Microsoft has any legal legs to stand on! Since marriage is not protected in the constitution and the 2nd amendment, IS!

    It is amazing how intolerant and oppressive the leftists really are! They don’t have to burn the books, they just remove them!

    No wonder where ever their madness is put into effect it leads to oppression, debt, imprisonment and democide. Without FAIL!

    • Wayne Moore

      Only the government is restricted by the constitution. Businesses are not required to let you speak your mind or bring weapons on their properties, and they can require that you let them search you as a condition of access to their property.

  • 101nomad

    If Linux is free (other than buying computer to run it on) and wonderful and easy to use, why is it not the OS on more than 2% of personal computers now, after 20 years? Yes, I know, because all M$ users are too stupid to use Linux. Great selling point. Like a car in a kit, build it yourself. Great for some, but not all. Having choices is wonderful enjoy them while you can. I buy firearm related items online, no problem yet. Guess M$ “services” are not involved.

    • Wayne Moore

      Linux is maturing in that sense.
      It used to be that setting up and maintaining a linux system required a pretty good technical knowledge.
      Nowadays, they are making the systems MUCH more user friendly, without completely sacrificing the configurability that power-users want.
      My favorite, at the moment, is Mint. Easy to set up, detects most hardware automatically and sets itself up for your system, easy to use, easy to install new software, comes with user guides, tutorials, and a good online community… What’s not to like?

  • Victor Cachat

    “Bullet Point”
    I see what you did there.

  • Spmscks

    Sweet US Government must stop using Microsoft this is awesome. Biggest arms deals are them buying them and giving them to terrorists in the brother hood

  • Edith Gaylord

    Been using Mac computers exclusively since 1985, and news like this makes me glad I do.

  • Wayne Moore

    I love it that I am reading this on my Linux system.
    Odd that the army – which is essentially a 100% gun-user organization (except for the chaplains, of course,) insists on using microsoft products. Our new email system only works on internet explorer, all of our computer systems are windows (thank GOD they haven’t “upgraded” to 8!) (yet.) and even our standardized memo and presentation formats demand the use of proprietary fonts!
    Maybe if the DoD decided that their anti-firearm stance left us no choice but to sever our relationship with them…

  • Trevor Varney

    I just got an email about changes in service agreement and there is nothing in there about firearms…. See below for restrictions.3.6. What type of Content or actions aren’t permitted? In order to protect our customers and the Services, we have established this Code of Conduct governing the use of the Services. Content or actions that violate this Agreement aren’t permitted.

    i. Don’t use the Services to do anything illegal.

    ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.

    iii. Don’t send spam or use your account to help others send spam. Spam is unsolicited bulk email, postings or instant messages.

    iv. Don’t publicly display inappropriate images (e.g. nudity, bestiality, pornography).

    v. Don’t engage in activity that is false or misleading (e.g. attempts to ask for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else).

    vi. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to the Services or others (e.g. viruses, stalking, hate speech, advocating violence against others).

    vii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g. unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, photographs and other Content).

    viii. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.
    In many cases Microsoft is alerted to violations of the Code of Conduct through customer complaints, but we also deploy automated technologies to detect child pornography or abusive behavior that might harm the system, our customers, or others. When investigating these matters, Microsoft or its agents will review Content in order to resolve the issue. This is in addition to the uses we describe in this Agreement and the Privacy Statements.

  • chuckles

    Their new terms just sent by email also make a point of saying you can’t make remarks about sexual orientation. Quoting a Bible verse will get the same treatment as a Nazi calling for death to Jews. Of course, I’m sure there is an exception for Muslims calling for untimely death for Jews.

  • Randall

    If you have never tried Linux, or haven’t tried it in a long time, you are in for a surprise. Linux has come a very long way in terms of utility and user friendliness. Now seems to be a great time to try it out. Download ans burn an ISO to a DVD, and run Linux from the disk to try it out, or install it in a separate partition, then you can boot from either system. Do a search for some of the most popular releases. In the end, you cannot beat the service or the cost – “free.”

    • Wayne Moore

      Linux Mint. My hands-down favorite.

  • Edohiguma

    “Windows Live, Office 365, Microsoft Sharepoint, Bing.com, Outlook.com, Windows OneDrive, Exchange Online, MSN.”

    Who actually uses any of that?

    Just from my experience, let’s just take Office and there MS Word. .docx files are larger and take longer to load than .odt files. That’s OpenOffice’s native file. Plus, OO saves where your cursor was and opens right at that point when you open your text file. I ran MS Office for many years, but I’ve switched. At this point it’s an inferior product.

    Outlook, haven’t touched that in years. It’s completely inferior to Thunderbird. Bing is terrible as search engine.

  • Richard Storm

    If I buy something from them, they do not get to tell me how I get to use it. So, they can go fuck themselves…They can do what ever they want to do. I will not let fear rule the day. I can always get new e-mail accounts, and I do have back up. I might even use legal action against them….

  • No-Mo-BO

    Crap like this is why I’ve always been a Mac user. It proves what I’ve always suspected…Microsoft describes their genitals.

    • gunslinger

      and what makes you think Mac/Apple is any less “pro-gun” aside from they haven’t “banned” the use of their product?

      http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245757

      • No-Mo-BO

        Just that, and Apple knows the pro-gunners will be looking for replacements for their PC junk. I don’t think Apple is going to be as emotional about it as Microsoft.

        • haha

          makes me laugh you mac people looking for a reason to say I have a mac. I’m glad you had the foresight all those years ago to buy a mac just in case Microsoft one day was going to turn anti-gun.

          • No-Mo-BO

            I had no idea Gates’ brainchild would become a New Castrati member. I just didn’t want to have to deal with all the bugs inherent with PCs.

  • Revlistless

    Microsoft sent an informational email about the changes they are making. Section 3.6 SEEMS to list a revised “code of conduct” that does not include any mention of fire arms. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/microsoft-services-agreement

  • Roy G Bunting

    Google bans all gun related ads too now. Not just Google Shopping, but all AdWords. As Google has about an 80% market share in online ads, this is kind of a big deal.

    https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/176077?hl=en&ref_topic=1310883

  • Micola

    Hmm. I think they are screwed if they try to apply it to Xbox. Our house is constantly full of the sound of soldiers and zombie death from some firearm. Xbox is one of the biggest promoters of virtual violence in the world.