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Author Topic: Microsoft goes all Apple with a Kill Switch for Apps under Win8  (Read 4198 times)
zridling
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« on: December 08, 2011, 05:07:45 PM »

Microsoft: We Can Remotely Delete Windows 8 Apps
Like Apple and Google, Windows Store will include a 'kill switch' to disable or eliminate rogue apps
http://www.computerworld....ely_delete_Windows_8_apps
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"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," said Microsoft in the Windows Store terms. "In cases where we remove a paid app from your Windows 8 Beta device not at your direction, we may refund to you the amount you paid for the license," Microsoft added. The company also noted that along with the app, it may also scrub data created by the app from a device. "If the Windows Store, an app, or any content is changed or discontinued, your data could be deleted or you may not be able to retrieve data you have stored," Microsoft said.
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40hz
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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 05:16:42 PM »

One word: Linux
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IainB
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 05:33:54 PM »

One word: Linux
You may well be right.    Thmbsup

This sort of corporate domination and control over what is MY client device and MY data is detestable and wholly unacceptable.
Yes, Apple/Jobs were the latest or most recent good examples of such legal corporate psychopathy.
But before that though, I think Amazon had shown the direction to take when, in July 2009, they remotely deleted people's copies of the book 1984 from their Kindles. (A rather ironic act that, if you happen to have read 1984.)
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Renegade
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 09:19:59 PM »

Oh god...

I'm screaming inside... It's deafening... Quite literally, my ears are now ringing...
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wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 10:26:53 PM »

It's all a matter of credibility and trust.  And in this area, it seems that Apple actually has been more responsible than Google, i.e. Google has used their kill switch *multiple* times, and Apple has *never* used theirs.  If you have it for security concerns and manage it well, i.e. you have a pretty solid vetting system in your store, and you only use it if its a clear and present danger to the users, I can see this as useful.

Also, note that this is *only* for stuffs sold through their store from what I understand.  If you install software as normal, this doesn't apply.
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 10:33:12 PM »

It's all a matter of credibility and trust.
I agree.
I'm not that credulous though.
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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 02:38:28 AM »

It's all a matter of credibility and trust.
I agree.
I'm not that credulous though.

Hahaha~! Grin

Isn't this basically what AV software is for?

I don't like the idea of being able to delete *anything*. Virus? Sure. Anything else? Hardly.

I suppose that I would feel more comfortable if there were a user mechanism to activate/deactivate it that couldn't be accessed except by a human, and preferably at the machine. Then again, that might just be a pipe dream... Sad

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zridling
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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 05:00:07 AM »

Call it corporate computing, whether you're subject to an OS or the Cloud (amazon/google, etc.). Either way, if they can remotely delete apps, they can also remotely delete content in preparation for SOPA. One example: I have playlists on YouTube, but just about every time I revisit them, some (or several companies) have plastered a big fat TAKE DOWN notice on the page where the video used to be, making some claim to its distribution, viewing, or playback limitations. One video had five different companies objecting to it being online. Mind you, not the amateur video itself, but a piece of content in the video!

If you don't think groups like MPAA, RIAA, et al. through ACTA/SOPA/DMCA legislation will not enable corporations to do the same to your computer, I have some imaginary credit default swaps to sell you. To hell with them, I'm occupying my computer! (And yes, go Linux, or whatever else isn't trying to prosecute your HD.)
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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2011, 05:34:21 AM »

It's all a matter of credibility and trust.  And in this area, it seems that Apple actually has been more responsible than Google, i.e. Google has used their kill switch *multiple* times, and Apple has *never* used theirs.  If you have it for security concerns and manage it well, i.e. you have a pretty solid vetting system in your store, and you only use it if its a clear and present danger to the users, I can see this as useful.
/quote]

Though to be fair Apple blocks apps they see as a threat at the source (both for security and for market dominance).
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Renegade
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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2011, 06:10:02 AM »

It's all a matter of credibility and trust.  And in this area, it seems that Apple actually has been more responsible than Google, i.e. Google has used their kill switch *multiple* times, and Apple has *never* used theirs.  If you have it for security concerns and manage it well, i.e. you have a pretty solid vetting system in your store, and you only use it if its a clear and present danger to the users, I can see this as useful.

Though to be fair Apple blocks apps they see as a threat at the source (both for security and for market dominance).

Good point. (Apple has pulled many apps from their store after the fact - as for wiping, not sure...)
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40hz
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2011, 07:02:23 AM »

You could almost (but not quite) make an argument for having the capability of remotely killing an app.

But user data is the property of the user. There is ZERO justification for nuking somebody's data.

That jive move is definitely something motivated by SOPA considerations I'm sure.

Apple has pulled many apps from their store after the fact - as for wiping, not sure...

I've had apps disappear off my iPhone after they've been pulled from Apple's store.

I wasn't asked. They just quietly disappeared. When I went to reload them I found they were no longer available from the AppStore.

When I complained to Apple, they merely pointed me to the section in their license, and in my service agreement, that reserves their right to do so. I was also reminded I given them my tacit "consent" to do this as a condition of my using Apple's phone and app store, and AT&T's wireless service.

I will never buy another product  from Apple.  Angry
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 07:14:49 AM by 40hz » Logged

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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2011, 07:49:15 AM »

You could almost (but not quite) make an argument for having the capability of remotely killing an app.

But user data is the property of the user. There is ZERO justification for nuking somebody's data.

That jive move is definitely something motivated by SOPA considerations I'm sure.

Completely agree, especially looking at this rather open ended generalization:

Quote
"In cases where your security is at risk, or where we're required to do so for legal reasons...

I'm really not the slightest bit excited by the coming of Windows H8 ... It's actually becoming quite troubling.
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Renegade
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2011, 07:53:34 AM »

@40hz - Thanks for the clarification there.

I likely will give more money to Apple as I plan on expanding my software there. It's not by choice. Many of my users are on macs now. What to do? Sigh...  huh

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app103
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2011, 08:36:02 AM »

Some day you will purchase a low powered device incapable of any type of data storage. It will come with a built in RDP-like client, which will load and ask you for a credit card number the first time you boot it up. There will be nothing else available. You will not be able to build your own. Every member of the family will need their own device. You will not be able to share.

You will pay a monthly fee for the feature package you desire. Users will have to pay for the standard basic package designed for the purpose of content consumption. Developers will have to pay additional fees for a developers package designed for creation or they will not be allowed to develop software, websites, or anything else.

The actual OS, all the apps, and all your data will be in the cloud. If you have ever used a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 machine remotely from an old Win9x box, it will be a lot like that, except without the Win9x.

Only approved software will be available, for which you must pay for a license, and will also be on a monthly fee.

There will be no more malware, there will be no more piracy, there will be no more obtaining anything from unapproved sources. Customizing options will be limited. There will be no more tinkering and breaking things.

Apps purchased will be updated automatically. The OS will be updated automatically. This will all be at the server level. A developer that fails to keep up with things and make necessary changes will have their software wiped from all user accounts.

The RIAA will love the idea that you can only acquire their music through official sources, they will love the idea that independent artists will not be able to get their music into the hands of the consumer without them again. They will love the return to the days when they had a monopoly.

The MPAA will love the idea that you will never own another DVD again. You will only have access to pay-per-view to stream through official sources.

Adobe will love the idea that nobody will ever be able to pirate Photoshop ever again. Everyone that wants to use it will have to pay for it, monthly.

Users that are tired of malware and tired of losing their data when their hardware dies will love it as well. They will love always having the latest and greatest version of all the software they pay for. They will find the new "Pay" button on their keyboard very convenient. They will feel secure knowing that nobody that isn't authorized, will be able to accept payments through the use of that button. No more phishing worries.

The banks will love the rise in consumer debt, the interest they will get to charge and collect.

Freeware developers will hate it.
Poor people will hate it.
You will hate it.

This will be your Apple device.
This will be your Microsoft device.
This will not be your Linux device. You can not install Linux on it.

I said this 3-4 years ago. It is my computing nightmare. Let's see if it comes to pass. It has already started.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 10:44:54 PM by app103 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2011, 08:45:12 AM »

Well, nothing like pissing on everyone's parade with a dose of reality...

+1 app. I hate to say it... Sad
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justice
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2011, 09:24:34 AM »

Let's see Linux...
We have Android and iOS mobile devices, both have a kill switch. Apple has never used theirs. Google has. Android runs on Linux. Watch out for the spin.
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wraith808
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2011, 10:04:20 AM »

Good point. (Apple has pulled many apps from their store after the fact - as for wiping, not sure...)

That was my point.  They've *never* used the killswitch.  But google has... and multiple times.

I've had apps disappear off my iPhone after they've been pulled from Apple's store.


What apps?  I've never had an app disappear from my phone.  Some aren't on the store, but I still have them on my phone, and locally.  Some examples include the recent tethering app and VLC and the old fictionwise ereader (which even fictionwise won't acknowledge now that they've been bought by B&N).

Freeware developers will hate it.
Poor people will hate it.
You will hate it.

This will be your Apple device.
This will be your Microsoft device.
This will not be your Linux device. You can not install Linux on it.

I said this 3-4 years ago. It is my computing nightmare. Let's see if it comes to pass. It has already started.

I don't see it happening.  For some uses, sure.  But for general usage?  They said the same thing about the dumb terminal in corporations.  That didn't go over so well either.  And I don't get the Windows 8 hate...sure it's there.  But no one has still responded to the fact that it's optional.  The kill switch only exists for apps that have been purchased from the marketplace, and other apps can still be installed.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 10:15:10 AM by wraith808 » Logged

40hz
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2011, 11:20:05 AM »

What apps?  I've never had an app disappear from my phone.

I know this is going to sound like a cop out, but I can't remember the exact app names since this happened a few years back. Both apps were wireless network utilities that allowed for some very in-depth network probing. I recall there were words about about some of how they worked suddenly being in violation of Apple's murky policies regarding "acceptable" use. I've since replaced them with something called Scany (HappyMagenta.com) which does many - but not all of the things those other two utilities did.

Just to be sure I wasn't imagining this, I asked a fellow tech (who also uses an iPhone, and most of the same apps I do) if he recalled the names of the apps I was talking about. He didn't. But he did say (without prompting from me) "Do you mean the ones that they pulled off our phones?" So I guess it's not a total hallucination on my part.

Note. They also pulled a fast one on users with an upgrade made to the Stanza ebook reader some time ago. TechCrunch covered it when it happened:

Quote
Last night, I was prompted to update the app to a new version (2.1), and as usual I checked what the changes were. The accompanying message was pretty brief: ‘Removed the ability to share books via USB’.

I thought it was an odd update but didn’t think much about it, and since I didn’t actually use that feature simply downloaded and installed the new version.

Just for your reference: the feature enabled users to transfer books in the ePub or eReader format to their mobile devices using a USB cable.

This morning, we got some tips from people who were angry or surprised about Lexcycle removing the USB sharing feature from the Stanza app. I looked up the app in the iTunes Store and saw that the update notice now read ‘Removed the ability to share books via USB as required by Apple’. A glance at the forums on the Lexcycle website revealed that users were quite upset about the removal of the app, with only some suggesting that Apple may have had something to do with it and offering explanations why they would have demanded it.

I asked Lexcycle if and why Apple had requested the removal of the feature from the iPhone app via e-mail and swiftly received a short response, saying that Apple had indeed demanded that Lexcycle remove the feature from Stanza. I requested more information but was subsequently told by Lexcycle was strictly ‘forbidden from discussing the specifics of our conversations with Apple on this matter’.

And while it's true you didn't need to immediately do the upgrade (and lose the direct USB feature) that version of Stanza eventually stopped working if you didn't

There's more in the TechCrunch article if anybody wants to read the rest of it.

I take comfort in the certainty this iPhone will be the last time I every buy an Apple product. Cool
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40hz
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2011, 11:37:45 AM »

And I don't get the Windows 8 hate...sure it's there.  But no one has still responded to the fact that it's optional.  The kill switch only exists for apps that have been purchased from the marketplace, and other apps can still be installed.

Read up on how Metro, Metro Apps, and the Microsoft store will be implemented under Win 8 and you'll better understand. It's a move toward a walled garden virtually identical to what Apple is presently doing - or plans on doing.

It's also only optional as long as Microsoft continues to support the "classic desktop" - which as of now seems to exist in a completely different space from Metro. It's one or the other - with no direct link underneath it all. Furthermore, Microsoft has indicated that the classic desktop will eventually be phased out, leaving Metro as the only option down the road.

Add in the weaselly way they're looking to capture and lock in hardware via UEFI without specifically requiring it from hardware vendors (and thereby risking the wrath of antitrust regulators) and you'll see a lot to be concerned about.


Seriously, this truly blows. And big time!

If Microsoft, Apple, the media industry, and it's trained lapdog (otherwise known as your wise and benevolent government) has their way April's prediction will become a reality - and everything all of us worked for will get thrown out the window so that the bastard idiot stepchild* of television can replace the personal computer as the default (and possibly only) personal 'computing' platform.




---------
* Lapdog? Bastard idiot stepchild? Wow! Am I starting to sound like Renegade or what? Grin Thmbsup

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mahesh2k
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2011, 12:32:06 PM »

Dumb question - so it's not possible to create metro app and distribute via your own website ? also is it not possible to test your own app inside windows phone ?
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40hz
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« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2011, 12:57:58 PM »

Dumb question - so it's not possible to create metro app and distribute via your own website ?

No.

As things presently stand, Microsoft's Metro Store will be the only place to purchase, and the only way to install, Metro based apps.

Just like Apple's iPhone/iPad. No independent sell/installs allowed.
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f0dder
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2011, 02:46:41 PM »

In fairness, Microsoft has had some of the capability for a zillion years, with ActiveX kill bits.

But yeah, this is a bigger thing, and I don't like it at all.
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zridling
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« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2011, 01:08:08 AM »

Some day you will purchase a low powered device incapable of any type of data storage. It will come with a built in RPC-like client, which will load and ask you for a credit card number the first time you boot it up. There will be nothing else available. The actual OS, all the apps, and all your data will be in the cloud. There will be no more malware, there will be no more piracy, there will be no more obtaining anything from unapproved sources. Customizing options will be limited. There will be no more tinkering and breaking things. Apps purchased will be updated automatically. The OS will be updated automatically. This will all be at the server level. A developer that fails to keep up with things and make necessary changes will have their software wiped from all user accounts. I said this 3-4 years ago. It is my computing nightmare. Let's see if it comes to pass. It has already started.

April nailed it, but the first step outside the mobile space seems to be Google's Chromebook, which, while very popular with those who bought them, is the first step. And as 40hz noted, UEFI is the first step for Windows machines.
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« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2011, 04:12:40 PM »

Good point. (Apple has pulled many apps from their store after the fact - as for wiping, not sure...)

That was my point.  They've *never* used the killswitch.  But google has... and multiple times.

There seems to be significant debate about that. No confirmed "kill switching", but "Ndrive", "Hottest Girls", and other apps have disappeared from some - though not all - users phones. Is this a glitch? Poorly implemented "kill switch" tech? The reality of some people having jailbroken phones with disabled kill switch? Who knows. But I'm not so sure Apple hasn't exercised this right yet.

- Oshyan
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