First, the good:
Despite a federal court order directing Microsoft to turn overseas-held email data to federal authorities, the software giant said Friday it will continue to withhold that information as it waits for the case to wind through the appeals process. The judge has now ordered both Microsoft and federal prosecutors to advise her how to proceed by next Friday, September 5.
Let there be no doubt that Microsoft’s actions in this controversial case are customer-centric. The firm isn’t just standing up to the US government on moral principles. It’s now defying a federal court order.
“Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal,” a Microsoft statement notes. “Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen.”
I don’t expect the Feds to give up, so I do expect Microsoft will eventually be legally forced to give in. But any time I see a company take a stand for its customers, I applaud it.
Two years into the creation of the Windows Store, Microsoft is facing up to the mess.
This week, the software giant removed 1,500 “misleading apps” from the Windows Store. New apps now face tighter guidelines, and Microsoft says it’s putting more resources into identifying apps that “game the system with misleading titles and descriptions.” In other words, Microsoft is trying to clean up the lame shovelware and outright scams that run rampant in its app store.
The crackdown may have been a response to recent reports that pointed out just how bad the situation has become.
It’s difficult to recover from a botched product launch, especially after waiting two years (and one seriously unloved operating system) to try and fix it. The best thing Satya Nadella might have going for him right now is that Steve Ballmer has resigned from the board of directors, in order to spend more time with his basketball team.