The news was released that a few days ago Microsoft updated its Terms of Service and within the changes made, we can find the impossibility to mine cryptocurrencies through services online, without authorization issued by the company.
The decision was indicated through an update to its Universal License Terms for online services that entered into force on December 1. This document covers any "Microsoft-hosted service that customer subscribes to under a Microsoft Volume Licensing agreement", primarily related to Azure.
As of December 1, 2022, Microsoft users can no longer mine through cloud platforms without first obtaining permission from the company. It was in an update to its "Acceptable Use Policy" that the company clarified that "cryptocurrency mining is prohibited without prior approval from Microsoft."
The new restrictions They aim to increase the stability of their cloud services. In fact, when asked about this change, the Windows Publisher said that cryptocurrency mining could:
Disrupt or even damage online services and their users…
Cryptocurrency mining can often be linked to cyber fraud and abusive attacks, such as unauthorized access and use of customer resources. We made this change to further protect our customers and mitigate the risk of interruption or deterioration of Microsoft Cloud services. Permission to mine cryptography may be considered for testing and investigations of security detections,” a Microsoft spokesperson explained.
This update, effective from the beginning of the month, concerns all Microsoft users, including paying customers:
"Neither the client, nor those who access an online service through the client, may use an online service to mine cryptocurrency without Microsoft's prior written approval."
Microsoft does not appear to have made this decision public beyond the change summary page and, in the last few hours, in a Partner Notice titled: "Important Steps Partners Need to Take to Secure the Partner Ecosystem."
This document states that the acceptable use policy has been updated to explicitly prohibit mining of cryptocurrency in all Microsoft online services, unless Microsoft provides prior written approval.
"We suggest seeking prior written approval from Microsoft before using Microsoft Online Services for cryptocurrency mining, regardless of subscription length."
Although the company has introduced restrictions on cryptocurrency mining through Microsoft Online Services, the company also noted that it may consider allowing cryptocurrency mining for research and testing purposes.
Microsoft Online Services is a key part of the company's software-as-a-service strategy. Online services include the Microsoft Azure cloud computing network, which users use for cryptocurrency mining. Microsoft had previously experimented with launching the Ethereum Blockchain as a service on Azure in 2015 before quietly ending the Azure Blockchain service in September of last year.
With this update, Microsoft is anchored in line with other major tech brands that ban cryptocurrency mining on their cloud platforms. Same case in Amazon Web Services, which does not allow cryptocurrency mining that takes advantage of its servers as well as Oracle has completely prohibited cryptocurrency mining in its cloud.
Prior to the Microsoft spokesperson's statement, some had speculated that Microsoft might be concerned that miners would not pay their bills in the cloud.
With the cryptocurrency industry plagued by scandals of all kinds (such as FTX), along with many token values well below all-time highs, miners' positions can be… shall we say precarious. The fact that Microsoft reminded partners not to allow crypto mining supported this assumption, since Microsoft does not deal directly with most of its customers.
Finally, if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can consult the changes in the following link.
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