Microsoft has new initiatives on the way that are meant to move programs and data online, relieving companies and users from some of the burden of maintaining it all. Confidentiality will be the key issue that will persuade or dissuade people from trusting the services.

Many of the new .NET services are built on the Passport system created by Microsoft. Passport is an integral part of Hotmail and MSN Messenger. The Register is the first to notice that the current Passport Terms of Service give Microsoft and its business partners the right to own every bit of information that goes through the Passport system. Microsoft owns the content of your Hotmail messages – your business secrets, your personal messages, all of it. Read the quotes from the Terms of Service posted by The Register – you may be an early witness to Microsoft shooting itself in the foot again.

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