Privacy Statement

Last updated: June 2013

This privacy statement applies to and other Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (“MS Open Tech”) websites and services of MS Open Tech that collect data and display these terms, as well as its offline product support services. It does not apply to those MS Open Tech sites, services and products that do not display or link to this statement or that have their own privacy statements.

Please read the privacy statement below.

Collection of Your Personal Information

We collect information as part of operating our Websites and services.

  • At some MS Open Tech sites, we ask you to provide personal information, such as your e-mail address, name, home or work address, or telephone number. We may also collect demographic information, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites. If you choose to make a purchase or sign up for a paid subscription service, we will ask for additional information, such as your credit card number and billing address.
  • Some MS Open Tech services may use Microsoft account, in which case, you will be asked to sign in with an e-mail address and password. By signing in on one MS Open Tech site or service, you may be automatically signed into other MS Open Tech sites and services that use Microsoft account. For more information, see the Microsoft account privacy supplement.
  • We may collect additional information about your interaction with MS Open Tech sites and services without identifying you as an individual. For example, we receive certain standard information that your browser sends to every website you visit, such as your IP address, browser type and language, access times and referring Web site addresses. We also use Web site analytics tools on our sites to retrieve information from your browser, including the site you came from, the search engine(s) and the keywords you used to find our site, the pages you view within our site, your browser add-ons, and your browser's width and height.
  • We may use technologies, such as cookies and web beacons (described below), to collect information about the pages you view, the links you click and other actions you take on our sites and services.
  • When you receive newsletters or promotional e-mail from MS Open Tech, we may use web beacons (described below), customized links or similar technologies to determine whether the e-mail has been opened and which links you click in order to provide you more focused e-mail communications or other information.

In order to offer you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions with MS Open Tech, information collected through one MS Open Tech service may be combined with information obtained through other MS Open Tech services. We may also supplement the
information we collect with information obtained from other companies. For example, we may use services from other companies that enable us to derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your geographic area.

Use of Your Personal Information

MS Open Tech collects and uses your personal information to operate and improve its sites and services. These uses include making the sites or services easier to use by eliminating the need for you to repeatedly enter the same information; performing research and analysis aimed at improving our products, services and technologies; and displaying content and advertising that are customized to your interests and preferences.

We may also use your personal information to communicate with you. We may send certain mandatory service communications such as welcome letters, billing reminders, information on technical service issues, and security announcements. Some MS Open Tech services may send periodic member letters that are considered part of the service. Additionally, with your permission, we may also occasionally send you product surveys or promotional mailings to inform you of other products or services available from MS Open Tech and its affiliates, and/or share your personal information with MS Open Tech partners so they may send you information about their products and services. You can opt-out from receiving newsletters or promotional e-mail anytime by following the steps as described in the respective newsletter or promotional e-mail.

Personal information collected on MS Open Tech sites and services may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which MS Open Tech or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. MS Open Tech abides by the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of data from the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view our certification, please visit

Sharing of Your Personal Information

Except as described in this statement, we will not disclose your personal information outside of MS Open Tech and its controlled subsidiaries, parent companies, and affiliates without your consent.

Some MS Open Tech services may be co-branded by MS Open Tech and another company (partner). If you register to or use such a service, both a MS Open Tech privacy statement and the partner’s privacy statement may be displayed. If so, both MS Open Tech and the partner will receive information you provide such as on registration forms.

MS Open Tech occasionally hires other companies (vendor) to provide limited services on our behalf, such as handling the processing and delivery of mailings, providing customer support, hosting websites, processing transactions, or performing statistical analysis of our services. Those service providers will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of the information and are prohibited from using it for any other purpose than for delivering the service to MS Open Tech in accordance with MS Open Tech’s instructions and policies. However, our vendors may use aggregate data for fraud detection to help improve their services. This helps them to more accurately detect fraudulent transactions. We may access or disclose information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of MS Open Tech or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the services; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of MS Open Tech employees, customers or the public. We may also disclose personal information as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets. 

Accessing Your Personal Information

Some MS Open Tech services give you the ability to view or edit your personal information online. To help prevent your personal information from being viewed by others, you first will be required to sign in. The method(s) for accessing your personal information will depend on which sites or services you have used.

Communication Preferences

You can stop the delivery of future promotional e-mail from MS Open Tech sites and services by following the specific instructions in the e-mail you receive.

Security of Your Personal Information

MS Open Tech is committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, we store the personal information we collect on computer systems with limited access, which are located in controlled facilities. When we transmit highly confidential information (such as a credit card number or password) over the Internet, we protect it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

If a password is used to help protect your accounts and personal information, it is your responsibility to keep your password confidential. Do not share this information with anyone. If you are sharing a computer with anyone you should always log out before leaving a site or service to protect access to your information from subsequent users.

Use of Cookies

MS Open Tech Web sites may use "cookies," which are small text files placed on your hard disk by a Web server. Cookies contain information that can later be read by a Web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

One of the primary purposes of cookies is to store your preferences and other information on your computer in order to save you time by eliminating the need to repeatedly enter the same information and to display your personalized content on your later visits to these sites.

If you sign in to a site using your Microsoft account, we store your unique ID number, and the time you signed in, in an encrypted cookie on your hard disk. This cookie allows you to move from page to page at the site without having to sign in again on each page. When you sign out, these cookies are deleted from your computer. We also use cookies to improve the sign in experience. For example, your e-mail address may be stored in a cookie that will remain on your computer after you sign out. This cookie allows your e-mail address to be pre-populated, so that you will only need to type your password the next time you sign in. If you are using a public computer or do not otherwise want this information to be stored, you can select the appropriate radio button on the sign-in page, and this cookie will not be used.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to sign in or use other interactive features of MS Open Tech sites and services that depend on cookies, and some advertising preferences that are dependent on cookies may not be able to be respected.

If you choose to accept cookies, you also have the ability to later delete cookies that you have accepted. For example, in Internet Explorer 8, you can delete cookies by selecting “Tools”, “Delete browsing history”. Then select the control box “Cookies" and click the “Delete” button. If you choose to delete cookies, any settings and preferences controlled by those cookies, including advertising preferences, will be deleted and may need to be recreated.

Use of Web Beacons

MS Open Tech Web pages may contain electronic images known as Web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that may be used to assist in delivering cookies on our sites and allow us to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver co-branded services. We may include Web beacons in promotional e-mail messages or our newsletters in order to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon.

MS Open Tech may also employ Web beacons from third parties in order to help us compile aggregated statistics regarding the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns or other operations of our sites. We prohibit Web beacons on our sites from being used by third parties to collect or access your personal information.

Finally, we may work with other companies that advertise on MS Open Tech sites to place Web beacons on their sites in order to allow us to develop statistics on how often clicking on an advertisement on a MS Open Tech site results in a purchase or other action on the advertiser's site.

Changes to This Privacy Statement

We will occasionally update this privacy statement to reflect changes in our services and customer feedback. When we post changes to this privacy statement, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of this privacy statement. If there are material changes to this privacy statement or in how MS Open Tech will use your personal information, we will notify you either by prominently posting a notice of such changes prior to implementing the change or by directly sending you a notification. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to be informed of how MS Open Tech is protecting your information. 

How to Contact Us

For more information about our privacy practices:

For general MS Open Tech Privacy issues, please contact us by emailing or at the address below.

MS Open Tech Privacy, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.,
One Microsoft Way,
Redmond, Washington 98052 USA


VM Depot Features

VM Depot is a community-driven catalog of preconfigured operating systems, applications, and development stacks that can easily be deployed on Windows Azure. Users can find software and deploy it in minutes, or join the community, build a virtual machine image, and share it with others.


VM Depot - Create Profile

What this Feature Does

After you have logged into the VM Depot Web site for the first time using either your Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo account, you will be asked to create a user profile. A profile is required in order to interact with the other features of VM Depot.

Information Collected, Processed or Transmitted:

To create your user profile, you will be asked for the following information:

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Email address
  • Web site URL
  • Blog URL
  • Facebook URL
  • Twitter URL.

You may also upload a photograph to be displayed in your profile. You will be required to provide either your name or company name, and an email address in order to create a profile.

Use of Information

The information you provide in your profile is stored and displayed on the VM Depot site, with the exception of your email address.


In order to create a profile, you must supply an email address and either your name or a company name. If you don’t want to supply this information, you have the choice to not create a profile.


VM Depot - Uploading/Publishing an image to the site

What this Feature Does

The VM Depot community portal will allow you to share a virtual machine image you have created with other Windows Azure users. Once you have navigated to the "Publish an Image" page you will see a short form where you will enter the details of your submission.

Information Collected, Processed or Transmitted

During the publishing process, you must supply the following information about the image you are publishing:

Image Name

  • URL to the legal terms for the image
  • Image description
  • URL of the image location
  • A list of packages associated with the image and a list of tags associated with the images


Additionally, you can also supply a thumbnail to be displayed next to the image.

Use of Information

We store in our database and display publicly all the information you provide about an image you publish


If you don’t want to supply information about a virtual image, you have the choice to not publish it to VM Depot


VM Depot - Posting a comment feature

What this Feature Does

Once you have logged into the VM Depot you will be able to rate and comment on images.

Information Collected, Processed or Transmitted

We collect the comment you enter and the rating value you select.

Use of Information

We store and display publicly the comment you enter and the rating value you select.


If you don’t want to supply this information, you have the choice to not comment or rate an image