Microsoft exiting iOS/iPadOS?

G’day Folks

Tongue in cheek wondering whether Microsoft intends exiting iOS/iPadOS?

Installed the latest Skype app update (need to use it because some clients do) and the expected privacy/tracking warning came up:

"Allow “microsoftonline.com” to use cookies and website data while browsing "mi…
This will allow “microsoftonline.com to track your activity.
Don’t Allow
Allow”

Choosing “Don’t Allow” takes you back to the sign in screen, ie you can’t use the app without allowing it to track you. I’m guessing the same will happen after the next Excel update comes out.

Am I alone in thinking the ‘gun to the head’ approach isn’t the way this is supposed to work?

Guess it will be goodbye to Microsoft, even if it does cost me a couple of clients.

Cheers, Gobit

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That’s not a standard App Tracking Transparency dialog, though. I get the same dialog, but it’s a different request, despite the comment that it will let the app track you. My gut feeling is that the Microsoft one is less concerning because it refers to your activity within Microsoft’s servers, rather than sharing data with third-parties.

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This looks to me like an unintended side effect of Microsoft having implemented their services across two distinct domains, such that user permission is required for data to go back and forth between “microsoft.com” and “microsoftonline.com”. This sounds like there are legitimate reasons for the two domains to share the data, but given that cross-domain tracking gets exploited it seems short-sighted of Microsoft to have failed to implement their services using a single domain.

Dave

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Microsoft has many more domains, all sharing a common authentication server back-end. The ones I know about (and there are definitely more than these) are:

  • microsoft.com - The mothership. Includes quite a lot of sub-domains
  • microsoftonline.com - No content at the root level, but appears to have sub-domains for certain features like password resets and redirects to other sites
  • msn.com - Microsoft Network. Mostly a news portal these days
  • office.com - for all things Microsoft Office, including the web-apps for Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • officeppe.com - Some web searching shows that this is a staging area for pre-release and in-development office apps. It requires different login credential from your normal Microsoft ID.
  • live.com - This appears to be the hosting site for several web apps, including Outlook e-mail and OneDrive
  • onedrive.com - redirects to live.com
  • outlook.com - redirects to live.com
  • hotmail.com - redirects to live.com
  • sharepoint.com - Corporate file sharing/collaboration. Basically a corporate version of OneDrive
  • skype.com - Skype
  • azure.com - Microsoft’s cloud services
  • azurewebsites.net - I think this is a CDN for content hosted by Azure servers
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