Microsoft To Pull Encrypted Folder Under Pressure

Microsoft has announced it will yank an encrypted folder add-on to Windows, citing concerns from customers after some enterprise users objected to the unsupported feature.

July 17, 2006

1 Min Read
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Microsoft has announced it will yank an encrypted folder add-on to Windows, citing concerns from customers after some enterprise users objected to the unsupported feature.

Two weeks ago, Microsoft released the password-protected "My Private Folder 1.0" as a bonus for users running the anti-piracy Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) software. At the time it touted the encrypted folder as "a useful tool for you to protect your private data when your friends, colleagues, kids or other people share your PC or account."

Friday, a Microsoft representative said that the company was removing the application from its download site.

"We received feedback about concerns around manageability, data recovery and encryption," the spokesperson said. "Based on that feedback we are removing the application today. This change will take affect shortly."

As of Monday, however, My Private Folder's page was still active and the download link there offered up the 1.5MG file.Almost immediately on its release, My Private Folder was slammed by critics, particularly enterprise IT administrators who didn't like the idea of Microsoft distributing software that let workers hide files.

"If any tool is available for users to protect information it should be necessarily managed by the system administrator," wrote a commentator identified as Raul Batista on the Microsoft blog where the encrypted folder was first announced by Microsoft.

Others countered that network administrators were overreacting.

"A sysadmin who hasn't the computers of non-developers locked down so that nothing can be installed, is quite frankly, incompetentso this is a tempest in a teapot, nothing more," said a user calling himself "Joe."

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