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Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program

Updated: February 1, 2009

At Microsoft, we know that the best products are the ones our customers can use to their fullest potential. To design our products, we gather direct customer feedback by conducting usability tests, surveys, focus groups, and other types of field research.

However, hundreds of millions of people use Microsoft products, so it is impossible for us to contact most of our customers in person to get their feedback. The Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) was created to give all Microsoft customers the ability to contribute to the design and development of Microsoft products.

CEIP collects information about how our customers use Microsoft programs and about some of the problems they encounter. Microsoft uses this information to improve the products and features customers use most often and to help solve problems. Participation in the program is voluntary, and the end results are software improvements to better meet the needs of our customers. To learn more, read the following frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does CEIP work?
When you choose to participate in the CEIP, your computer or device automatically sends information to Microsoft about how you use certain products. Information from your computer is combined with other CEIP data to help Microsoft solve problems and to improve the products and features customers use most often.

Will CEIP collect information about all products on my computer?
CEIP collects information about Microsoft products as well as limited information about third-party applications that interact with Microsoft products.

Will I be contacted or receive spam if I participate?
No. CEIP reports do not contain contact information, such as your name, address, or phone number. This means CEIP will not ask you to participate in surveys or to read junk e-mail, and you will not be contacted in any other way.

Note: Microsoft is a member of the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance, an industry group that includes other companies such as AOL, Yahoo, EarthLink, Comcast, and British Telecom. This alliance is actively seeking to reduce unwanted e-mail messages.

More on Microsoft's anti-spam efforts can be found in this online progress report.

If I choose to participate, can I opt out later?
Yes. For any released product with an option to participate in CEIP, you can choose to start or stop participating at any time. Most programs make CEIP options available from the Help menu, although for some products, you might need to check settings, options, or preferences menus. Some pre-release products that are under development might require participation in CEIP to help ensure the final release of the product improves frequently used features and solves common problems that exist in the pre-release software.

Is the Customer Experience Improvement Program spyware?
No. Spyware can collect information or act on your computer without your full knowledge or consent. CEIP does not take actions other than those described in the Customer Experience Improvement Program Privacy Statement and you can choose to start or stop participating at any time.

Tip: If you are concerned about spyware, more information and tools for spyware removal are available at the Microsoft Security at Home spyware website.

Can I review the information before it is sent to Microsoft?
Unfortunately the information can't be reviewed for a couple of reasons:

The Customer Experience Improvement Program was designed to enable millions of customers to participate. To support such a large number of customers sending data, the collected information is recorded so that the Microsoft servers can efficiently process all the data. The nature of this encoding makes it difficult for most customers to review the information.

Applications which use CEIP typically send data to Microsoft servers after the application is closed. Rather than displaying a dialog prompting you to review the information when the application is trying to close, the data is sent automatically, without interrupting your work.

For these reasons, the CEIP program limits the type of information that can be collected and how that information can be used. The Customer Experience Improvement Program Privacy Statement describes the type of information that can be collected and how Microsoft uses the information.

We recognize that some customers might be uncomfortable allowing the information collected by CEIP to be sent without having an opportunity to review it fully even though the information does not contain contact information and is governed by the Customer Experience Improvement Program Privacy Statement. If you are uncomfortable with sharing this information, please choose not to participate.

How does Microsoft protect my privacy if I choose to participate?
CEIP reports do not contain contact information, such as your name, address, or phone number. CEIP generates a globally unique identifier (GUID) that is stored on your computer to uniquely identify it. The GUID is a randomly generated number; it does not contain any personal information and is not used to identify you. CEIP uses the GUID to distinguish how widespread the feedback we receive is and how to prioritize it. For example, the GUID allows Microsoft to distinguish between one customer experiencing a problem one hundred times and other customers experiencing the same problem once. The GUID is stored on your computer and sent with every CEIP report. Some reports might unintentionally contain individual identifiers, such as a serial number for a device that is connected to your computer. Microsoft filters the information contained in CEIP reports to try to remove any individual identifiers that they might contain. To the extent that individual identifiers are received, Microsoft does not use them to identify you or contact you. More details are provided in the Customer Experience Improvement Program Privacy Statement.

If you choose to participate in CEIP for a product, you can also find information about privacy and data collection in the privacy statement for that product.



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