Visual Studio 2013 Preview Product Family Pre-Release Privacy Statement

Last updated: May 2013

At Microsoft, we’re working hard to protect your privacy, while delivering software that brings you the performance, power and convenience you desire in your personal computing. This privacy statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Preview (“Visual Studio”). This is a preliminary disclosure that focuses on features that communicate with the Internet and is not intended to be an exhaustive list.

Collection and Use of Your Personal Information

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When we need information that identifies you as an individual or that allows us to contact you, we will explicitly ask you for it. Any such information we collect from you will be used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) you have requested or authorized, and may also be used to request your feedback about the product or service that you are using; to provide important notifications regarding the software; to improve the product or service, for example bug and survey form inquiries; or to tell you about new product releases.

Except as described in this statement, information you provide that identifies you as an individual will not be transferred to third parties without your consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as packaging, sending and delivering purchases and other mailings, answering customer questions about products or services, processing event registration, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the user information they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country/region in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. Microsoft abides by the 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.

Microsoft 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 Microsoft 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 Microsoft 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.

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When we need information that identifies you as an individual or that allows us to contact you, we will explicitly ask you for it. Any such information we collect from you will be used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) you have requested or authorized, and may also be used to request your feedback about the product or service that you are using; to provide important notifications regarding the software; to improve the product or service, for example bug and survey form inquiries; or to tell you about new product releases.

Except as described in this statement, information you provide that identifies you as an individual will not be transferred to third parties without your consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as packaging, sending and delivering purchases and other mailings, answering customer questions about products or services, processing event registration, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the user information they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country/region in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. Microsoft abides by the 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.

Microsoft 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 Microsoft 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 Microsoft 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.

Collection and Use of Information about Your Computer

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Visual Studio contains features that communicate with services on the Internet. When these features are used, they send certain standard information from your computer (“standard computer information”) to Microsoft. Standard computer information typically includes information such as your IP address, operating system version, browser version, your hardware ID which indicates the device manufacturer, device name, and version and your regional and language settings. This information is not used to identify you as an individual and is similar to the information your browser sends to each website you visit.

Because this is a pre-release version of the software, some of these Internet-enabled features are turned on by default so that we can collect enough information about how the software is working in order to improve the commercially released software. The default settings in this pre-release software do not necessarily reflect how these features will be configured in the commercially released software.

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Visual Studio contains features that communicate with services on the Internet. When these features are used, they send certain standard information from your computer (“standard computer information”) to Microsoft. Standard computer information typically includes information such as your IP address, operating system version, browser version, your hardware ID which indicates the device manufacturer, device name, and version and your regional and language settings. This information is not used to identify you as an individual and is similar to the information your browser sends to each website you visit.

Because this is a pre-release version of the software, some of these Internet-enabled features are turned on by default so that we can collect enough information about how the software is working in order to improve the commercially released software. The default settings in this pre-release software do not necessarily reflect how these features will be configured in the commercially released software.

Security of Your Information

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Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, we store the information you provide on computer servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities.

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Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, we store the information you provide on computer servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities.

Changes to the Privacy Statement

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We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will revise the “last updated” date at the top of the privacy statement. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.

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We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will revise the “last updated” date at the top of the privacy statement. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information. If you have questions about this privacy statement, please contact us by e-mail at vspriv@microsoft.com.

Visual Studio Privacy

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Customer Experience Improvement Program

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The Customer Experience Improvement Program (“CEIP”) collects basic information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. The information CEIP collects includes the type and number of errors you encounter, software and hardware performance, and the speed of services. We will not collect your name, address, or other contact information.

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The Customer Experience Improvement Program (“CEIP”) collects basic information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. The information CEIP collects includes the type and number of errors you encounter, software and hardware performance, and the speed of services. We will not collect your name, address, or other contact information.

What This Feature Does:

The Customer Experience Improvement Program (“CEIP”) collects basic information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. The information CEIP collects includes the type and number of errors you encounter, software and hardware performance, and the speed of services. We will not collect your name, address, or other contact information.

In most versions of Visual Studio 2013 Preview, users will have to opt out of CEIP by selecting not to participate in the program during setup.

Use of Information:

We use this information to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services.

Choice/Control:

Participation in CEIP is on by default for pre-releases of Visual Studio. The CEIP setting in VIsual Studio is now a per machine setting, so opting in or out of the CEIP program will do so for all users of the machine running Visual Studio.

If you prefer not to participate you can turn CEIP off at any time by:

  1. From the Help menu, select Customer Feedback Options
  2. To turn CEIP off, click No, I would not like to participate.

To participate in the program:

  1. From the Help menu, select Customer Feedback Options
  2. To turn CEIP on, click Yes, I am willing to participate …Click OK.

For additional, general information about CEIP, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52097.

Downloads, Updates and Visual Studio Feeds

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These features provide download, update and Visual Studio news feeds options.

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These features provide download, update and Visual Studio news feeds options.

What These Features Do:

Visual Studio News Feeds: This feature allows you to opt-in to download up-to-date information and news about Microsoft technologies. This feature checks for and downloads new information and news every 60 minutes by default. You can configure the news feeds and the frequency setting.

Visual Studio Installations: The Visual Studio feeds offer you a selection of installable items. You can select items that Visual Studio will download and install.

Checks for Updates: Upon launch, Visual Studio will check the availability of new features and updates to the user’s extensions/add-ins.

Visual Studio gallery: This feature downloads descriptive information from Microsoft about extensions and development tools that you may use with Visual Studio.

Samples Gallery and Other Galleries: Visual Studio may make available to you galleries where you can download code samples, extensions, and other Microsoft or third-party material, which you can use with Visual Studio. This Privacy Statement does not apply to any third-party material, and that material may be subject to non-Microsoft privacy statements. We encourage you to carefully read any applicable privacy statements before downloading any third-party material.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

Checks for Updates: Your IP address and the version of Visual Studio are transmitted to the server hosting the feed as well as any search and filter parameters supplied by you.

Visual Studio Installations: When you make a selection from the feed, Visual Studio will transmit the item ID and, when needed, the version of Visual Studio that originated the request, along with your IP address.

Use of Information: Microsoft uses this information to return the necessary data to enable Visual Studio to display the latest content.

Checks for Updates: Microsoft uses this information to check the availability of new features or updates for product features, including your extensions.It returns data to notify you of the availability of those new features or updates

Visual Studio Installations: The service may keep a count of downloads for a particular selection; however, no information that identifies you as an individual is retained.

Choice/Control:

Checks for Updates: The feeds are on by default but you can turn them off individually.To turn on or off auto detection of updates:

  • Go to the Tools Menu and select Options.
  • Click on the Environment node
  • Click the Extension and Updates node.
  • Check or uncheck “Automatically check for updates:

Visual Studio Installations: You can cancel downloads and/or installs by clicking the cancel button in the dialogs.

Visual Studio News Feed: You can turn this feed off by clearing the Download Content checkbox in the Startup panel of the Tools/Options dialog.You can also add a different news feed by adding the RSS link to the ‘Start Page news channel’ text box.

Gallery Feeds: Gallery online access can be disabled by an Administrator using group policy settings.See the documentation page entitled ” How to – Manage a Private Gallery by Using Registry Settings” for detailed instructions.

Connections to Team Foundation Services

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Visual Studio has added several features that enable you to interact with Team Foundation Services through the Connected Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

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Visual Studio has added several features that enable you to interact with Team Foundation Services through the Connected Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

What these features do:

You may create a Team Foundation Services profile that will store user settings like display preferences, keyboard shortcuts, text editor settings, startup settings, command bar settings and environment aliases so that when you log into Visual Studio through the IDE, your settings roam with you independent of what machine you are using. In addition, your profile will contain information about your license and provide you with notifications about licensing, updates and subscription status. No information specific to you is collected. For additional information about Team Foundation Services, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=264782.

Use of Information:

The information you send to Microsoft is used by Microsoft to provide the Team Foundation Services. Any data sent to and/or stored in the Team Foundation Services is used in accordance with the applicable service-specific agreement.

Choice/Control:

Users of pre-release trial versions of Visual Studio will be required, after 14 days, to create a Visual Studio profile in order to continue using Visual Studio. If you do not wish to provide this information then your only option is to discontinue use of this pre-release software.

Connections to Other Microsoft Services

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Visual Studio has added several features that enable you to interact with Microsoft services such as Microsoft Azure and Office365.

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Visual Studio has added several features that enable you to interact with Microsoft services such as Microsoft Azure and Office365.

What These Features Do:

Visual Studio has added several features that enable you to interact with Microsoft services such as Microsoft Azure and Office365.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

Data may be transmitted to Microsoft as follows:

  • Hosted Services: You will be prompted to provide a certificate that is used by Visual Studio to connect to Microsoft Azure.
  • Storage Accounts: You will be prompted to provide an access key.
  • Publish to Microsoft Azure: Your content is sent over the Internet to Microsoft Azure.
  • Browse Microsoft Azure storage accounts: You will be actively connected over the Internet to Microsoft Azure.
  • Enable IntelliTrace for your service: Debugging data will be written to your Microsoft Azure storage account and then downloaded to your machine to help you identify errors in your service. If you choose to monitor your service, then status information will be actively retrieved over the Internet from Microsoft Azure.
  • Develop on Office 365: You will need to transmit your credentials when connecting to Office 365 to authenticate. After you authenticate, you may be able to create an Office 365 project or publish a project to Office 365.

Use of Information:

The information you send to Microsoft is used by Microsoft to provide the services . Any data sent to and/or stored in Microsoft services is used in accordance to the applicable service-specific agreement.

Choice/Control:

Depending on the feature, you can choose whether or not to store the service credentials locally on your computer. There is no choice to save the account information if the feature requires this information to function.

When publishing to Microsoft Azure you may be given a choice as to which of your credentials to use, what service slot to which you want to deploy (e.g. “staging” or “production”), and the storage account to use. You may revoke permission for Visual Studio to connect to Microsoft Azure at any time, either by removing the credential information through the provided Visual Studio interface or by using the Microsoft Azure development portal to regenerate the access keys for storage accounts or removing the API certificate for the account.

IntelliSense for JavaScript

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To improve IntelliSense during JavaScript development, Visual Studio can download remotely referenced files. This will happen under two scenarios: (1) You download a project from the Internet that references a remote file or (2) you add a reference to a remote file.

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To improve IntelliSense during JavaScript development, Visual Studio can download remotely referenced files. This will happen under two scenarios: (1) You download a project from the Internet that references a remote file or (2) you add a reference to a remote file.

What This Feature Does:

To improve IntelliSense during JavaScript development, Visual Studio can download remotely referenced files. This will happen under two scenarios: (1) You download a project from the Internet that references a remote file; or (2) you add a reference to a remote file.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

Visual Studio will transmit the web request for the referenced file to the referenced web server, and download the referenced file from the web server.

Use of Information:

The referenced script that is downloaded is used to improve JavaScript IntelliSense.

Choice/Control:

You can enable Project files that contain web references to download the remote files by:

  1. Navigating to the Tools menu
  2. Select Options → Text Editor → JavaScript
  3. Select IntelliSense
  4. In the available options check the Download remote references.

PreEmptive Analytics CE

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If you choose to install PreEmptive Analytics CE, you will be able to instrument your applications to automatically send back exception report data to your PreEmptive Analytics endpoint service as errors occur during their execution. Your PreEmptive Analytics aggregator service then collects these error reports and automatically creates or updates work items in Microsoft Team Foundation Server based on rules and thresholds you define.

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If you choose to install PreEmptive Analytics CE, you will be able to instrument your applications to automatically send back exception report data to your PreEmptive Analytics endpoint service as errors occur during their execution. Your PreEmptive Analytics aggregator service then collects these error reports and automatically creates or updates work items in Microsoft Team Foundation Server based on rules and thresholds you define.

What This Extension Does:

If you choose to install PreEmptive Analytics CE, you will be able to instrument your applications to automatically send back exception report data to your PreEmptive Analytics endpoint service as errors occur during their execution. Your PreEmptive Analytics aggregator service then collects these error reports and automatically creates or updates work items in Microsoft Team Foundation Server based on rules and thresholds you define.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

If you choose to enable PreEmptive Analytics data collection for your application, the resulting Team Foundation Server work items will include the exception type, message, full stack trace, the contents of any inner exceptions, and the list of all assemblies loaded at the time of the exception, as well as the number of such exceptions received. With a small amount of additional configuration, you will also be able to see unique instance identifiers (such as the serial number of each application instance that experienced the exception) as well as comments about the error and contact information, if provided by the end user.

Use of Information:

Please see PreEmptive’s Privacy Statement to learn more information about how data sent to PreEmptive is used at: http://www.preemptive.com/ceprivacy.

Choice/Control:

You can choose whether or not to enable PreEmptive Analytics data collection for your application. In addition, you may opt-in to provide your end users with control over whether their analytics data is collected and provided back to you.

Setup Reporting

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Setup reports will collect basic information about your Visual Studio installation process, such as the version of Visual Studio you installed and if you encountered any errors, and send it back to Microsoft. This information generally cannot be used to identify you as an individual and the report is only sent to Microsoft after the installation process. Microsoft does not store your IP address with this report.

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Setup reports will collect basic information about your Visual Studio installation process, such as the version of Visual Studio you installed and if you encountered any errors, and send it back to Microsoft. This information generally cannot be used to identify you as an individual and the report is only sent to Microsoft after the installation process. Microsoft does not store your IP address with this report .

What This Feature Does:

Setup reports will collect basic information about your Visual Studio installation process, such as the version of Visual Studio you installed and if you encountered any errors, and send it back to Microsoft. This information generally cannot be used to identify you as an individual and the report is only sent to Microsoft after the installation process. Microsoft does not store your IP address with this report.

Use of Information:

Microsoft uses this information to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services.

Send Feedback

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Send Feedback is an optional feature that allows a user to submit a Connect (https://connect.microsoft.com) bug for Visual Studio or Blend.

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Send Feedback is an optional feature that allows a user to submit a Connect (https://connect.microsoft.com) bug for Visual Studio or Blend.

What this Feature does:

Send Feedback is an optional feature that allows a user to submit a Connect (https://connect.microsoft.com) bug for Visual Studio or Blend.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

As part of submitting the bug, the user may select data to send to Microsoft by attaching comments, screenshots, project files, video, and other related data.

Use of Information:

Microsoft will use this information in order to investigate the reported issue and improve our products.

Choice/Control:

Users have the option to review, add and delete all the content in the feedback before submitting it to Microsoft.

PerfWatson

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PerfWatson is designed to collect responsiveness telemetry from Visual Studio users when the Visual Studio UI becomes unresponsive.

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PerfWatson is designed to collect responsiveness telemetry from Visual Studio users when the Visual Studio UI becomes unresponsive.

What this Feature Does:

PerfWatson is designed to collect responsiveness telemetry from Visual Studio users when the Visual Studio UI becomes unresponsive.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

PerfWatson collects frames and modules. If there are computer names and user names in these elements, we may collect that data as well.

The telemetry that is collected is transmitted to Microsoft through the Windows Error Reporting (WER) program. For additional, general information about WER, see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/microsoft-error-reporting-privacy-statement.

Use of Information:

We use this information to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Visual Studio software and services.

Choice/Control:

You may opt out of this feature by opting out of CEIP.

IMPORTANT: The module file path is only collected if the module resides under c:\Windows folder. Users who don’t want to send any data to PerfWatson should store that data in a folder other than the c:\Windows folder.

Send A Smile

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Send A Smile to Visual Studio allows you to send feedback to Microsoft. Although Send A Smile doesn’t intentionally collect information that personally identifies you as an individual, it is possible that such information might be captured in the feedback you provide. Microsoft doesn’t use this information to identify you.

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Send A Smile to Visual Studio allows you to send feedback to Microsoft. Although Send A Smile doesn’t intentionally collect information that personally identifies you as an individual, it is possible that such information might be captured in the feedback you provide. Microsoft doesn’t use this information to identify you.

What this Feature Does:

Send A Smile to Visual Studio allows you to send feedback to Microsoft. Although Send A Smile doesn’t intentionally collect that personally identifies you as an individual, it is possible that such information might be captured in the feedback you provide. Microsoft doesn’t use this information to identify you.

Before sending your feedback, you have the option to provide Microsoft with your email address. Microsoft will only use your email address to contact you in case there are questions about your feedback.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

Send a Smile automatically collects some information as described below. This information is sent when you choose to send feedback.

Send a Smile generally collects information about:

  • System configuration, such as how many processors are in your computer and the operating system your computer is currently running.
  • Standard computer information, such as the Visual Studio version and country/regional and language settings.
  • If you choose to send Microsoft your email address, we will collect and store this information along with your feedback.

Use of Information:

The personal information we collect from you is used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to provide the services or carry out the transactions you requested or authorized, and it might also be used to request additional information on:

  • Feedback you provide about the product or service you are using
  • To provide critical updates and notifications regarding the software
  • To improve the product or service, for example, bug and survey form inquiries

Choice/Control:

You choose whether or not to send feedback or your email address via Send A Smile.

Visual Studio Help

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Visual Studio gives you a choice about how to access help content. You can access help content online from the Internet (which lets you access the latest version of the help content), installed help content on your machine, or both. Help is available online from MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network site) and third party web sites, based on administrator settings. Help lets you query help content on the Internet automatically when performing a search, searching from MSDN and third-party websites. In addition, you can get information from these sites by pressing the F1 key on language keywords in the Visual Studio Editor.

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Visual Studio gives you a choice about how to access help content. You can access help content online from the Internet (which lets you access the latest version of the help content), installed help content on your machine, or both. Help is available online from MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network site) and third party web sites, based on administrator settings. Help lets you query help content on the Internet automatically when performing a search, searching from MSDN and third-party websites. In addition, you can get information from these sites by pressing the F1 key on language keywords in the Visual Studio Editor.

What This Feature Does:

Visual Studio gives you a choice about how to access help content. You can access help content online from the Internet (which lets you access the latest version of the help content), installed help content on your machine, or both. Help is available online from MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network site) and third party web sites, based on administrator settings. Help lets you query help content on the Internet automatically when performing a search, searching from MSDN and third-party websites. In addition, you can get information from these sites by pressing the F1 key on language keywords in the Visual Studio Editor.

Information Collected, Processed or Transmitted:

In order to return relevant results, when pressing F1, Help transmits data to the sites you designate in the Online Content option. This data includes standard computer information, submitted search strings, keywords selected in the editor and the sources to be searched (such as MSDN Online).

Visual Studio Integrated Partner Products or Administrators’ can override the values in the Online Content option as described in the Enterprise features section below.

Use of Information:

The service may keep a count of downloads for a particular selection and search queries in order to improve the relevance and accuracy of results. No information that identifies you as an individual is retained.

If you select a third party through the Online Content option, the privacy policy for third party sites applies when searching such sites. For more information about the privacy practices of the third party site you choose to query, you may review the sites’ privacy statement.

Choice/Control:

Upon launch, the Visual Studio Help Viewer will check online for a list of content available for local installation. Additionally, Help Viewer will check for content online if your search query does not return results from content stored locally.

To change the default setting from the Visual Studio IDE:

  • Under the Help menu, select Add and Remove Help Content.
  • The Help Viewer will launch.
  • From the Help Viewer:
  • Select the Viewer Options icon in the Viewer toolbar.
  • Check or uncheck Go online to retrieve content and check for content updates to enable the desired behavior.

Enterprise features for Administrators:
As an Administrator you can:

  • Disable online operation for Help Viewer.
    • Online operation for the help client is enabled by default. Disabling online operation will disable the ‘Online’ radio button on the Installation Source section of the Manage tab. Therefore, the Help viewer will not prompt the user to go online at first run.
  • Disable Content Manager
    • This removes the ability for users to initiate their own Online Content installations and updates.
  • Define a default content source by overriding the default Online Content package service provided by Visual Studio installation.

The Administrator Guide can be accessed here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=231395&clcid=0x409.