"I smell pure evil here."
I don't. Here's the thing: Microsoft has never made it a secret when and/or how they're doing data collection. First, and foremost, its in the EULA and other official documentation which Microsoft has. Especially considering the fact that this is a beta / pre-release version (as such not yours) I think they got every right to do this. In fact; I can understand that collecting "usage data" would help them out.
But if you look at areas where data collection has become the standard, I'm now talking about mobile (smart)phones, then once again its Microsoft who turns out to be the gentleman.
When I got my Windows Phone and started using it I was first confronted with several questions which informed me that Microsoft would like me to enable data collection. This happened when using the virtual keyboard ("to improve the automated responses"), the search feature ("to better optimize the search results"), the OCR (text retrieval from pictures) feature, the photo scanning feature and the voice dictation feature.
In every case this was opt-in. I had to give them permission otherwise the data collection would be disabled.
I once discussed this with a friend who has a "different brand" of mobile phone. And guess what? It was all opt-out. Everything had been enabled by default and if you wanted it off you simply had to go over all the settings yourself.
Microsoft evil? For sure; they most certainly have their ways. But not in this case in my opinion.