Offensive, sure, but is it actually HARMFUL?
I am deeply offended — though hardly surprised — that those venal idiots in Redmond would install such new functionality without giving me any hint of its existence or notice of its nature beforehand, and even go so far as to activate it without my consent (let alone my informed consent).
All the same, is it actually in my interest to edit my Registry to disable these new "features", and/or to uninstall the three updates, and thereby deprive myself of their attendant "benefits"?
My first impulse is to say Yes, of course. But I do not wish to act rashly, out of spite. Just how harmful to me is the disclosure of the information that will be disclosed to Microsoft without my knowledge or consent? How much connection-bandwidth and how many CPU cycles will this spyware actually eat up, and how likely is it that Microsoft would glean anything I actually might mind having disclosed?
And on the other hand, is it possible that by allowing these three updates to remain in place and continue to operate, I might actually contribute in some small way to making user experiences — including my own — better in the future?
It seems to me that if there's a chance of that, and the CPU toll and risk of genuinely harmful disclosure are both trivial, then perhaps I should calm down, take a stress pill (thank you, HAL!), and just leave the situation alone.
I am not asking rhetorically, as a defender of Microsoft or of these three surreptitious updates. I am genuinely curious and puzzled, but clueless!
(At least in regard to the answers to the questions I pose, if not more generally!)