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The start menu is a combination web-search and local search. How could it not 'phone home' on a web search? Note the address it is 'phoning home' to is Bing.

As far as what the contents of the package being sent is, I'll assume it is more information than necessary, and probably over-reaching until they get a slap on the wrist, but to call this phoning home is probably a stretch in itself.

-- Edit -- Apparently the search still phones home even if search is disabled, which makes my point mostly... pointless.

I still suspect that this was an example of Microsoft (intentionally) over-reaching and that they'll backpedal on this now that it has been brought to light.

Shame is, it feels like they are breaking any goodwill that the community may have still had left for them.

This occurs with the web search disabled, which is the real concern. Sorry, I couldn't fit it all in the title, HN title limit is very short. I posted it in the thread but clearly people aren't reading that.

EDIT: I've changed the title of the post to clarify this. Hopefully that helps. 80 characters is quite annoying to work with.

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