Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns.
Microsoft has an additional collection of 47 Windows Vista features and services that collect user data. However, not all phone home and report to Microsoft. Although the data collection process is generalized across the list, user information is also processed and kept on the local machine, leaving just approximately 50% of the items to both harvest data and contact Microsoft. Still, Microsoft underlined the fact that the list provided under the Windows Vista Privacy Statement is by no means exhaustive, nor does it apply to all the company's websites, services and products.
Activation, Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), Device Manager, Driver Protection, Dynamic Update, Event Viewer, File Association Web Service, Games Folder, Error Reporting for Handwriting Recognition, Input Method Editor (IME), Installation Improvement Program, Internet Printing, Internet Protocol version 6 Network Address Translation Traversal, Network Awareness (somewhat), Parental Controls, Peer Name Resolution Service, Plug and Play, Plug and Play Extensions, Program Compatibility Assistant, Program Properties—Compatibility Tab, Program Compatibility Wizard, Properties, Registration, Rights Management Services (RMS) Client, Update Root Certificates, Windows Control Panel, Windows Help, Windows Mail (only with Windows Live Mail, Hotmail, or MSN Mail) and Windows Problem Reporting are the main features and services in Windows Vista that collect and transmit user data to Microsoft.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Licensing, Privacy Statement, EULA