However, I've noted a much more serious issue on local XP systems, all > of which are legit and pass the MS validity tests with flying colors. > It appears that even on such systems, the MS tool will now attempt to > contact Microsoft over the Internet *every time you boot*. At least, > I'm seeing these contacts on every boot after the tool update so far, > and I've allowed them to proceed to completion each time. Perhaps it > stops after some number of boots, but there's no indication of such a > limit so far. The connections occur even if you do not have Windows > "automatic update" enabled.
Please get people to investigate further. That's a fairly serious matter because it deprives you of some privacy. I don't want a third party tracking me every time I boot, irrespective of whether I want anything from their network at the time.