Despite the somewhat hysterical coverage in The Register and elsewhere, I don't think the new EULA represents a significant threat to your privacy or security. It certainly doesn't mean that Bill Gates or his minions are going to log into your system with "admin rights" and start changing things against your will; nor does it mean that Microsoft software will override your "no auto-update" settings or somehow get around your anti-phone-home firewall protection.
In fact, if you employ the sensible precautions outlined above, the EULA doesn't materially change anything, and thus isn't something I think we need to lie awake at night worrying about.
You never have to be the helpless victim of a forced software update from Microsoft or anyone else. With common sense and a little proactive thinking, you can remain in control of your own PC, just as you should be.
What's your take? Is Fred too sanguine about the new EULA terms? Do you agree that the three steps he outlines can provide enough protection against covert phone-home behavior? Or do you think the new EULA does indeed grant Microsoft the right to override your update settings or to take control of your PC, flushing out software it doesn't like? Do you see the new EULA as a threat? Join in the discussion!