Matt Haughey’s thoughts on Windows XP jibe pretty squarely with my own (posted back in July, when I first installed it). Here’s the relevant excerpt from Matt’s post:

When you go to the store and buy a box with a CD in it, you figure you own those 1’s and 0’s that make up the OS, right? When I was testing out XP earlier this year, I couldn’t help but feel I was leasing or renting the code from Microsoft. Their Passport system hooks into their instant messenger and hotmail in outlook express, the photo printing is done through their online partners, and the activation process and their periodic monitoring of my system seem to be a bit much.

If I buy the digital bits that compose a program, I expect that to be the end of the relationship with the company. When I want an update, I’ll contact the company, otherwise our transaction is over. XP doesn’t allow for that, and instead I’m forced to maintain an ongoing relationship with the company, whether I want to or not.