By asking users to voluntarily provide information for their database.
Instead Microsoft takes data from users PCs while claiming that they don't.
How odd that NetBSD, FreeBSD and numerous Linux distributions can support many, many more hardware configurations than Microsoft does yet none of them feel the need to spy on users.
Again, I work in the industry. We test both these, plus Novell and every flavor of Linux on the market. And these solutions also compromise less than 1% of the PC marketshare.
Also, FreeBSD and NetBSD are simply basic OS's, in that they do not pioneer multimedia applications. DirectX (8.1 or 9), OpenGL, plus the whole gauntlet of audio standards are included in MS. And MS must, repeat MUST support a plethora of games and applications; that are not available on FreeBSD or NetBSD.
I run a Linux box and a Windows 2000 box at home. I like them both so I really don't have a dog in this fight. However, my experience is that Windows is much more supportive of varying hardware than the X86 versions of Linux. Linux is getting better, but it's still not as tolerant as Windows when it comes to hardware support.
Also, I have my Linux box (Redhat 8.0) set up so that it can automatically sense any new software patches and upgrades when I run in root mode. So in one sense, Redhat "spies" on my system configuration just as Microsoft "spies" on my Windows 2000 configuration.