Longhorn will have a “blackbox” style crash reporting mechanism. This will allow MS to get what the user was working on at the time of the crash, to help them figure out how to fix these problems.
In general, I think this is a great idea. But this quote in a recent CNET article is a bit freaky: “Sullivan said users will be prompted with a message indicating the information to be sent and giving them an option to alter it, such as removing the contents of the e-mail they were writing when the machine crashed.”
So this really is pretty darned comprehensive, this little black box.
In my experience, MS is actually very responsible with sharing data. It’s just that for this level of granularity, I posit that it’s a little safer to sign up, say, 100,000 users as an “advance testing lab”, fully opted in, that gives them this information. I’m not sure I like the idea of my Mom (possibly) not fully understanding what will be sent to MS.