Are you a Microsoft SQL Server operator? And use customer names as database names? If so, then this article might have a nasty surprise for you. It turns out that SQL Server’s telemetry service sends a lot of data back to Microsoft, including database names – and you apparently can’t turn it off. If those database names happen to contain sensitive data, this might be an issue for your business.
Other than that, it seems that they collect a bunch of information that might be helpful to better understand the type of hardware and environment their existing user base has, perhaps so that they can monitor changes in customer preferences and better optimize performance, upselling and cross-selling tatics, and stuff like that. Whether or not additional information is captured is something that it seems no one outside of Microsoft knows, and Microsoft is quite closed-lipped about it. That’s sort of like how Facebook collects all sorts of interest graphs and uses it to target marketing to you, only instead of targeting private individuals, Microsoft is targeting businesses, before the whole data economy surfaced to public knowledge.