There is a lot of mention of abilities/efforts to avoid telemetry in windows 7 and 8.1. To go through the history, it seems that at first Microsoft rolled out telemetry to these operating systems as an optional update, then they rolled it out as a required update/ disguised as something else. Some users address the issue by monitoring their list of updates vs the list of "problematic" updates (not getting the update or removing the update). I also understand that there is Spybot anti-beacon, which seems to be a less popular approach on this forum. I think I also came across a github project that is related but I can't seem to put my finger on it right now. I'd imagine there are also versions of these operating systems that have limited telemetry-- industry/ government computers that demand more privacy (perhaps enterprise versions, maybe server versions). I suppose those are the best options (compared to other mentions in this post), but not easily available. Of course, some of what I have read (in gathering the above information) could be outdated as a lot of it was 1-4 year old. Are these options all still available? How shaky or firm is the avoiding/removing various updates path?