Re: Impossible to have PC which does not phone home?
Far from it. I have an instance of Win 7 Pro running in VirtualBox (on a Linux host) for the odd occasion when I want to run old Win games. It has no internet connectivity - at all - and no updates. Everything is completely dead and disabled, including as many Windows "features" as possible that can be turned off without actually breaking the system. It is stable and very fast.
Win 7 is a perfectly good OS, provided you keep it well away from its makers and NEVER let it anywhere near the internet. If I ever need anything for it from the internet or from MS, this will be filtered through the Linux host first.