But now you're stuck with Microsoft.
Is this supposed to be some kind of improvement?
Google applications on virtually every stock (read:non-AOSP) ROM: not removable.
Microsoft applications on an AOSP ROM that, almost by definition, requires root and an unlocked bootloader: Good question; the fine summary says "integration", which could mean anything.
Still, I'd say the ultimate outcome is better with Microsoft than with Google. Not because of who Microsoft is, but because of who Cyanogen is.
"Oh noes, google is teh big evil corp'ration, let's go with teh Microsoft". I mean, what the hell are they thinking?
They're probably thinking, "Rent is due this month, and I need to put gas in my car, and I'd like to eat something besides ramen noodles tonight", like the rest of us. Microsoft is willing to give them a pile of money to make it so that a build of their ROM prompts for an outlook.com address instead of a gmail address. Dropbox, Samsung, and HTC already do this, so as long as the MS additions don't dim the "uninstall" button, I see no reason why MS being the prompt at the beginning is any better or any worse.
This just sounds like the point at which the free software folks sell out and say fuck it, let's just follow the money.
Which is why the devil is in the details. If the pile of money means "It prompts to create a Microsoft account at the beginning and OneNote and OneDrive are installed by default, with a 'skip' button for the former and working 'uninstall' buttons for the two latter", then it's foolish to turn down that pile of money. If Cyanogen with Bing(r) is just as difficult to deal with as pulling the Google stuff from a stock ROM...then that *is* selling out.
I have a hard time people are going to buy an Android device, so they can wipe it, kick out Google, and bring in Microsoft. If you want that, buy a Microsoft device and get on with it.
Personally, I really like the new Outlook client for Android, especially since I have an Exchange account. Also, I don't always store stuff in The Cloud (tm), but when I do, I use OneDrive. However, I use Xprivacy, and I see no Windows Phone equivalent for the title. I use Root Explorer, and again, I see no WP equivalent. I use Swype, which doesn't exist on Windows Phone, nor does Titanium Backup or any number of other apps. "Buy a Microsoft device" is as shortsighted an answer as when zealots say "Get a Mac" to any and every problem that happens on a PC: it ignores any number of other variables.