Not saying you're wrong that it's broken, I bet that it's probably the case. I think it's more of a case of too many cooks in the kitchen in a hurry.
We're old hat IT, and kind of curmudgeonly. Feedback from actual users around having weather on their start menu and things like now having to manually update apps has been actually pretty positive. So they get to weigh the desires of the few against the desires of the many. I don't see that as evil, just pragmatic.
Keep in mind, things like that background app update, sync my data and settings to every computer I own. So when I set up something like a stock ticker, mail, weather or update Evernote, it syncs my preferences to every new computer I set up. I'll admit, I kind of like it that when I install an app on my laptop, it pops up on my desktop. As long as I have the resources to run it anyway. That does have a cost in the form of syncing overhead. I can disable most of that stuff, but I bet it'll take them a bit to get it 100% dialed in for use "off the grid." It's not perfect, and sure, there's some apps that don't make sense to sync, say a GPS app being synced to my desktop that doesn't have GPS, but I think with time we'll be able to fine tune it. To do that though, they need feedback from legitimate users. I've talked with the program managers and engineers a couple times and they legitimately want real, honest feedback on these things - that's why they left the feedback icons all over Windows 10. They really do want us to help make their OS better. That's why they have so many damn telemetry calls. I can't really fault them for that, but yes, they do need to fix their settings that respect turning it off.