Snowden confirmed beyond any doubt that Microsoft is an NSA partner and spying is big business (that's why the NSA has so many partners amongst software proprietors). We all knew Microsoft was and is a software proprietor. After this 'feature' becomes commonplace it will be easier to convince people that they don't need or want that pesky indicator light next to the camera/mic showing when the camera/mic is on. After all, it's always lit and therefore 'useless'.
A right and proper view would say you can't trust software proprietors (yes, as long as the corporate repeater sites like /. keep publishing the same kinds of stories, they'll merit the same responses because these stories all have the same lack of software freedom at their core). That indicator light was always under proprietary software control anyway, so you couldn't ever really trust the device wasn't on even when the light was off. Increasingly computers are a user-accepted means of spying on people in their homes, their cars, their workplace, and anywhere else they travel. A combination of desktop and portable computers all running proprietary, user-subjugating OSes with built-in cameras/mics has made this degree of spying viable for years. Consider the power of data collection in your tracker (or, less honestly: "cell phone"/"mobile phone") which primarily tracks your location many times a minute (via GPS and cell tower triangulation); this device has a mic you don't control and can't determine when it's on. The computer is very capable of secretly recording and sending audio data. Most trackers have video cameras too, with predictable benefit for spying. People can be monitored all-day every day, even while they sleep (some people sleep in front of a "smart" TV with a computer and camera/mic built into it, because that makes the TV "smart"!). They also have a charging tracker next to them all night long (because they're desperate to believe that they need to be reachable all the time).
Sadly, there are too many IT people who haven't thought this through and value minor conveniences over privacy. Knowing when such monitoring is beneficial and when it's harmful is beyond the scope of allowable debate in the corporate media, and there's simply no room for teaching people about software freedom or why we should value software freedom for its own sake. IT pros should help teach people what's possible here, not act as a bulwark for proprietors, spies, and push deeper user subjugation.