"Odds are, people who use advanced features are more likely to turn data harvesting off. Thus making those metrics questionable. Then again, anyone who is opposed to being monitored is not part of the Google's target audience."
Sounds likely, AC. But here is Google's mistake. There is a sort of hierarchy or pyramid of users for many application. In rough percentages:
* 1% of users might become superusers making plugins and doing all sorts of fancy things with an application.
* 10% of users might become knowledgeable about what you can do with an app and provide support and encouragement for their friends (and also rely on the 1% for support and new features like plugins).
* 89% as all the rest just use the app and ask the 11% for help.
If you decide to design your platform for the 89%, you alienate all the people up the pyramid who provide free support and evangelism for the product and who guide the product in new directions. As Eric von Hippel at MIT has done studies showing that most (like 80%) of innovations are customer suggestions; so, you also cut yourself off from customer-led innovation.
I'm really going to miss "close tabs to the right" which I use frequently (and yes I have telemetry turned off too). If there is not a plugin possible for that, removing that feature is definitely going to reduce my liking of Chrome (which I use on a Chromebook). Now, maybe by itself that one change won't make me abandon Chrome (as if there are many great alternatives with Firefox/Mozilla fiascos) -- but, add up enough of these misguided decisions, and the odds will continue to change.