Since doing the latter, some program wants to connect to the internet on startup. ZoneAlarm (a very useful software 'firewall') doesn't identify what it is as it makes this request very early on in the startup process.
I'd like it to stop doing it.
So, it's almost certainly something Office XP related, it's not in the startup group and doesn't look to be in the usual registry location. It's not (or shouldn't be) the evil activation process - it thinks it's activated already.
A google ('"office xp" internet connection startup' etc) throws too many possibilities, but this must be documented somewhere...