This article has nothing to do with connecting to servers or "talking to the mother ship" though. Where are you getting all that from? This is about how long the physical box can last turned on.
But to entertain your thought - if MS implemented a server connection requirement, why would the assumption be that they would end communication between X1's and the servers just because they're pushing out a new Xbox. That doesn't make sense. And if they did plan on that, they would most certainly release an update to remove the requirement, or be slapped by a rather large class action.
once again..... I know this is about the life of the hardware.... if you read what I wrote last, I said if you bought it at the end of the time period that MS was selling it, aka like the 360 is now... would you still be able to use it in that 10 year life cycle period they are estimating... aka would MS still give you the rights connect your system to their network after this period to make any good use of it... MS has no commented on this yet... if their system wants to pull information or anything else back from a sever its expecting to see (I am not saying always on per say, just expecting to see a server to log in or use some of the features of it that require it) how would it react