Why can’t all ISVs have something comparable to Windows Update? I want an option when prompted for media or for a file location that also goes out to their Internet site to download the most recent driver/file/etc. I have lots of CDs lying around and a file folder named C:\Installs for all of the drivers I need every time I rebuild my PC. Their service would be WS-* enabled so all OS vendors could tap into it (Chicken or egg? Maybe the OS has to make it so possible first and then the service can exist. Longhorn?).
What’s the barrier? Would the ISV raise their cost of support or lower it? If they tightly versioned their drivers and their hardware accurately described itself then I would think they’d be ahead of the cost curve. Of course, that would mean an end to installing software before plugging in the USB device but I can’t think of any end user that would mind that trade off. The software before USB connection is a personal pet peeve of mine because if you do make that mistake often the only way to get the peripheral installed properly is to go back to a roll-back point.