This is a good explanation, and why it's a good idea to wipe your hard drive every once in a while and start over. However, I have also found that the amount of these registry errors mysteriously decreases in some sort of inverse or exponential proportion to the amount of junk on your computer as compared to how much RAM and other memory you have. The less space you have to store stuff the more Windows or W-based programs crash.
Sometimes I think that the error messages in Windows are buggy. In fact I know so. Witness the many problems with the Plug-N-Play software, which usually makes me want to throw the computer against the wall.
As for planned obsolescence versus plain product improvement, I think you are both right. Software projects are always more complicated than they seem like they will be, there are always strange bugs lurking below the surface, and there always seems to be a problem such that the software gets released way before it should be. Meanwhile, the software needs to continually evolve to support clarified or new customer requests, leading to an obsolescence factor much higher than that for other products. So the new releases come trailing out.
If you didn't ever have to pay for the updates, would anybody mind the constant tweaking? Just curious.
Julie Shearer Silicon Engines julie at siliconengines-ltd.com