And getting the lead time down to 4-6 weeks would be a challenge -
remember you have to *ship* the re-mastered patch CD to every retailer
and get it on the shelves. That's going to hit your bottom line.
Ever heard of Windows 98?
How about Windows 98 SE (Second Edition)?
Windows 98SE was only available to OEMs and wasn't on shelves in stores.
As Valdis also notes, it's an entirely different situation.
Seems to me that Microsoft was once able to bundle up various OS updates
and release an up-to-date version of their current OS. So, why can't they
do the same thing today?
Failing that, why can't they bundle up just the updates onto a CD that is
released every few months and shipped out to all of their regular
customers along with permission to copy and redistribute. That way more
OEM's would ship out fully updated machines.