Secondly, we are working on ways to get the .Net framework out on more and more machines. An optional Windows Update item probably isn't the best way to do it; getting it out there with a killer app works great. Problem is, there isn't a good way for app developers to distrubute the framework today. We currently have the 2003 bootstrapper plugin for setup and deployment MSI projects that will package and install the framework. In Whidbey, we're working on a more generic bootstrapper that can not only install the framework but any other component that the developer needs on the machine.
Well it's good to know at least somebody in MSFT is thinking about this. Still think it's a shame that XP SP2 wasn't seen as the ideal opportunity to push it out.