there are a lot of things that I would figure would be 'inevitable' when it comes to technology that Microsoft incorporates in each release of Windows, but yeah you are right, this is definitely one of those things.
I know for a fact that over the years, I would avoid using XP's 'search' feature due to how long it took to find stuff. Since using Windows 7, I have been using the search functionality quite a bit more and it is wayyyyy faster and much more accessible. The fact that I can simply type 'cmd' into the start menu search to get a 'DOS' prompt makes me happy
One thing I would love to see MS adopt is a way to look up the manufacturer and model of a device that is missing a driver in the Device Manager to make finding the correct driver easier. Every card that goes into a PCI/AGP/PCI-X slot on any PC has a device ID label that could easily be read by Windows.
Hell, even a command line tool to do it would suit me.
This is one situation where MS should totally take a tip from any Linux distribution and incorporate the lspci command which lists all the cards plugged into your computer, all on board devices (such as on board video, sound, etc), IRQs for each device, What slot the card is plugged into, etc.. Makes much more sense rather than displaying the "Unknown Ethernet Controller" message due to the fact that it cant find an appropriate driver on its own. Let me find it!