The major software manufacturers and American carriers have all agreed to Google’s demand that phones get software updates for 18 months. It is a definite improvement. The carriers in the US have been the major hold up because they want you to buy a new phone and extend your contract. They have to add the bloat after the manufacturers update their skins. It is a tedious process.
If it were up to me, they all would run stock Froyo, Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, whatever...I can’t think of a single carrier specific app that I ever use. I don’t really use the manufacturer skins or launcher either. I like my phone to be the way ***I*** want it. That’s what’s nice about the Nexus phones...no bloat, just stock Android with updates as soon as Google pushes them out the door.
That's good, although it's non-binding and it doesn't help me. Luckily I'm a geek so I can handle rooting it and flashing new ROM. Most others are screwed.
BTW, why do we call it ROM? It's not read-only, since we can easily write to it.