Are you serious? InstallShield has the best setup bootstrapper / chainer on the market. Did no one notice they needed to add a C++ redist prereq? Did they know but just not want to add the 2.3MB to the package? Did they not know to use an AppSearch/LaunchCondition to gate the install?
But the part that really gets me is:
This unlikely situation is apt to appear on clean Windows/XP or Windows 2003 Server images.
Isn't the point of the SAB to enable *CLEAN* build machines? If customers are following proper CM practices there should be alot of people with build machines that don't resemble the magical build machine antipattern. I run my build machines lean and mean and I just looked - no C++ runtime on them. No Visual Studio either.