1) Did Microsoft ever really produce reliable software? If they did, I don't seem to remember it. And, I've worked in IT for 27+ years.
Been here since Windows 3.1 and I do not recall an update ever deleting my files from my computer. I would call that a catastrophic evolution of unreliability. IMHO. And yes, everyone should have backups, but they don't - one job I had was to rescue wedding photo's off a dead laptop because they had no hard copies or thought to save elsewhere.
Even a non booting update can just have Windows reinstalled, a pain but everything is still there.