The fact is that the vendor you purchased your device from (Verizon) actively discourages third-party updates is between you and them. In most cases you cat jailbreak your device and install cyanogenmod, which is pretty similar to what you describe. The status of vendor-supplied updates has been discussed since the inception of Android. Google has mostly made the situation better compared to before Android, since updates for many devices are now controlled by the hardware vendor instead of the network provider. When you purchased your device, you chose to get something from a vendor (Verizon) who is well-known to be hostile to its customers. Don't complain that google didn't save your bacon. You could have bought a Google nexus 7, which is still getting updates, though the latest makes the old ones too slow to use. (In fact they did save your bacon, because you could just root your device to install cyanogenmod. Except that it appears that verizon patched the hole that was being used to root it! Wow that's hostile.)
In the case of Windows, you probably purchased your machine from someone like Dell (not comcast, which would be the closest analog of Verizon in the PC world) and it at least purported to have software from a separate vendor, Microsoft. Verizon, by locking the bootloader, actively prevents you from using system software from another vendor.