This MS's fault for a memory corruption bug, but their ASLR implementation isn't broken (at least not by this attack).
Details if you're curious: http://vreugdenhilresearch.nl/Pwn2Own-2010-Windows7-InternetExplorer8.pdf
It's very easy to disable a system by, for example, shutting down all the network switches. Actually initiating a launch would require intimate knowledge of the system and pervasive control.
The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.