Thesis: C:\Program Files was OK, but now it's horrible, and Microsoft is the reason.
So, in the old days there was C:\Program Files. That's totally OK -- it's good to have some centralized place to install programs to. But then Microsoft screwed it up. Someone noticed that Program Files isn't a localized name -- if you're German, or Mongolian, or anything but an English-speaker, it might as well be named C:\Giberish Stuff.
So there are two solutions. One is to change the name of the directory. The other is to change not what the actual place is but just how it's viewed in the Explorer. In typical Microsoft fashion, they did both. So I don't get the simplicity of a constant location, and I don't know what the user will see in Explorer.