Ah hah, and now the mystery of why my last blender install didn’t work the way it had in the past.
Nathan does a great job of explaining why the windows installer wants to install in my User folder instead of programs.
And he is right, the zip distribution, as it is a fully self-contained install would probably cause fewer headaches for us users as well as Nathan. If for no other reason, than it just works.
I do like his idea of a simple install.bat to create the start menu and default action registration. Seems like a simple elegant solution to an ongoing problem.