Why is Windows so dumb

I run both a Linux machine and a Windows machine at home. My linux workstation is also my firewall/router to my cable connection. The other night I came home and doing some web work. I tried to connect to the site I was working on to review my work in IE, and it wouldn't connect.

So I screwed with it for a half hour or so. Finally, decided to change the hard coded DNS adress in my network settings. This fixed it. Appearantly, the DNS server I was using was no longer available. Now, how hard would it be for Windows XP to say – hey, your DNS server isn't talking to me any more. Nope, it just refused to connect to any websites. Grrrrr.