> Perhaps they do not care because they assume (correctly) that the firmware
> is part of the hardware, even if it is shipped separately.
Wait until the day a security problem in a network card is exploited. The distinction between firmware and software maybe made sense in the day of ROMs, but right now graphics and network cards are effectively small specialized computers, and I see no reason why software for those computers should be treated differently.
As somebody else put it elsewhere in the thread, your computer without a software is a "nice brick" as much as your network card without its firmware. Yet, we call it with two different names.