When I'm importing data from my consumer digital camera (a Canon Ixus), I use the import function of Windows Live Photo Gallery. When importing data from my Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 800), I use Zune software. As noted in the threads you reference, both these Microsoft software products will comply with the orientation flag in the image as part of the importation process.
When transferring images off the SD card used in my DSLR, I use the import process of a third party product, IDimager, to transfer the images and to stamp my copyright info and other metadata as IPTC/Core metadata into the images. I also use IDimager to manage the metadata in the images from the Ixus and Windows Phone.
As a result, all images are shown with the correct orientation when viewed in either Windows Explorer, WLPG, IDimager or other image software that I occasionally use (e.g. Geosetter).
Oh, I should also add that I use the FastPictureViewer Codec Pack to support display of RAW formats within Windows, but I have deliberately NOT installed its JPEG codec with its "auto-rotate" function. I use the built-in Microsoft JPEG codec.
Edited by gcoupe - 7/1/12 at 12:23am