Windows doesn't delete them. In fact your question was , "should Windows delete these files", and that is sort of a philosophical question,
There's no mechanism for Windows to do it, but in any case they are there for a reason, to assist a user to return the system to a previous state. But in my view that doesn't really work. If, (for example), I had installed a Windows Update #10 two years ago, and now find I want to uninstall it, I bet I would find it to be practically impossible to do. It is possible that subsequent updates, (for the sake of argument Windows Updates #11 thru #156), have made changes that makes WU #10 redundant, so attempting to undo all of that could cause serious instability problems.
So I don't really see the point of these backup files after a certain time. The problem is, that time is indeterminate, so the argument goes round in circles, as it were.
Since you have found all these folders and files, have you also found the "System Volume Information" folders and files yet? These are further backups, created by "System Restore Points", and these could be big ones. If you have a lot of SR points you could free up a lot of hard disk space by losing them. There's two ways of doing that;
1] Use XP's "Disk Cleanup" tool, (Start > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup). This checks for compressed files first, which could take a while, then offers you a list of locations where temp files could be deleted. But, there is also a "More options" tab which offers to delete 'all but the latest' restore point, and this may free up a lot of hard disk space.
2] The System Restore switch, turn it off, then back on, which deletes them all. But use this only if your system is otherwise running well, and you do not need the safety of an existing backup point. Right click your My Computer icon, select Properties, then the System Restore tab, and disable System Restore, click Apply, then immediately re-enable. I would then create a brand new System Restore point straight away.
I hope that helps.