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"This is why I bitched so long about the full Longhorn interface probably requiring DirectX9 capable cards. Here we see (also in OS X of course) how it can be done with far less hardware."
Thats pretty damn myopic of you.
Implementing the least scaled feature set will always use "less" in terms of resources, but this is at the cost of scalability and future enhancements. Building an infrastructure that uses and supports all of the Direct X9 specification allows for a lot more than just "wobbly windows" as hardware progresses. Unless you feel that wobbly-windows are the pinnacle of desktop "eye-candy" and visual functionality and no one would ever need anything that might benefit from vertex shaders?