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Microsoft's release of Vista and subsequent claims of new game titles operating only on it have been a source of much controversey the past six months. From the onset, they claimed that newer titles that required DX10 would be impossible to deploy on Windows XP, telling the gaming community that their choices are basically to pay to upgrade or make do without newer titles. Naturally, this upset many, especially since it most likely was not true.
They further compounded the problem be even claiming that certain DX9 titles wouldn't be available for XP either. Some enterprising folk set out to prove Microsoft wrong in this, to demonstrate that the reasonings for not release games for multiple platforms was entirely marketing, and not technical. Back in May, Falling Leaf issued a statement about how they would be working to make Halo 2 and Shadowrun both work on XP, despite claims it was impossible.
In a technical refresh of this, it seems that other groups have now made that possible, cracking the games to function using DX9. While this group appears to have beaten Falling Leaf in the pursuit of gaming freedom, both demonstrate what many people feel - it is unfair, and ultimately poor business, to force a customer to upgrade when it is clearly not necessary. There were many game titles released in 2006 that functioned with Windows 2000, despite it being much older than XP.
It makes it painfully obvious that Microsoft's refusal to develop DX10 for XP and further attempts to push Vista as the "only future gamers OS" are nothing more than marketing. Aside from lining their pockets, where is the incentive to do this? With tens of millions of gamers using XP, you'd think the potential loss in sales from refusing to deploy a game on XP would hurt more than whatever extra development time it took to make it possible.