When Microsoft said there would be no support for OpenGL in Vista, one had to wonder if cards for the Mac OS X (which uses OpenGL natively) and Linux were going to become niche items, destined to second class citizenship or premium prices, or both. This new XGL (stands for eXtended OpenGL) puts a fair amount of pressure on graphics adapter companies to get (or stay) on the GL bandwagon.
I've seen it. It's spectacular, to say the least. And it offloads more of the video from the cpu than any other scheme, meaning there will be a significant performance boost to the system, even as it delivers what may well be the richest 3D display around. XGL is definitely on a par with, or ahead of, the display used in the Mac OS X. That means there is pressure on MS to deliver an even better desktop, yet they are sticking with a scheme for graphics that demands a much higher performance graphics adapter.