XP is still supported by 99.99% of all SW programs out there. Its not like the underlying OS has changed that much. Now, if developers choose to use Vista/7 only API calls, thats their business decision to make.
You can load and unload module drivers with modprobe. And if you are stuck on windows XP, because your software isn`t supported more, and it isn`t opensource, you have to use XP, with drivers from 2001. HAHAHA. The whole drivermess on windows, downloading installing, versions etc is not on linux.
1: D3D is easier to code with by a long shot.
And direct3d was never better than OpenGL. As for directx, or asio on windows, I can do lower latencies on Linux.