evildictaitor, you make it sound as if the customer is the enemy of Microsoft. Of course, Microsoft doesn't have they do anything if they don't want to. They might as well pack their bags and stop developing their products, who's there to judge them. But they want to gain profit. Isn't business about selling your product and satisfying the customer?
I'm glad there haven't been any official responses like "do it yourself if you want it so much", "do it yourself if you think it's so easy", that would literally be considered as spitting in the customer's face. In fact making the CRT run on XP is easy. I don't see why it would be any harder for the VS team than it has been for multiple people who have done it themselves as a proof-of-concept.
In one of your previous posts you said that Microsoft cares a lot more about the end user upgrading to a newer OS than the developer buying a VS licence. That's quite obvious. Let's consider that developers won't buy VS11 if they have a large Windows XP userbase. Could you describe a scenario where VC++11 not supporting XP as a target platform will lead to a more rapid upgrade process among XP users?
NOTE: I'm already trying to see this situation from Microsoft's viewpoint. I find it difficult to understand how such decision will benefit them in any way.