evildictaitor, the thing is that the CRT not supporting Windows XP SP3 is not justified. There is nothing revolutionary about the new CRT. Only a small number of Vista+ functions are used, in very few parts of the CRT. All of them can be substituted with functions available on Windows XP. I also explained in my previous post how to use the newer functions on Vista+ and older ones on Windows XP without any performance penalties.
You quoted Raman Sharma's post. The new locale API can be simulated with the old one on XP. And no one has any idea what he's on about when he mentions the one-time-initialization APIs, the new CRT uses nothing like that.
Also, those few Microsoft employees who have commented on the situation have never used the "mainstream support for XP ended in 2009" argument. They have always referred to 2014 and tried to convince us that waiting 2 years for XP to be officially dead is not a long time. Well, 2 years is a long time.