For my part, I don't understand why anyone ever used 2000, or is still using it. While XP borrowed from 2k's codebase, 2000 was essentially a business OS-it was the successor to NT. The logical conclusions would be to still be on 98, which is ancient, or to be on ME, which was a total failure. Which leaves us with XP.
I would agree that Stardock stated it would be available on SDC; I do recall some other instance of Brad stating or implying that Stardock would not move beyond 98 (!) as a minimum requirement, but that may well have been long enough ago to no longer matter.
While I'm aware that 2.0 is a large change, in a number of ways, and that EU complicates matters, it still saddens me to see Stardock go back on what I saw as a promise to its customers that updates to GCII for 2.0 would be available on SDC. As a note, I'm on XP using Impulse, and in large part it has worked well for me, so I'm not just complaining because something doesn't work.
The logical solution here is to have Impulse work on 2k, but I'm not entirely sure what kind of recoding we're looking at here to make that possible. While I don't imagine that .net is new enough that 2k has no version of it, I wouldn't put it past Microsoft, either. I would support any and all moves to move Impulse away from .net dependency, though.
It becomes obvious that Stardock can not just throw in a copy of XP for every user of 2k or prior (or Linux for that matter), nor can they even to my knowledge do a direct sell, but while Brad and company will do their best to keep the minimum requirements for programs and games down, the simple fact of the matter is that said requirements are going to rise, albeit in less drastic numbers.
Other than recoding Impulse, I don't have any valid suggestions, as I'm not about to suggest illegal alternatives.