Technically the screen render (the button to the right of the padlock) will be a hardware render so you can see it’s pretty quick. All that’s needed are some added shadow calculations using stencils.
The trouble with hardware is that without programmable shaders, there isn’t much more you can do than video game quality stuff and with shaders, you may sacrifice compatibility.
It’s also just an added workload on the developers, who I think are probably pretty stretched as it is.
I found the hardware renders good in Maya for certain special effects, which render very quickly and for quick previews of animations and for that, you’d just need to add maybe post-pro AA and stencil shadows to the current window render.
Ya the hardware render in blender is right on the ball, it just needs an update to current cg card stuff shaders and stuff. Bu7t again it all maters on when a coder has time and consern in that feature field. Even if it was created with windows only stuff I would be clamoring to find a windows box that could use it. Though opengl is pretty universal as I heard.