OS 9 Booting Opinion and Discussion
With a trickle of rumors and tidbits flowing in, it's easy to make assumptions and leap to conclusions. Frequently, the rumor community takes on certain opinions that are repeated and are assumed to be true.
Apple's announcement that Mac OS 9 will no longer boot on new machines after Jan 2003 has led many people to jump to the conclusion that there must be some sort of major hardware shift necessitating dropping OS 9 support. While this is possible, Apple dropping OS 9 in favor of OS X exclusively is likely a strategic move rather than a technical requirement.
Other assumptions floating around include that in order for OS 9 not to boot on the new systems, Apple would have to invest a fair amount of effort to not allow such a thing... when in fact, all new Mac systems have traditionally required "enablers" to allow the new Macs to boot the current OS. Historically, OS Releases would only install/boot on all Macs that existed up until the day of that OS's Release. Subsequent hardware that was introduced would come bundled with a later build of the operating system.