Desktop going slick for what?

With Visa going all slick and translucent with 3D rendering of windows and Linux
following suit and matching Microsoft, My question is simple... WHY!!!
What is the usefulness of these new adonrments. Really, are they anything more than attractive packaging. How do they make the computer more usable? And to top it off, they also need better (read expensive) hardware like memory and grpahics capabilities. Also hog the CPU. For what? Just so that the title bar is transparent, or you can see a window in 3D. Or that your desktop looks good. Really, how does that make you more productive? Unless you have a weird habit of ogling at your desktop, and you are concentrating more on how the windows' look than what they contain.
Give me a better word-processor, I can live with Win 95 decorations.