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DirectX is a collection of APIs for easily handling tasks related to video game programming on Windows. It is most widely used in the development of video games for Windows. The DirectX SDK is available for free from Microsoft. DirectX was originally released as a separate product for game developers, but version 5 was included in Windows 95. DirectX 9.0 is the latest version of DirectX.

The components comprising DirectX are:

Originally developed for the game development industry, DirectX is becoming more widely used among other software production industries. Most notably, Direct3D is becoming more popular among the engineering sector because of its ability to quickly render high-quality 3D graphics using the latest 3D graphics hardware.

DirectX was developed internally at Microsoft around 1994-1995 as a follow-up and improvement to the game API subset called WinG[?] for the Win16 operating systems. DirectX was primarily by the team of Alex St. John[?], Craig Eisler, and Eric Engstrom. Simply put, it allowed all versions of Microsoft Windows, starting with Windows 95, to incorporate quality multimedia and computer gaming into the Windows experience.

When DirectX was first being created in the 1990s, Microsoft had already started including OpenGL on their Windows NT platform. At the time, OpenGL required "high end" hardware and was limited to engineering and CAD uses. Direct3D was intended to be a lightweight partner to OpenGL for game use. As the power of the graphics cards and the computers running them grew, OpenGL became a mainstream product. At that point a "battle" opened between supporters of the cross-platform OpenGL, and the Windows-only D3D, which many argued was another example of Microsoft's embrace, extend and extinguish business tactic. Nevertheless, the other API's of DirectX are often combined with OpenGL in many computer games because OpenGL does not in itself include all of DX's functionality. Several attempts to address this have generally failed.

Table of contents

External Links

Tutorial Sites

To keep these relevant to the Version of DirectX and the selected programming language the versions and programming language of the various tutorials are shown.

Forums on Direct X

  • Microsoft DirectX newsgroups (http://msdn.microsoft.com/newsgroups/?url=/newsgroups/topic.asp?url=/msdn-files/028/201/114/topic.xml&frame=true)

Reference Sites

Books on DirectX Resource Sites 3d Graphics
  • SIGGRAPH eduction (http://www.siggraph.org/education/materials/HyperGraph/modeling/cgmodel.htm)

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