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- Created 2012-03-02
is a collection of
application programming interface
s (APIs) for handling tasks related to
and video, on
platforms. Originally, the names of these APIs all began with Direct, such as
, and so forth. The name Direct
was coined as shorthand term for all of these APIs (the X standing in for the particular API names) and soon became the name of the collection. When Microsoft later set out to develop a gaming console, the X was used as the basis of the name
to indicate that the console was based on DirectX technology. The X initial has been carried forward in the naming of APIs designed for the Xbox such as
Cross-platform Audio Creation Tool
(XACT), while the DirectX pattern has been continued for Windows APIs such as
Direct3D (the 3D graphics API within DirectX) is widely used in the development of
games. Direct3D is also used by other
applications for visualization and graphics tasks such as CAD/CAM engineering. As Direct3D is the most widely publicized component of DirectX, it is common to see the names "DirectX" and "Direct3D" used interchangeably.
software development kit (SDK)
in redistributable binary form, along with accompanying documentation and
for use in coding. Originally, the runtimes were only installed by games or explicitly by the user.
did not launch with DirectX, but DirectX was included with Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2.
Windows NT 4.0
both shipped with DirectX, as has every version of Windows released since. The SDK is available as a free download. While the runtimes are proprietary, closed-source software, source code is provided for most of the SDK samples. Starting with the release of Windows 8 Developer Preview, DirectX SDK has been integrated into Windows SDK.
Direct3D 9Ex, Direct3D 10, and Direct3D 11 are only available for
and newer because each of these new versions was built to depend upon the new
Windows Display Driver Model
that was introduced for Windows Vista. The new Vista/WDDM graphics architecture includes a new video memory manager supporting virtualization of
for various applications and services like the
Desktop Window Manager
from Wikipedia (last updated: 19 May), licensed under
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Microsoft's DirectX developer site
The State of DirectX 10 - Image Quality & Performance
AMD talks about technical changes in DX11
Simple DirectMedia Layer
Graphics Device Interface
Comparison of OpenGL and Direct3D
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