(Redirected from Microsoft DirectX)
Component of Microsoft Windows
Current DirectX logo
Introduced inWindows 95

Microsoft DirectX is a collection of APIs for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms.

Originally all API names started with "Direct" in their names (Direct3D, DirectDraw, etc.), thus the name DirectX was coined as a shorthand term for all of these APIs (the X standing in for the particular API names) and soon became the official name of the collection.

WinG[edit | edit source]

WinG can be more or less seen as a predecessor of DirectX. It was also intended to provide faster graphics performance, but for Windows 3.1x. It was soon discontinued in DirectX's favor.

One well-known application using WinG acceleration is Microsoft Bob.

Components[edit | edit source]

DirectX is composed of multiple APIs,[1] the most commonly known ones as follows:

  • Direct3D (D3D): Real-time 3D rendering API.
  • Direct2D: Current 2D graphics API.
  • DirectDraw: Deprecated 2D graphics API.
  • DirectSound: Deprecated Audio API (replaced by XAudio2 and XACT3).
  • DirectX Diagnostics (DxDiag): A tool for diagnosing and generating reports on components related to DirectX, such as audio, video, and input drivers.
  • DirectX Media for Audio/Video acceleration (deprecated).
  • DirectWrite, a Text rendering API.
  • DirectInput, an input API for interfacing with keyboards, mice, joysticks, and game controllers (deprecated).
  • DirectPlay, a network API for communication over a local-area or wide-area network (deprecated).
  • DirectX Ray Tracing (DXR): Light ray-tracing API.

Versions[edit | edit source]

DirectX 4 was never released. Raymond Chen of Microsoft explained that after DirectX 3 was released, Microsoft began developing versions 4 and 5 in parallel. Version 4 was planned as a short-termed release with minor changes, whereas version 5 would've been a bigger release. Due to the lack of interest from game developers in the DirectX 4 features it was soon canceled, and the large amount of documents that already distinguished the two new versions resulted in Microsoft choosing to not re-use version 4 to describe features intended for version 5.[2]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]