Standalone DirectX no more – Starting with Win8 new DirectX versions will be OS upgrades

Many folks have been wondering where the DirectX SDK (the developers package for writing DX applications) update has been. Microsoft had been churning them out like clockwork but – pfffft- nothing for over a year. With the advent of hardware accelerated UI elements (DWM – the Desktop Window Manager) and the optimized software rasterizer (Microsoft’s WARP), it’s pretty obvious that MS has realized that utilizing hardware acceleration (even if it’s a software fallback) of the entire desktop is imperative.

This was posted under “Where is the DirectX SDK?” on the MSDN web site, along with the following quote;

Starting with Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the DirectX SDK is included as part of the Windows SDK.

We originally created the DirectX SDK as a high-performance platform for game development on top of Windows. As DirectX technologies matured, they became relevant to a broader range of applications. Today, ubiquity of Direct3D hardware in computers drives even traditional desktop applications to use graphics hardware acceleration. In parallel, DirectX technologies are more integrated with Windows. DirectX is today a fundamental part of Windows.

Because the Windows SDK is the primary developer SDK for Windows, we now ship DirectX as part of the Windows SDK. You can now use the Windows SDK to build great games for Windows.

So starting with Win8 we’re not going to see a lot of innovation in the graphics API anymore, especially if if only get major updates with a new operation system. Of course there’ll be service packs, but it’s rare for a service pack to modify an API beyond minor tweaks. I suspect that with the folding in of DirectX into the operating system innovation will slow as the graphics system becomes a resource managed by the operating system, rather than just a host for a graphics program.

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