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Philosophy is a study that lets us be unhappy more intelligently.
Philosophy is a study that lets us be unhappy more intelligently.


DirectX is a collection of APIs for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming, on Microsoft platforms. It is widely used in the development of computer games for Windows, the Xbox and Xbox 360.

Both the DirectX runtime and SDK are available free from Microsoft. The DirectX runtime was originally redistributed by computer game developers along with their games, but later it was included in Windows. Game developers still often include an updated version of DirectX that prompts installation automatically after the game installation to ensure proper program functionality.

The latest release version of DirectX is the August 2006 version of DirectX 9.0c. Direct3D 10 Beta is available as of Windows Vista build 5238.

Hardware manufacturers have to write drivers for and test each individual piece of hardware to make them DirectX compatible. Many modern hardware devices only have DirectX compatible drivers (in other words, you must install DirectX before you will be able to use that hardware). Early versions of DirectX included an up-to-date library of all of the DirectX compatible drivers currently available. This practice was stopped however, in favor of the web-based Windows Update driver-update system, which allowed users to download only the drivers relevant to their hardware, rather than the entire library.

Some drivers only support one version of DirectX. But DirectX is backward compatible, which means that newer versions support the older versions. For example, if one has DirectX 9 installed on one's system and runs a game that was written for DirectX 6, it should still work. The game will use what is called the DirectX 6 "interface." Every version of DirectX must support every previous version of DirectX. This is a positive consequence of the COM model used for this API.

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