Microsoft cuts down another DirectX shutdown rumor

In February, Microsoft confirmed that it had no plans to make future versions of its XNA Game Studio development tools. However, it refuted reports that it had plans to stop development of its DirectX graphics API. Now the company is doing so again in the wake of new statements from an AMD executive.

The German language-based Heise Online, in an interview this week with AMD Corporate Vice President Roy Taylor, quoted him as saying (translated):

... the computer industry has benefited for many years from a continuous renewal of the DirectX interface. A new DirectX has refreshed the industry again and again, new graphics cards needed stronger processors and more RAM. But there will be no DirectX 12. That was it. As far as we know there are no plans for DirectX 12. If this should not be, and someone wants to correct me – wonderful.

Well, Mr. Taylor, consider yourself corrected. Neowin contacted Microsoft for comment and received this response from a spokesperson:

DirectX is the world’s leading low-level interface for gaming and graphics. Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms, including Windows, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone. DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX.

Microsoft's latest version of the API was DirectX 11.1, which was shipped as part of Windows 8.

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Perhaps it's that the technology is already pretty mature and slowing down. There may never be a DirectX 12, but that doesn't mean we won't get an 11.2, and continuing small enhancements.

Hokgiarto Saliem said,
Prove it
Windows Blue using DirectX 12?
Windows 8 is the only modern Windows that is ship without new major update version of DirectX?
nope. Windows vista shipped with 10, windows 7 shipped with 10.1 and windows 8 shipped with 11.1

DJ Dark said,
nope. Windows vista shipped with 10, windows 7 shipped with 10.1 and windows 8 shipped with 11.1

I thought Windows 7 shipped with DirectX 11?

Everything is being written in C++ from browsers to games there is no need for Direct X anymore. Take an AMD APU with HSA features for example, all is written in C++ then AMD's CODE XL delegates it to either the CPU or GPU based on whether it's better suited to a serial or parallel processor. This has nothing to do with Microsoft it's the way the industry is moving so like everyone else they will roll with the times.

It's not really about closed platforms or monolithic environments, it's really at it's core about profit.

Microsoft's comments are meaningless one way or another. As a company driven to make profit, they will never, ever announce "we will no longer develop this product" until it is economically more efficient to do so. Anything less hurts the bottom line.

They will announce it is the cat's meow right up until they announce its replacement or turn it off. Every profit-driven company does this. It is not a surprise...

What the analysts do is look at the update cycles. The update cycles don't lie.

However in this case, it's interesting to provide a case where the GPU technology has significantly advanced to warrant an advance in DirectX tech.

Its just Linux users spreading FUD so everyone would switch to crappy OpenGL. Sorry but it will never be the year of the Linux desktop even with Steam.

This is what happens when you put effort in supporting development on a closed platform! If it DOES get killed off at some point, there is no option but to switch over to whatever Microsoft decides is "The Future"...OpenGL doesn't have that problem as it is not controlled by a monolithic, anti-competitive, monopolistic corporation.

John Nemesh said,
This is what happens when you put effort in supporting development on a closed platform! If it DOES get killed off at some point, there is no option but to switch over to whatever Microsoft decides is "The Future"...OpenGL doesn't have that problem as it is not controlled by a monolithic, anti-competitive, monopolistic corporation. /s

fixed it for ya

If they are not shutting it down and continuing to support it then how come we haven't gotten a DirectX update since June2010???

sava700 said,
If they are not shutting it down and continuing to support it then how come we haven't gotten a DirectX update since June2010???

Dx 9Ex, 10.x & 11.x all get updates through Windows Update. The dx 11.1 sdk is bundled with the windows 8 platform sdk.

I am not a game developer but is there any genuine replacement for DIRECTX? I read somewhere that opengl is now almost as fast as DIRECTX, if that's true wouldn't it be better to use open source technology which is cross platform.

OpenGL is now on par with Directx 9. We're on Directx 11.1 tho.
Before Microsoft started with DirectX, they looked into using OpenGL at first.
OpenGL is better now, but in those days... OpenGL was horrible. Entirely module based. Game developers often had to design their own modules to make things work as they wanted... Which could in turn cause instability of OpenGL. Also made it bloated.
And the folks at OpenGL did NOT want Microsoft have any influence on OpenGL.
Eventho Microsoft already had a new OpenGL design ready.
Eventho OpenGL has used these 'suggestions' later on, or reinvented them.
OpenGL did not want to cooperate with Microsoft in becoming Windows' default GFX API. So they created DirectX and basically shoved OpenGL into a tiny corner.

Shadowzz said,
OpenGL is now on par with Directx 9. We're on Directx 11.1 tho.
Before Microsoft started with DirectX, they looked into using OpenGL at first.
OpenGL is better now, but in those days... OpenGL was horrible. Entirely module based. Game developers often had to design their own modules to make things work as they wanted... Which could in turn cause instability of OpenGL. Also made it bloated.
And the folks at OpenGL did NOT want Microsoft have any influence on OpenGL.
Eventho Microsoft already had a new OpenGL design ready.
Eventho OpenGL has used these 'suggestions' later on, or reinvented them.
OpenGL did not want to cooperate with Microsoft in becoming Windows' default GFX API. So they created DirectX and basically shoved OpenGL into a tiny corner.


Wrong Open GL can do everything Directx 11 can do today and some of the stuff it cant id software uses openGL

Wrong again you can generally do the exact same thing in both api's. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. ID software is hardly the forefront of technology nowadays. Most of the major engines are use Direct X. Some use Open GL

OpenGL and DirectX are competitors. In recent years, it has worked out that DirectX drives enhancements through tight cooperation with the hardware manufacturers (nVidia, AMD and now even Intel), and the DirectX team. Eventually, the OpenGL committee tends to catch up with their own implementation of whatever new features arrive in DirectX # releases.

The problem with everyone jumping to OpenGL is that it likely means that the competitive flare will be lost, which most likely means that API enhancements would slow down. The problem with DirectX is that you have to rewrite the graphics layer of your application to take run on iOS, Android, Mac OS X and Linux, while the same is not true for desktop apps on Windows in reverse. This is a big reason why the major players, like Valve, still run on OpenGL, although Valve isn't really a good example because their engine is very old at this point.

notuptome2004 said,


Wrong Open GL can do everything Directx 11 can do today and some of the stuff it cant id software uses openGL

ยจ
Correct!
Features added by the hardware manufacturers can be used as soon as the driver is updated.
When it comes to Direct3D (and DirectX as a whole), everybody has to wait for Microsoft to add support.
You can have the latest and greatest OpenGL game running all the latest features, in Windows XP as long as the driver is still updated.
Microsoft take a dump on you if you run an old version.

If you use OpenGL, then you can more easily port the software (game?) to other platforms.
Everybody except Microsoft use OpenGL.

If NIVIDIA or AMD want to add a feature, they just add it and update the drivers.
If they want it to be supported through Direct3D then they have to ask Microsoft.
You don't need a "hack" or any sort to use features in the hardware. If the hardware developers want you to have access to it, then you'll have access to it.
If Microsoft doesn't want you to have access to it, you can't access it.

OpenGL has been revised since Microsoft left and it's a superior choice, both from a technological standpoint and economics (easier to port, less work to update a game engine across all platforms).

Microsoft should continue working on DirectX but drop Direct3D, since it doesn't do anything but anger people.
If a game supports both Direct3D and OpenGL, then I pick OpenGL unless the software developer has been rushing the OpenGL version.
Look at id Software's games and tell me that their engine isn't advanced (the gameplay is a whole other issue).
Blizzard prefers OpenGL too, but I'm not sure if they use both in all their games. But I know for sure that OpenGL support is there, in all games.

If any soon-to-be-game-engine-developer is watching... use OpenGL for your own sake!!!
OpenGL is also used in 3D modelling etc. It's more than just gaming. The military and its contractors use OpenGL too. OpenGL is a superior career choice. Everything non-Microsoft uses OpenGL. OpenGL surfaced to grab a market in desperate need for a common Graphics library.
Direct3D is pretty much only used for games.
Picking Direct3D as a career path (you can pick both, but is a waste) is like painting a floor, starting at the doorway.

Glide (Voodoo) it was a great technology, but devs complained about it's complexity. One can only imagine what it would have been like today had NVIDIA not killed it. lol

Shadowzz said,

Before Microsoft started with DirectX, they looked into using OpenGL at first.

This is entirely wrong in every way. The TRUTH is that Microsoft created DirectX to stem the tide of cross-platform game development around OpenGL. High end applications used (and still use) OpenGL and the first major 3d games from iD were OpenGL as well.

Microsoft knew that its strongest argument for continued adoption of Windows in the home was GAMES, as they already had the business world locked up with Office, etc.

But with OpenGL being cross-platform, it would have allowed Apple and Linux to become very easy port solutions for game designers. Microsoft needed to stem that tide before the inevitable happened.

So they created DirectX and forced everybody over to it on Windows. This locked Windows up as the premiere gaming platform outside of consoles, etc.

It's the same reason that Sony and Microsoft made their last generation consoles out of proprietary hardware, whereas the first gen Xbox (and the next one coming) was just a PC in a box. A proprietary ecosystem locks down the profit chain of user fees and purchases.

Now, whether times have changed now (or not) is a different matter entirely.

But I remember when all of this happened, and I can assure you that this was the one and only reason behind the creation and investment in DirectX.

Don't believe me? Just look at the state of games for Apple and Linux. Same hardware, more than capable operating systems, but no native DirectX because it's owned by Microsoft.

notuptome2004 said,


Wrong Open GL can do everything Directx 11 can do today and some of the stuff it cant id software uses openGL


But nowhere near as close as same performance levels.

Remember how happy Valve was when they claim "OMG OUR GAME HAS HIGHER FPS ON LATEST OPENGL RELEASE VS DX9 VERSION ON WINDOWS"

excalpius said,

....

Searching the internet is becoming as horrible as it was in AltaVista days. Can't find **** without going through dozens of pages or writing down a 50 ft sentence to specify what im looking for.

And no, before they even STARTED on directX. Microsoft at first did not want to invest time into developing an entire new GFX API from the ground up and looked into using OpenGL as the Windows GFX API.


It's the same reason that Sony and Microsoft made their last generation consoles out of proprietary hardware, whereas the first gen Xbox (and the next one coming) was just a PC in a box. A proprietary ecosystem locks down the profit chain of user fees and purchases.

Uhm the 360 uses a PowerPC CPU, which is a normal desktop CPU developed by IBM.
The PS2 never used a desktop CPU either, and guess what, neither did the PSX. PS4 is the first console of them that uses a (modified) desktop CPU/APU.

And no off course, Microsoft isn't going to port DirectX over to other OS's that lack the Kernel API's NT has. Or naturally you expect Microsoft to basically rewrite or write DirectX into the OSX kernel, you think Apple will allow that to begin with?
Or as a Linux user you would be comfortable to know Microsoft is the one taking charge of your kernel rather then Linus?

Dude really your arguments are weak.

Shadowzz said,

But nowhere near as close as same performance levels.

Remember how happy Valve was when they claim "OMG OUR GAME HAS HIGHER FPS ON LATEST OPENGL RELEASE VS DX9 VERSION ON WINDOWS"


Oh and to add.

Game developers have to make sure what they want, is in OpenGL and if not... Develop it themselves.
If DirectX lacks functionality, they'll bug MS with "YO! GO UPDATE UR DIRECTX".

OEM's and developers like having those things NOT in their hands. Not having to deal with the OS crap.

AMD's vice-president is probably in a better position to tell this, but I don't see why Microsoft would stop evolving DirectX. That said, Microsoft did stop evolving their excellent low-level game toolkit XNA, which had an important following; this makes it much harder for developers to take advantage of DirectX, i.e. they have to use the API directly, and it's not exactly beginner-friendly.

May be MS will not kill Directx but it will rebrand as "ULTRASUPERDUPER X STUFF" then forced us to update all our video cards (that from now are not compatible with with the new stuff) and forces OEM to design new drivers. MS loves to do that.

Brony said,
May be MS will not kill Directx but it will rebrand as "ULTRASUPERDUPER X STUFF" then forced us to update all our video cards (that from now are not compatible with with the new stuff) and forces OEM to design new drivers. MS loves to do that.


When has MS forced you to upgrade your graphics card. Windows 8 is still perfectly workable on an old GeForce MX 440.
If anything, Windows 8 works on computers from the 98/ME era. You haven't been forced to upgrade any hardware for at least a decade.
So please stop spreading FUD.

My guess is that the discontinuing of the XNA platform is probbly built around what will be announced with the next xbox for indie developers. If they're going to try to move win8/wp8/xboxNext platforms forward, they're going to do something to make approaching development for them more appealing for people developing for other platforms.

dagamer34 said,
Back when XNA was developed, you didn't have excellent 3rd party engines like Cocos2d and the often-touted Unity Engine.

Don't forget MonoGame!

Spencer R said,
My guess is that the discontinuing of the XNA platform is probbly built around what will be announced with the next xbox for indie developers. If they're going to try to move win8/wp8/xboxNext platforms forward, they're going to do something to make approaching development for them more appealing for people developing for other platforms.

My guess is that Microsoft killed XNA because it coulden't be ported to HTML5.

Dr_Asik said,
AMD's vice-president is probably in a better position to tell this, but I don't see why Microsoft would stop evolving DirectX. That said, Microsoft did stop evolving their excellent low-level game toolkit XNA, which had an important following; this makes it much harder for developers to take advantage of DirectX, i.e. they have to use the API directly, and it's not exactly beginner-friendly.

XNA was a managed framework sitting ontop of DirectX to simplify game development. I can see why they killed it, because a future version of the .NET CLR will run straight on the hardware making the singularity OS real-time... Hopefully that will be .NET v5.0

Silverlight, Ajax Framework, L2S... off the top of my head were actively being developed and yet were killed off. As a developer i have been burnt a lot with MS denying the death of a tech with "we are actively developing it". Im willing to bet they are "actively developing it" just enough to hold people off, not for "Son of DirectX", but for "2nd cousin through marriage DirectX"...something new that all the devs will bitch about being not like DirectX even though its more powerful. Which will lead devs to lag in adopting, which will cause MS to add a few things, redefine the new tech in the publics mind by giving it a new name similar to directx, and then we all achieve a happy middle. Rinse, wash, repeat. lol.

The difference is that Windows is not built upon Silverlight or AJAX (I didn't even know AJAX was killed off, being they released a new version a couple months ago). Since Vista, all rendering is done using DirectX. So killing it would not exactly be feasible, otherwise they have no way to show pictures on your video screen. They may stop calling it DirectX and it just becomes part of Windows, but the tech will still be there.

MikeInBA said,
Silverlight, Ajax Framework, L2S... off the top of my head were actively being developed and yet were killed off. As a developer i have been burnt a lot with MS denying the death of a tech with "we are actively developing it". Im willing to bet they are "actively developing it" just enough to hold people off, not for "Son of DirectX", but for "2nd cousin through marriage DirectX"...something new that all the devs will bitch about being not like DirectX even though its more powerful. Which will lead devs to lag in adopting, which will cause MS to add a few things, redefine the new tech in the publics mind by giving it a new name similar to directx, and then we all achieve a happy middle. Rinse, wash, repeat. lol.

AJAX Framework is not retired, it goes open source on codeplex. Silverlight died due to HTML5 and I am glad it did. Microsoft always clearly states if a framework will be killed off so besides Silverlight I don't see anything else they killed in that list.