The People Behind DirectX 10-Part 1: Microsoft

ExtremeTech: Maybe each of you could quickly go over what your role is in the development and implementation of DirectX 10.

David Blythe: My job is basically to spend a lot of time talking to game developers and to hardware developers and to talk about what problems were trying to solve and whats practical to do in hardware, and then hammer out an architecture or design that encompasses as many of those things as we can in a coherent way. Then it turns into a much more detailed discussion about every little itty-bitty detail and writing specifications and then working with Microsofts development team that builds the run-time that interfaces with the driver the IHVs write. And working with our SDK team to build samples and demos that show off how to use the system.

Chris Donahue: David mentioned working with the IHVs and ISVs...theres a graphics advisory board thats made up of the big graphics brains around the industry. David and a lot of the guys on the DirectX team and the Graphics Platform Unit group spend time talking to, to find out, you know, five years from now, where are things going to be? And that stuff they take and turn into actual API code and ends up not only in the API but also in hardware. Its a really collaborate effort between Microsoft, the ISVs that actually consume the API and make applications, and the hardware guys.

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ExtremeTech: DirectX is of course more than just graphics. Theres DirectSound, DirectInput, and so on. Will DirectX 10 change any of those things to a significant degree?

Donahue: Not to DirectSound or DirectInput really. We actually have done a few things. If you look at some of the recent things weve talked about, for example the common controller. The Xbox 360 controller and all the peripherals work on Windows. To enable that, weve taken XInput, which is the API they use for Xbox, and converted that, or modded that to make it work on Windows. So now XInput is actually the preferred API if you wanted to take advantage of all the controls and components involved in the peripherals. As far as DSound, yeah, were updating it to keep it sort of on track, but its not continuing to invest in. Theres other audio components and low-level and high-level stuff thats in the works, but its not anything that we have an announcement about.

ExtremeTech: What are the big bullet points—the main, big changes in DirectX 10 graphics over what we have in DX9?

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