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It was the Win32 replacement for the DCI and Win G APIs for Windows 3.1.

Direct X allowed all versions of Microsoft Windows, starting with Windows 95, to incorporate high-performance multimedia.

Starting with the release of Windows 8 Developer Preview, Direct X SDK has been integrated into Windows SDK.

In late 1994, Microsoft was ready to release Windows 95, its next operating system.

Direct3D was intended to be a Microsoft controlled alternative to Open GL, focused initially on game use.

As 3D gaming grew, Open GL developed to include better support for programming techniques for interactive multimedia applications like games, giving developers choice between using Open GL or Direct3D as the 3D graphics API for their applications.

Eisler wrote about the frenzy to build Direct X 1 through 5 in his blog.

The Xbox API was similar to Direct X version 8.1, but is non-updateable like other console technologies.The Xbox was code named Direct Xbox, but this was shortened to Xbox for its commercial name.In 2002, Microsoft released Direct X 9 with support for the use of much longer shader programs than before with pixel and vertex shader version 2.0.Direct3D is also used by other software applications for visualization and graphics tasks such as CAD/CAM engineering.As Direct3D is the most widely publicized component of Direct X, it is common to see the names "Direct X" and "Direct3D" used interchangeably.

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