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Graphics Microsoft Operating Systems Windows

DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update 135

MojoKid writes After last Wednesday's Windows 10 event, early adopters and IT types were probably anxious for Microsoft to release the next preview build. Fortunately, it didn't take long as it came out on Friday, and it's safe to say that it introduced even more than many were anticipating (but still no Spartan browser). However, in case you missed it, DirectX 12 is actually enabled in this Windows 10 release, though unfortunately we'll need to wait for graphics drivers and apps that support it, to take advantage of DX 12 features and performance enhancements.
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DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 25, 2015 @05:55PM (#48900517)

    DirectX is obsolete. In today's multiplatform world only OpenGL matters.

    • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:07PM (#48900591) Homepage
      Last time I heard that statement was during DirectX vs. OpenGL battles in the late 1990's. Any halfway decent video card today can support both with all the bells and whistles. I can't remember the last time I had to pick one over the other.
    • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:07PM (#48900593)

      Microsoft WANTS directX to remain relevant in the modern multiplatform environment. That's why they are bending over backwards trying to get people to buy windows phones.

      Sadly for them, Android beat them to the punch for "Affordable smartphone OS", while apple beat them to the punch for "Luxury smartphone OS". This leaves microsoft scrambling for marketshare in the smartphone space.

      MS keeps trying to reinvent windows "For a new era", but keeps failing miserably.

      MS needs to realize that PCs arent the preferred gateways for social media like they used to be, (Phones have mostly replaced home computers for this) so social media integration with the OS on a PC is just stupidness. No reason why social media cant use web apps tailored for home PCs of course, but OS integration is not required nor desired. PCs have a pretty stable market niche if microsoft would stop trying to be idiots and realize that Peak PC is long passed.

      PCs have 2 major remaining market niches:

      1) Enterprise(/educational) workstations (Like, for doing WORK on.)
      2) PC Gaming

      Microsoft is still zealously trying to pretend that it owns the whole online media consumption experience, and keeps trying to integrate unwanted features into their OS to make it "Easier" to do social networking and other non-productive tasks which are better accomplished with a smartphone or tablet. This is to the detriment of the first market niche they currently hold; enterprise/educational workstations. Allowing users to more easily waste time on facebook is not a value-add for corporations looking to upgrade their installed workstation bases.

      Really, I have to wonder what Microsoft is thinking these days.

      • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:25PM (#48900711)

        Really, I have to wonder what Microsoft is thinking these days.

        Maybe they want to win back the consumer market they lost? Perhaps diversify a bit?

        I just appreciate that they need to compete, and they are forcing their major competitors to bring new things to the table. Otherwise we might be looking at a repeat of mid-2000s, with stagnation like happened in Windows XP and IE 6... just with Apple or Google at the helm this time.

        • May be not. (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          DX 12, just like DX10 and DX11 can be used to "encourage" people to upgrade in this case from Win7 to Win10. Additionally if I am not mistaken WINE still supports only up to DX10. Considering Microsoft has XBOX which does not allows developers to write OpenGL applications, we see a very clear picture where MS ensures at least some of market share by forcing developers who want to port games to PC to use DX and consequently Windows. This leaves any other OS out of the picture as far as latest generation XBOX

      • by Wootery ( 1087023 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @08:08PM (#48901223)

        Microsoft WANTS directX to remain relevant in the modern multiplatform environment.

        PCs have 2 major remaining market niches:

        1) Enterprise(/educational) workstations (Like, for doing WORK on.)

        2) PC Gaming

        Those 2 count for quite a lot, though. I don't think Microsoft are too worried about Mac and Linux supplanting Windows for gaming. It could happen, but that's been the case for years now. The same goes for workstations.

        • PC gamers like to spend time mess with hardware, not software. And that one thing is what limits both Mac and PC gaming: Linux because of driver issues, Macs because of platform expansion restrictions. You can't even upgrade RAM anymore on any Macs except the outrageously priced Pro mini towers, which themselves have very limited expansion.

          Until you can put X amount of graphics cards into a Mac or Linux box and they just work, and work together, PC gaming is never going away.

          • That seems a reasonable analysis.

            A small nitpick: let's not confuse 'PC gaming' with 'gaming on Windows'.

      • ...Android beat them to the punch for "Affordable smartphone OS", while apple beat them to the punch for "Luxury smartphone OS".

        ...Really, I have to wonder what Microsoft is thinking these days.

        They are thinking that there is a total vacuum in the "Magical Smart Phone OS" category...

      • What would make me actually like Windows would be if its operating system was virus resistant so I could download any .exe I wanted and have it run in a sandbox.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wierd_w ( 1375923 )

          Windows is surprisingly resistant in the recent versions. The problem is that it is a complex piece of software with many parts, and no software is perfect.

          Microsoft is the dominant player in the corporate workstation world, so it makes sense to target their platform for corporate and state espionage, and to zombify them for various other purposes that need a fleet of drone computers to perform.

          This means that Windows has a large attack surface on both fronts, so it is aggressively being pummeled with attac

          • by krkhan ( 1071096 )

            It does not exist, and the "best" solution is abstinence. (In this case, Not running every EXE you find on the internet.)

            Actually, the equivalent analogy would be to just not go on the Internet. Even then you run the risk of getting infected with something like Stuxnet. The real "abstinence" would be to not interact with any external/untrusted data at all.

          • The problem I have with modern windows is not what is under the hood-- it's what they are doing with the userspace. The UI is horrible! It's like Microsoft is taking every "popular" thing, and gluing it to the UI like a tawdry bauble. "let's stick twitter integration icons EVERYWHERE! Facebook too! You know what, let's display thumbnails of our news service's top story every time you click the start button!" and all that shit.

            Yep, it's just like the crapware that HP/Dell/etc. used to (and to some extent still do) preinstall on their consumer-grade PCs and laptops, only this time it's actually baked into the damn OS.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Really, I have to wonder what Microsoft is thinking these days.

        Microsoft is just really jealous of Apple and Google. Microsoft made some really snarky ads attacking Apple and Google (go look for them on the interwebs).

        Essentially, Microsoft wants to lock you down into its ecosystem (Bing, Skype, Onedrive, IE), then getting a cut of the cash from the Windows App Store.

        What better way to do this than to leverage on its huge desktop market share to further advance its touch/mobile ambitions? Hence Windows 8 was born.

        Microsoft apologists will insist that Windows 10 will pu

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You're basically an idiot. Windows Phone has nothing to do with advancing some kind of DirectX agenda. Windows Phone is about trying to remain relevant in a very important market segment. It's not doing that good of a job competing, but we're discussing the *purpose* of WP, not its success / failure.

        "MS keeps trying to reinvent windows "For a new era", but keeps failing miserably."

        The fuck is that even supposed to mean? Should MS *stop* improving Windows -- should Microsoft *not* develop improvements li

        • I don't think it's about improvement but rather staying relevant in an world where your entire ecosystem is what defines you, not individual products.
      • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:13PM (#48901657) Journal

        PCs have 2 major remaining market niches:

        1) Enterprise(/educational) workstations (Like, for doing WORK on.)
        2) PC Gaming)

        What does it say about us that we now consider "doing work" to be a niche?

        • Because most home use of PC's is for NOT doing work? The Internet made PC's desirable for those who before the Internet, didn't have them.

          Sure there's always a few garage developers/wanna-be entrepreneurs/SOHO users, but they're a niche.

          • It's not just "doing work". To me, getting onto my favorite forum and telling someone, in great detail, why they are wrong is much easier on my PC than on a phone/tablet.

          • Sure there's always a few garage developers/wanna-be entrepreneurs/SOHO users, but they're a niche.

            But certainly, you don't consider all the people who have PCs on their desks at work to be a "niche", do you?

            • That is correct, I don't. The niche is people doing "work" on their computing devices at home.

              I've always believed that the old distinction between "business computers" and "home computers" was a good one, and that the Microsoft/Intel/IBM hegemony that said to home users that they needed a "Business computer" at home (and the computer reviewers/pundits who also encouraged going MIcrosoft/Intel/IBM platform for home users) was a bad thing.

              • OK, I see what you're saying. That there's really little reason for the operating system on a home computer to look and work exactly like the one at work.

                I agree. I think as computer users, we're mature enough not to need this level of familiarity. This is one reason that at some point down the road, I hope to be able to use both Windows for my digital audio workstation in my home studio, and some form of "SteamOS" for playing games. Of course, with companies like EA/Origin and Ubisoft using their own g

                • That there's really little reason for the operating system on a home computer to look and work exactly like the one at work.

                  Yep, that's how it was, and how I think it ought to be again.

                  This is one reason that at some point down the road, I hope to be able to use both Windows for my digital audio workstation in my home studio, and some form of "SteamOS" for playing games.

                  I run Linux on the desktop, but my game machines run BSD based operating systems.

                  Of course, with companies like EA/Origin and Ubisoft using their own game store platforms, I don't see all PC games being compatible with a SteamOS for some time to come.

                  Yep, I personally think SteamOS is really going nowhere. You're better off going BSD, because while EA/Origin and Ubisoft don't do games for SteamOS....they DO release them for BSD. Admittedly those BSD machines are PlayStations. But essentially PS3's/PS4's were Steam Machines before Gabe Newell decided to make them. Gabe hates walled gardens...except Valve's of

      • Looks like a good solution for this would be for Microsoft to port DirectX either directly to Android/iOS, or indirectly to Linux/FreeBSD. That way, signal developers that if they develop to DirectX (which has the audio advantage over OpenGL, where OpenAL is something that has to be separately supported) they'd be supported on all 3 platforms. While the Windows version could remain proprietary, they could release these 2 versions as a dual license of GPLv3 and either BSDL/Apache.
      • by A Friendly Troll ( 1017492 ) on Monday January 26, 2015 @04:07AM (#48902699)

        Sadly for them, Android beat them to the punch for "Affordable smartphone OS", while apple beat them to the punch for "Luxury smartphone OS". This leaves microsoft scrambling for marketshare in the smartphone space.

        So what's going to happen when WP hits 30% in Asia and South America? It's on its way there. In several European countries, WP is at ~12-14%. Windows 10 is going to make central phone management easier; want to guess what's going to happen with tens of millions of various employees being issued official company phones?

        WP is going to continue to grow, and iOS is going to continue to fall, until it becomes an irrelevant quirk.

        Having a US-centric view on reality isn't a very good thing.

        • Yes, phone platform with NO API for backing up sms messages will win the market!

          " Cliff Simpkins (Sr Product Manager, Windows Developer) responded

          Currently, the platform provides a number of SMS Access from a system eventing perspective (as of Windows Phone 8.1), and Windows Phone supports sms backup/restore for consumers as part of the base OS (Settings Backup). What we don’t provide is a backup API."

          Currently there is NO WAY of exporting stored messages away from M$ proprietary 3% of the market cr

          • Did they fix that on Apple iOS then? I had a serious ball ache of a time backing up my SMS messages separately from my system - infact, it involved digging around in the system backup, extracting a binary file, running it through a conversion process and then saving the results into a csv. This was back in 2011/12

            So it certainly seems like a phone platform with "NO API for backing up sms messages" certainly did win the market.

      • All the recent versions of OSX feature social media integration right into the OS so your whole point is moot.

        Get over your baseless MS hate.

        Win 7 and 8 are both rock solid OSes that support a ton of HW out of the box (try that linux) all without flinching (my osx Yosemite machine crashes more often not to mention the suckfests that are Finder and Spotlight.

      • Really, I have to wonder what Microsoft is thinking these days.

        I'd like to think they are aiming for a jack-of-all trades solution, a unified OS for both desktop and mobile.

        Why carry two devices (a laptop and a smartphone) when you can accomplish everything with one (smartphone/laptop hybrid)?

      • Windows haters of the world unite. Actually Microsoft has been consolidating and planning entry into ALL computing. After years and years of having google as my homepage due to its simplicity and function I now have two. Google and MSN.com. With a Windows live account I can have my stuff anywhere I can get to the internet including office, searches, email and cloud storage. PCs are still far ahead of any other platform in usability. Bing works fine just like Google. Easy to use as an alternative. Where ever
    • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:19PM (#48900669)

      did we just jump into an alternate reality where suddenly MS no longer has 90%+ of the desktop gaming market? OpenGL supporters have been saying DX is obsolete for over a decade and if anything they have lost market share during that time.

      • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:29PM (#48900735)

        OpenGL (or rather, some variants thereof) is the leading API for use on portable devices.

        OpenGL lives more places than DirectX does. DirectX is very much a microsoft platform only technology. Granted, it does a bang up job there, but it does not have the "total" market penetration that OpenGL does. An OpenGL based project can be more easily ported to more disparate devices with less trouble than a DirectX based project can.

        I dont mind DirectX, in fact, I think it has a great niche for the PC gaming niche that windows PCs still hold title to. The problem is that Microsoft keeps trying to shoehorn their windows OS onto those other disparate device platforms. (Windows tablets and phones)

        Rather than just accept that the market has changed, microsoft desperately wants to remain "The" gatekeeper for all things digital, and it just wont happen. They should just accept that Enterprise PCs and PC gaming are their bitches, and social media and mobile computing are Apple's and Google's bitches, and just focus on what's in their box to make it the best possible offering in those categories.

        Instead, they keep trying to force this vision of "microsoft everywhere", and it's destroying them.

        • high performance gaming where all these expensive gaming cards are made for does not happen on portal devices, it happens on desktops. You can't just say look a variant of OpenGL runs here here and here and claim it is now dominating, the truth is it hasn't made any significant inroads in the desktop gaming area. On the desktop it isn't even a close race, MS completely and utterly dominate the space. As long as they have a strangehold on the desktop then DX will not be obsolete or even close to it, it is ev

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Desktop gaming revenue is a drop in the bucket compared to mobile. Mobile devices vastly outnumber the number of desktop machines. And almost every one of those devices can run games. Games that were developed using OpenGL.

            Yes, you're right that Microsoft will keep their little niche in desktop gaming through DirectX. But OpenGL has won the war for I-don't-care-about-the-platform gaming. Where it used to be that the beancounters would push for DX development only, now it's just the opposite. Not devel

            • by bloodhawk ( 813939 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @08:16PM (#48901265)

              PC gaming is currently over 20 Billion and is still growing (though slowly), Mobile gaming is around 20-25 billion as well, how the fuck do you turn a 50% market share into a drop in the bucket? Regardless they are two separate markets. You can't compare mobile games to desktop games, of course those games would never do as well on a desktop, how would COD, Halo, Far Cry do on a mobile device?

          • If you write a game that uses Direct3D, you can easily target Windows, XBox, and Windows Phone. If you write a game that uses OpenGL, then you can easily target all of the major desktop, mobile, and console platforms. If your game runs on a generation-old console, then it will run on current-generation mobiles as well. This gives you three markets: First release for high-end PCs, second for consoles, third for mobiles. You can get a solid revenue stream out of each one. You don't lose the Windows marke

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          people write high end AAA games for windows desktops, on windows desktops DX is still by far and away the best choice for developers even without the coming performance improvements in DX 12. OpenGL has dodgy driver and vendor support, is more complex to program for and doesn't integrate all the controller and sound input as well as MS does. OpenGL has been subpar on windows for nearly a decade now and until they put some real effort into fixing that then DX will remain the dominate gaming platform that dev

          • In particular Intel GPUs support older version i.e. Sandy Bridge supports OpenGL 3.1, Ivy Bridge supports OpenGL 3.3 and I don't know what Haswell supports.
            These days you can make a DX11-only game (with or without a path for DX10.x feature level but still on DX11) but if you make an OpenGL 4.3 game you will support less hardware! Use OpenGL 4.4 or 4.5 and that shrinks again until vendors eventually catch up to these. So it is portable, except when it's not.

            If some developers want to make games on the Quake

        • > OpenGL (or rather, some variants thereof) is the leading API for use on portable devices.

          That is Open GL ES 2.x now 3.x. Even on the -desktop- we have WebGL which is basically OpenGL ES inside a browser.

          For the MS fan-boys, let me know when I can write and run shaders in a browser.

          I *love* ShaderToy [shadertoy.com]. It is awesome for prototyping.

    • Wow right back in 2001 again.

      John Carmack conceded directx 9 is superior. I can't think of a single game today that uses opengl. Why is that?

      You must live in alternative universe as developers prefer to develop for consoles first with direct x then back port it to pc if piracy concerns are not to bad.

      • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @07:55PM (#48901157)

        > I can't think of a single game today that uses OpenGL.

        Uh, HELLO McFly; Minecraft. That "insignificant" game that "only" sold 54+ million copies. ~18 MILLION on PC.

        > Why is that?

        Because you didn't even be bothered to spend 2 seconds to [wikipedia.org] look [wikipedia.org]

        Gee, what is Valve using [valvesoftware.com] on OSX, and Linux !?!? ... It sure as hell isn't Microsoft's Not-Inventered-Here RenderMorph's Reality Lab which they renamed to Direct3D [wikipedia.org]

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You aren't seriously trying to claim that direct x is still based on that ancient middleware are you? Dx2.0 might have used it as a starting point for direct3d but by the time we hit dx5 all of it had be rewritten.

          Why did Microsoft buy that company? It wasn't because they couldn't do it themselves. It was because there was a serious issue getting games running in windows easily and instead of making their user base wait a year or 2 for a single api set that would work for everything they bought a company

    • DirectX is obsolete. In today's multiplatform world only OpenGL matters.

      Funny, last time I checked OpenGL wasn't supported in any games console.

      Even the half baked version available on the PS3 was barely used.

  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @05:59PM (#48900541) Homepage

    Newegg has 120 DirectX video cards [newegg.com] available. So what's the hold up on drivers?

    • DX12 is a major rewrite and a departure from the old bloated APIs, so drivers will probably need to be re-written from scratch. Though since it's a pretty thin API, it shouldn't take very long.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't like what they did to the start menu in the latest build... I don't need those massive letters to tell me where I am in the damn All App list... Also how they decided to separate Desktop and Tablet mode entirely, so the Touch Keyboard no longer popups automatically when in "desktop mode", you have to be in "tablet mode".. which is highly limited in the fact that everything is fullscreen, cannot touch any icons on the desktop... Previous build was great on my tablet, they had to ruin it. If I wanted

  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:18PM (#48900665)

    I don't think it would be right to call it "dormant" in the OS.
    If the code is there, but not available to call to, that would be dormant.

  • Microsoft still hasn't announced how much a Windows 10 license will cost. And don't reply with "it's free" because not everyone runs Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      I'd hazard a guess that it'll be priced like all the previous versions. $49-99 for an upgrade copy, and $79-129(oem) and $129-199 for retail.

    • If your computer is old enough that it doesn't even run vista (Jan. 2007), it's probably time to buy a new computer (1/4 the price, 4x the specs) and run your copy of xp in a vm.
      • Sadly there's still a pile of stuff that won't run on Win7 or later, while the newest MS Office runs on XP, so more reasons against than for in some cases.
        Also for some odd reason many users seem to hate mucking about with a VM - their nice seamless desktop paradigm gets broken by it or something, so some refuse to use it if there is an alternative. I've had to run an old version of AutoCAD (with the old interface the user likes) on WINE on a linux box and export it via X to the users Win7 box to make them
        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          You mean Windows XP mode [microsoft.com]? It gives you a (usually-invisible) VM, and you can export apps from that VM to your desktop, so they run in their own windows. I've used it and it's absolutely genius.
          • by dbIII ( 701233 )
            It's always been full screen for me and pissed people off. I'll have to look at it again and see if I can get it running that way. Of course that still doesn't help with the stuff that still needs 16bit (AutoCAD), but I can see a use with a whole lot of label printing abandonware etc.
      • Wow buy a new one if the old one works just fine and is better (no cell phone on the desktop)?

        True as a gamer an old system is pretty useless unless you run older games from that era in which it came from.

        XP is still insanely popular and I will bet you money in 2020 when Windows 7 goes EOL XP will still have marketshare of active computer users. Small but still significant to be counted. It works and users like it because it is familiar to them.

        I still see no reason to leave Windows 7. I just wonder what it

    • moot point. it will probably cost you nothing, because if you are running XP, you aren't buying this. If you are running XP, then you are buying a new machine and chances are it will come with either a recent OS or 10 itself.

      People with old machines building their own new machines and getting 10 will be in the minority. Tip: get a cheap 7/8.1 license to upgrade for free to 10.

      • I'm running XP on a new computer that I built myself about six months ago. I installed XP because it's the only Windows license I have.

        And there's no such thing as a "cheap" Windows 7/8 license, it's still 130$CAD everywhere. I'm not paying 130$ for the OS of my gaming PC, my CPU and GPU combined didn't even cost that much,

        • I find that very hard to believe as driver support for XP has gone away since 2011 except for a few business oriented systems and now even they do not have Xp drivers.

          This must have been used.

          • I wrote in my previous message that I build it myself and that's it's a new computer. It's parts I bought from NewEgg, which are not used.

        • Is that a non-networked box?
          How do you get data in and out? I'd be wary of even USB, so I'd use CD/DVD and plugging in trusted hard drives on SATA, IDE or Firewire with all USB controllers disabled in BIOS. Or a null-modem cable.

  • ... that we get a technical topic to discuss, but instead all we get is YAGS (Yet Another Gripe Session). This is supposed to be a forum for geeks, yet it sounds more like a knitting club for old women (no offence to old women, but there is a caricature portrayed in "The Music Man" of older women coming together to gossip and gripe about the local town that seems fitting to my point).

    If we aren't going to chat about the technical issues surrounding DX12, what it has to offer, what cards are likely to im

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