Microsoft Releases Beta Version 1 of DirectX 9.0 to Partners, Beta Testers

REDMOND, Wash. — May 30, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release of beta version 1 of the Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 API, the latest version of Microsofts suite of multimedia application programming interfaces. Beta 1 features Microsofts innovative new high-level shader language (HLSL), a powerful new programming model that offers the easiest-to-use graphics creation toolset for developers.

“DirectX 9.0 offers unparalleled advances in graphics technology,” said Ted Hase, director of Windows® Third-Party Gaming and Entertainment at Microsoft.
“Microsoft always has been a pioneer in the development of best-of-breed technologies and tools that facilitate the development of great gaming content. Developers will discover that the new capabilities built into DirectX 9.0 make it significantly easier to create content that demonstrates richness, robustness and totally immersive depth.”

HLSL is based on the C programming language and introduces a developer-friendly programming environment that delivers simplicity and flexibility across the full range of 3-D graphics, from art creation to effects programming. HLSL is seamlessly integrated into and complemented by enhancements to Microsofts current developer toolset to give developers even more power from an easier-to-use solution. In addition, HLSL is compatible with DirectX-compliant graphics processing units (GPUs), allowing developers to define a similar visual effect for the widest range of graphics hardware.

DirectX 9.0 offers the following new benefits for developers:

  • High-level shader language

  • library that supports patch meshes and traditional polygonal meshes

  • Improved real-time animation capabilities that allow separate animations on the same mesh to be blended

  • Enhanced low-level graphics programmability with new programmable vertex and pixel shader 2.0 models in the Direct3D® API

  • Full integration, including debugging, of new programmable shader models with the Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET development system

  • Enhanced DirectShow® video rendering hardware acceleration

  • A new version of DirectMusic® Producer, enabling support for DirectMusic enhancements such as low-latency playback

  • New wizards for creating DirectX Media Objects (DMOs) for audio effects and DirectMusic tools for MIDI processing

  • Improved DirectPlay® performance for multiplayer games

  • Availability of DirectPlay for Pocket PC 2002

Availability

Microsoft DirectX 9.0 beta 1 is now available at no charge to registered DirectX beta sites (connect-time fees may apply). The final release of the DirectX 9.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) and DirectX 9.0 runtime is scheduled for fall 2002.

About DirectX

Microsoft DirectX is an advanced suite of multimedia APIs built directly into Microsoft Windows operating systems. DirectX provides a standard development platform for Windows-based PCs by enabling software developers to access specialized hardware features without having to write hardware-specific code. DirectX was first introduced in 1995 and is the recognized standard for multimedia application development on the Windows platform.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software
any time, any place and on any device.

The information contained in this press release relates to a prerelease software product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software product when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.

Microsoft, DirectX, Windows, Direct3D, Visual Studio, DirectShow, DirectMusic and DirectPlay are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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