What is DirectX?

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DirectX refers to a set of APIs or application program interfaces developed by Microsoft for the Windows operating system. These API’s basically helped improve the functionality of computer hardware and software in the form of improved graphics and dynamic web pages. Through the DirectX component, the hardware part of the computer will be able to directly and smoothly communicate with the software components under the Windows platform. With such a communication, the product is a better and enhanced experience especially for viewing graphics and videos, playing games, and opening other multi-media content.

Prior to the development of DirectX, the MS-DOS operating system was the default platform in most computers around the world. With this original system, the software components had no barriers when trying to access computer hardware. Under the MS-DOS environment, there wasn’t that much need in terms of graphics or video enhancement. By the time the Windows operating system was introduced, some access to hardware were restricted for security and configuration purposes. In order to allow programmers to connect with the hardware components like video and sound cards for example, an API component was developed by Microsoft in the form of DirectX. Through DirectX, software programmers can now easily take advantage of the existing hardware features in order to coincide with the program’s capabilities. In the case of games for example, the DirectX component is called DirectPlay and its functioning as a bridge between the software and hardware components results to much-improved graphics and animation. Another component of DirectX is called Direct3D which basically transforms graphics into 3-dimensional images which are the features of the latest games in Microsoft’s own gaming console called Xbox 360. Other DirectX API components are DirectDraw, DirectSound, and DirectPlay. From its first version released back in 1995, DirectX has evolved and improved to provide next-generation graphics for Windows computers.

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