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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.
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.
The Direct X team also built and distributed tests that allowed the hardware industry to confirm that new hardware designs and driver releases would be compatible with Direct X.
Prior to Direct X, Microsoft had included Open GL on their Windows NT platform.
Microsoft needed a quick solution for programmers; the operating system was only months away from being released. John, and Engstrom (program manager) worked together to fix this problem, with a solution that they eventually named Direct X.
The first version of Direct X was released in September 1995 as the Windows Games SDK.
The Xbox API was similar to Direct X version 8.1, but is non-updateable like other console technologies.An important factor in the value consumers would place on it was the programs that would be able to run on it. John, and Eric Engstrom—were concerned because programmers tended to see Microsoft's previous operating system, MS-DOS, as a better platform for game programming, meaning few games would be developed for Windows 95 and the operating system would not be as much of a success.This was compounded by negative reception surrounding the Windows port of the video game The Lion King.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.
The Direct X team faced the challenging task of testing each Direct X release against an array of computer hardware and software.