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Frequently Asked Questions

Microsoft DirectX

Revision - 5.8

Q: What is DirectX? Do you have a definition?
A: Microsoft DirectX is a group of technologies designed to make Windows-based computers an ideal platform for running and displaying applications rich in multimedia elements such as full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio.

Q: What is the latest version of DirectX
A: The latest released version is currently DirectX 9.0c for users of Microsoft Windows 98, 98Se, Me, 2000, XP, and Server 2003. However, there has been updates to DirectX 9.0c since, without changing the version number. The latest version of DirectX for Windows 95 users is 8.0a.

Q: When was DirectX 9.0c released?
A: DirectX 9.0c was released on August 4, 2004. However, the latest update to DirectX 9.0c was in August, 2006.

Q: When was DirectX 9.0b released?
A: DirectX 9.0b was released on July 1, 2003.

Q: What version of DirectX does Windows Vista use?
A: DirectX 10.

Q: What version of DirectX does Windows Server 2003 use?
A: You can use the latest version for this OS. However, DX 8.1 comes standard.

Q: What is new in DirectX 9?
A: "There are many new and exciting features in all of the DirectX components.

The SDK has added a new member to its core technology called Managed DirectX, a DirectPlay port for the PocketPC, a High Level Shader Language for D3DX, and Windows XP parity on downlevel operating systems for DirectShow and the DirectX audio APIs.

DirectShow also has a new Video Mixing Renderer (VMR9) which uses D3D9 surfaces and always renders video through the 3D pipeline, along with new and exciting samples.

The generic Windows Media Format SDK stub library (wmstub.lib) available in previous beta releases has been removed. DirectShow samples using this stub library have been reverted to the DirectX 8.1 behavior of displaying a warning to obtain the stub separately, and the readme.txt files have also been reverted with information on the process to obtain the stub."

Q: What is new specifically in DirectX 9.0c?
DirectX 9.0 includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX 9.0 APIs.

Q: When was DirectX 9 released?
A: DirectX 9 was released on December 19, 2002.

Q: What was new in DirectX 8.0b?
A: DirectX 8.0b was for developers. However, DirectX 8.1 now supersedes the 8.0b version. This version contains bug fixes contained D3DX dynamic library which was included in the DirectX 8 release. There are over 25 bug fixes in 10 files. The bug fixes effect core, tex, mesh, effects and samples. If you'd like to view the release notes for Dx8b to see the full list of bug fixes, visit this page: 

Q: What will the next version of DirectX be called?
A: DirectX 10.

Q: What will be new in DirectX 9.0c?
A: Not much. There will be some fixes for Shader 3.0, which is already in DirectX 9.0b.

Q: When will DirectX 10 be released?
A: With the launch of Windows Vista.

Q: Will there also be a SDK update coming?
A: Microsoft has release bi-monthly SDK updates since the release of DirectX 9.0c. The latest was in August 2006. That SDK contains DirectX 9 as well as DirectX 10 inromation.

Q: What will be included in that?
A: Check out the full list of the new SDK features, here.

Q: What was new in DirectX 8.0a?
A: DirectX 8.0a contains updates for issues with international installs on Windows 2000 and issues where input devices could have buttons disabled that were enabled with previous DirectX releases. There are no other changes.

Q: When was DirectX 9.0a released?
A: DirectX 9.0a was released on May 19th, 2003.

Q: What day was DirectX 8.1 released?
A: DirectX 8.1 was released November 8, 2001.

Q: What day was DirectX 8 released?
A: DirectX 8 was released November 9, 2000.

Q: What day was DirectX 8.0a released?
A: DirectX 8 was released January 24, 2001.

Q: What day was DirectX 8.0b released?
A: DirectX 8 was released April 12, 2001.

Q: What operating systems is DirectX 9 compatible with?
A: Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000(Professional and server editions), Windows XP. and Windows Server 2003. DirectX 9 is NOT compatible with Windows NT or Windows 95.

Q: You do not have Windows 95 listed as being compatible with Microsoft DirectX. What should I do?
A: The latest version available for Windows 95 is DirectX 8.0a.

Q: Is DirectX compatible with Windows NT?
A: Yes, though the only version supported on Windows NT 4.0 is DirectX 3.0a. You must also install Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6.

Q: How much space will this take up on the hard drive?
A: It will take up to 25 MB of space once downloaded and installed. About 60 MB for installation.

Q: What languages does DirectX 9.0c come in?
A: DirectX 9 is available for download in the following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Q: Do I need to install DirectX 9.0c or the latest updates to 9.0c?
A: If you already have a previous version of DirectX 9 installed, installing the latest update is probably not necessary unless a game specifically calls for it.

Q. What features are available with DirectX 9?
A: Click here for the full list.

Q: I thought that a DirectX Icon would appear in my control panel - what has happened to it?
A: The DirectX Control Panel is only included in the SDK versions of DirectX.

Q: How much does DirectX cost?
A: Nothing! It's free.

Q: What is the DirectX SDK?
A: The Microsoft® DirectX® 9 Software Development Kit (SDK) contains the tools needed to build cutting-edge, media-rich, interactive applications. It includes the run-time, headers and libs, sample executables, sample source, documentation, DirectX utilities, and support for both C++ and Visual Basic® development.

Q: Where can I get the latest info on DirectX?
A: Visit Microsoft's DirectX Site or our site at

Q: What version of DirectX does Windows XP ship with?
A: Windows XP ships with a version of DirectX 8.1.

Q: What version of DirectX does Windows 2000 ship with?
A: Windows 2000 ships with a version of DirectX 7a.

Q: What versions of DirectX are shipped with the different Microsoft Operating Systems?
A: Windows 98 comes with native DirectX 5 support. While Windows 98 Second Edition comes with DirectX 6.1a and Windows 2000 DirectX 7. Windows NT comes with DirectX 3.0a, and Windows 95 comes with DirectX 2. Windows XP comes with Direct X 8.1. Windows 2003 Server comes with DirectX 8.1.

Q: Will new versions of DirectX affect older games?
A: No, as each new version of DirectX is backwards compatible with older versions. 

Q: Will Windows 2000 users finally be able to update to each new version of DirectX as they are released?
A: Yes - all future versions of DirectX will install onto Windows 2000.

Q: Does DirectX have a role with Xbox?
A: Yes, all DirectX technologies had played a role in the development of the Xbox both through Microsoft and NVIDIA. Microsoft's set of low-level APIs for game development and multimedia purposes, DirectX, was used as a basis for the Xbox. Featured Partner:

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