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Microsoft Windows 10 will ship with DirectX 12 API

Microsoft Corp. has announced that its next-generation Windows 10 operating system will ship with DirectX 12 application programming interface (API). Keeping in mind that the OS is designed for all types of devices and DX12 is a corner stone for Microsoft’s ecosystem-related strategy, the news is hardly surprising.

This week Microsoft made available Windows 10 technical preview that gives a glimpse of what is coming in terms of user interface and general capabilities. What the technical preview, regrettably, lacks is DirectX 12 application programming interface, possibly, because it has to be supported by independent hardware vendors and far not all IHVs are ready with appropriate drivers today. Still, Microsoft made it clear that the DX12 is an integral part of Windows 10.

“The final version of Windows 10 will ship with DirectX 12, and we think it’s going to be awesome,” said Bryan Langley, a spokesman for Microsoft, in a blog post.

unreal_engine_landscape_msft_directx12
A screenshot from UE4.4’s Landscape Mountains demo taken on a PC powered by Intel Core i-series “Haswell” microprocessor.

DirectX 12 will target not only traditional personal computers, but also mobile devices like smartphones and tablets as well as Xbox One. The DX12 will allow game developers to access hardware resources of graphics processing units on a “close-to-metal” level, which will result in higher efficiency and increased performance; in addition, the new API will allow games to significantly increase multithread scaling and CPU utilisation.

At present DirectX 12 is only available to game developers as well as hardware manufacturers. Game developers who are part of Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Early Access program will receive updated runtime, API headers, drivers, documentation, and samples, all of which will work with the Windows 10 Technical Preview. In addition, those, who are subscribed to Unreal Engine 4, can receive source access to the DX12 port of UE4.4.

It is unknown when Microsoft rolls-out a version of Windows 10 with DirectX 12 and whether it plans to do so before shipping the final version of the operating system. Previously the company did allow enthusiasts to try-out its new DirectX APIs before official releases.

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KitGuru Says: What will be interesting to see is whether DirectX 12 will bring any all-new graphics capabilities and when graphics chip designers plan to release hardware that support these innovations.

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