Forget about DirectX 10 and DirectX 10.1, the future of Microsoft's graphics platform for the Windows operating system is DirectX 11. The Redmond giant has certainly kept quiet on DirectX 11, just as it has gagged all information on the next iteration of Windows, but details do slip through its fingers. And while mum's the word on where the next generation of the Windows graphics technology is heading, Microsoft is gearing up to deliver the first public taste of the future version of the DirectX suite of multimedia APIs. In fact, at the end of August 2008, Microsoft will introduce DirectX 11 to the world.
Between 25 and 27 August 2008, Nvidia will hold its Nvision 08 conference in San Jose, California. Kev Gee, Software Development Engineer, XNA Developer Connection (XDC) is scheduled to deliver the introduction to DirectX 11 via a one-hour session at Nvision 08 on August 26. Gee promises that attendants will be able to get a sneak peek at what DirectX 11 will look like.
"Kev will introduce the new DirectX 11 rendering pipeline currently under development at Microsoft. The technology builds on the existing DirectX 10 API set and adds new features including tessellation, multithreaded rendering, compute shaders, Shader Model 5, and more. Get up to speed fast with the next generation of rendering technology," reads the presentation of the "Introduction to DirectX 11" session (vr-zone via WinBeta).
Just as Windows 7 will have Windows Vista at its foundation, and will simply be built on top of it, being an evolutionary release, so will DirectX 11 be based on DirectX 10. Microsoft has already officially stated - through the voices of Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group and Christopher Flores, Director Windows Communications - that the graphics subsystem in Windows 7 would have its roots deep into Vista, and that the next generation of the Windows client will play well with the same set of devices and hardware products as its predecessor.
And since the Vista-centric hardware solutions will be able to accommodate Windows 7 with no problems, this means that the same is valid for drivers, including graphics drivers. With DirectX 10 (and DirectX 10.1 as of Service Pack 1) evolving into DirectX 11, Microsoft essentially ensures that Windows 7 will be backwards compatible with DirectX 10 graphics cards.
However, just as it is the case with Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1, which need DirectX 10 and DirectX 10.1 specific hardware in order to take advantage of the evolution of the technology, so will Windows 7 need DirectX 11-based graphics cards. At this point in time, Microsoft failed to reveal whether DirectX 11 will be back ported to Windows Vista.
"Kev has worked as a professional in the games industry for over a decade and has experienced shipping and supporting many titles spanning a variety of genres. He currently works for Microsoft in the XNA Developer Connection (XDC) team where he helps developers create amazing games across a range of Microsoft platforms," it is added in the synopsis for the "Introduction to DirectX 11."