A new DirectX release is now available for download from Microsoft, offered by the Redmond giant just ahead of December 2010.

The fresh version of the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer can be grabbed from the Microsoft Download Center, providing updates to 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX, according to the software company.

Although normally Microsoft offers a collection of DirectX releases simultaneously, this time around the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer is available alone.

Both the DirectX SDK (software development kit) and the DirectX Redist continue to be live, but they are the same versions released in July 2010.

“The DirectX end-user installation includes the D3DX, HLSL Compiler, XInput, XAudio, and Managed DirectX 1.1 components,” Microsoft revealed. More »

Having backported a number of key Windows 7 technologies, including DirectX 11 from Windows 7 to its predecessor, Microsoft is now offering users of Windows Vista Service Pack (SP2) a platform update supplement. The recently released Platform Update Supplement Beta for Windows Vista is obviously designed to catalyze the evolution of the Platform Update for Windows Vista. According to the Redmond company, the supplement is in Beta stage at this point in time, so end users should not install it yet, and leave the testing to early adopters familiar with running pre-release software.

“A beta release of the Platform Update Supplement for Windows Vista is available. This update provides fixes and improvements to graphics, media foundation and print functionality in Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2),” Microsoft stated.

Microsoft also enumerated the changes delivered by the Platform Update Supplement, including More »

The latest updates to DirectX resources from Microsoft have been tailored to the most recent iteration of the Windows client. In this regard, the Redmond company revealed that both DirectX End-User Runtimes (August 2009) and the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer come with support for Windows 7. Earlier this month, the software giant made available an update for the DirectX Software Development Kit (SDK) bringing to the table Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, Direct2D, and DirectWrite. The August 2009 (even though it was released in mid-September) DirectX SDK enables developers to build and distribute Direct3D 11 programs designed to play nice with DirectX 11 not only in Windows 7 but also in Windows Vista.

DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer – “provides updates to 9.0c and previous versions of DirectX — the core Windows technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC. 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. DirectX includes security and performance updates, along with many new features across all technologies, which can be accessed by applications using the DirectX APIs,” Microsoft noted. More »

Microsoft has made available for download updated DirectX 11 resources tailored to Windows 7 and Windows Vista, but also additional Windows client and server operating systems. According to the Redmond-based company, the refreshed DirectX 11 release brings to the table the RTM version of Direct3D. Essentially, what it is offering is an update for the DirectX software development kit. Developers are free to grab the SDK via the Microsoft Download Center since September 8, 2009.

“The August 2009 DirectX SDK contains the first official release of the DirectX developer resources for Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, Direct2D, and DirectWrite. Developers can now publish and distribute Direct3D 11 applications and games that leverage all of the software and hardware features of DirectX 11 in Windows 7 and Windows Vista,” Microsoft noted. “ll headers, import libraries, and symbol files (.pdb files) are no longer marked as beta with the ‘_beta’ suffix and now link to the RTM versions of the runtimes. In addition, the HLSL compiler features for Direct3D 11 are now of release quality. The beta DLLs are no longer available in the DirectX SDK.”

With the August 2009 DirectX Software Development Kit update, Microsoft is offering developers the new Effects runtime for Direct3D 11. More »

Following the release of the gold build of Windows 7 via MSDN and TechNet, Microsoft has now made available for download Windows 7 Code Pack 1.0. Version 1.0 of the Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework is designed to integrate with the RTM release of Windows Vista’s successor. Subscribers of both MSDN and TechNet can already download and install the final version of Windows 7 since the end of the past week. Now developers looking to start building applications for Windows 7 RTM can also grab Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework, but without the restrictions set in place by the MSDN or TechNet subscriptions.

“The Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework provides support for various features of Windows 7 and previous releases of that operating system. The Code Pack has reached version 1.0 and has been published on Code Gallery,” revealed Charlie Calvert, Microsoft C# community program manager.

According to Microsoft, Windows 7 RTM Code Pack 1.0 “provides a source code library that can be used to access some new Windows 7 features (and some existing features of older versions of Windows operating system) from managed code. These Windows features are not available to developers today in the .NET Framework.” More »