Although word of DirectX 11 has been around for over a year, with Microsoft sharing actual details with developers and partners, Windows 7’s graphics technology will only from now come into play. With the latest iteration of the Windows client available for purchase for a little over a month, customers worldwide can start taking advantage of the successor of DirectX 10, by leveraging Windows 7 computers in concert with DirectX 11 graphics cards. At this years’ Professional Developers Conference, the Redmond company share additional details related to DX11 in no less than two sessions.

Less fortunate devs that were unable to attend PDC 2009 can still access conference content from Microsoft, with video available on both DX11 sessions. Developers interested in Direct3D, Direct2D, and DirectWrite can watch “Modern 3D Graphics Using Windows 7 and Direct3D 11 Hardware” and “Advanced Graphics Functionality Using DirectX.”

“With the onset of new Direct3D 11 hardware, gain practical knowledge to help you push graphics to the limit. Learn about the new tessellation stage in Direct3D 11, which enables an unprecedented level of rendering quality by dynamically generating geometry on the GPU. In addition, see how the multi-core improvements in the Direct3D 11 runtime can help you scale your application to take full advantage of all of the cores on a machine. More »

A default diagnostics tool included in Windows 7 can incorrectly report DirectX 11 devices as DirectX 10.1, Microsoft has revealed. At fault is the DirectX Diagnostics Tool, the Redmond company explains. The Erroneous reporting of DirectX 11 devices as DirectX 10.1 devices is a problem that also affects Windows Server 2008 R2, the software giant discloses. However, the issue is by no means severe, and in fact easy to fix.

“When you run the DirectX Diagnostics Tool (Dxdiag.exe) on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the diagnostic tool incorrectly reports a DirectX 11 device as a DirectX 10.1 device. This incorrect version information is shown in the DDI field on the Display tab. This problem is only a reporting error. This problem does not affect the DirectX 11 hardware or software functionality of the graphics card,” Microsoft explains.

The Redmond company is already offering a hotfix designed to deal with the problem. The fix can be grabbed from Microsoft Support, but the company stresses that only customers affected by this specific issue should apply the resolve. More »

The race between Mozilla and Microsoft is on yet again to establish positions such as innovation leader and follower, when it comes down to Firefox and Internet Explorer. And it will most probably fall on the two company’s next generation browser releases to help label the two software makers as either leading the wave in innovation or bringing to the market features that are already sported by the rival product. In this regard, Firefox 3.7 and Internet Explorer 9 are currently neck-in-neck at the start line toward the adoption and implementation of hardware acceleration.

Last week, at the Professional Developer Conference 2009 in Los Angeles, Steven Sinofsky, president, Windows and Windows Live Division, demonstrated a very early, just three weeks old copy of Internet Explorer 9, touting hardware acceleration as one of the major enhancements coming to IE users. In the video embedded at the bottom of this article, you will be able to get an insight into IE9 hardware acceleration possible because of Windows 7’s DirectX 11 graphics technology.

“We’re changing IE to use the DirectX family of Windows APIs to enable many advances for web developers. The starting point is moving all graphics and text rendering from the CPU to the graphics card using Direct2D and DirectWrite. Graphics hardware acceleration means that rich, graphically intensive sites can render faster while using less CPU. More »

Microsoft’s latest operating system was built with the PC gamer in mind.

Every copy of Windows Vista includes DirectX 10, a set of software instructions that make photorealistic visuals run incredibly smoothly. And for the first time, PC gamers can engage in online matches against Xbox 360 players.

– Sign up for a Games for Windows Live Gold account and create a Live ID for playing online. (If you already have an Xbox Live Gold account and Gamertag, then skip this step. You can use the same account on your PC.)

– Start your Live-enabled game.

– Sign in using your Live ID when prompted.

– Access the game’s multiplayer mode to find a match to join or invite friends to play.

You can also find and launch your games more easily with the Games Explorer, which is accessible from the Start menu. Games Explorer lets you organize your collection, view box cover art and check your system’s technical specifications to ensure it can handle new games. Click Start > All Programs > Games > Games Explorer. More »

With Windows 7 pre-Beta Build 6801 out of Redmond, it was only natural that DirectX 11 would follow. And this is precisely what happened. Having served Milestone 3 Build of the next iteration of the Windows client, Microsoft is also moving forward with the graphics technology included by default with the operating system. The transition from Vista to Windows 7 is synonymous with the evolution from DirectX 10.1 (in Vista SP1) to DirectX 11. At this point in time, the first taste of the next version of the DirectX suite of multimedia application programming interfaces (APIs), namely DirectX 11, is available for download via the November 2008 DirectX Software Development Kit.

“Included in the November 2008 DirectX SDK is a technical preview of Direct3D 11 and associated components and tools. Direct3D 11 is an update to Direct3D 10.1 enabling new hardware features as well as improving the breadth of configurations supported by Direct3D. As such, Direct3D 11 enables developers to create applications and games that work on Direct3D 10, Direct3D 10.1, and Direct3D 11 hardware when it becomes available. With the addition of WARP and Direct3D 10 Level 9, Direct3D 10.1 and Direct3D 11 have the ability to target fast software rasterization and Direct3D 9 hardware,” Microsoft revealed. More »