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 »

When it drops next month, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Beta will be a full browser, as opposite to just a Platform Preview. This means that more users will get to take IE9 out for a spin and get a feeling of what Microsoft has in stored. With four Platform Preview releases delivered already, the Redmond company has been targeting developers, trying to get them familiarized as early as possible with the evolution of IE.

“The Internet Explorer 9 Platform Previews were created to show the Web development community and standards bodies Microsoft’s progress and outline how the company is working hard to build an interoperable Web platform. In addition, Microsoft wants to give everyone in the Web development community an opportunity to provide feedback on the company’s progress,” Microsoft reveals in the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview Fact Sheet. 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 »

In certain scenarios, the default DirectX 11 diagnostics tool in Windows 7 has problems reporting the correct Approximate Total Memory. According to Microsoft, users have reported this issue for computers that feature large quantities of RAM and video memory installed.

The Redmond company explained that in some cases, because of the incorrect values returned for system and video memory, certain applications or games could prevent the user from running with their graphics settings at a maximum, even though their machine was perfectly capable of doing so.

“You have a system with 1GB or greater of Video memory, and 4GB or greater of system memory (RAM). You run the Direct-X Diagnostics tool, and it reports that you have an unexpectedly low amount of Approximate Total Memory on the display tab. You may also see issues with some games or applications not allowing you to select the highest detail settings,” Microsoft explained. More »

Microsoft is currently cooking a refresh to the Windows 7 RTM DirectX resources that it is offerings to developers. In this regard, Chuck Walbourn, lead developer for the DirectX SDK, revealed that a new version of the software development kit was planned for mid-2010. Specifically, the software giant intends to ship the next release of the DirectX SDK in the first half of June 2010. Walbourn emphasized that the upcoming version of the SDK was designed to deliver the first update to the Windows Graphics components since August 2009. At the same time, the refresh will help developers embrace the latest iteration of the company’s development platform and tools.

Developers looking to leverage the June 2010 release of the DirectX SDK, a release that they will be able to use in order to build on top of Windows 7 by taking advantage of DirectX 11, need to know that the refresh will play nice with Visual Studio 2010 RTM. In addition to delivering support for Visual Studio 2010, the June 2010 DirectX SDK will also play nice with Visual Studio 2008. But this is about it, as Microsoft will drop support for Visual Studio 2005 with the upcoming version of the SDK. Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 on April 12, 2010. The previous release of the DirectX Software Development Kit dates back to February 2010. More »