Windows 7 RC, as well as its precursor, Windows Vista, and the R2 and RTM/SP1 releases of Windows Server 2008 are immune to a zero-day vulnerability affecting DirectX on older versions of Windows. The security hole makes Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows XP (including SP2 and SP3), and Windows Server 2003 vulnerable to exploits but not the later versions of the Windows client and server operating systems, since the code containing the flaw was removed in Vista.
Christopher Budd, security response communications lead for Microsoft, confirmed that the company was “aware of limited, active attacks that exploit this vulnerability.” Budd explained that the vulnerable code was contained in the QuickTime parser in Microsoft DirectShow. DirectX 7.0, DirectX 8.1 and DirectX 9.0 are impacted.
“An attacker would try and exploit the vulnerability by crafting a specially formed video file and then posting it on a website or sending it as an attachment in e-mail. While this isn’t a browser vulnerability, because the vulnerability is in DirectShow, a browser-based vector is potentially accessible through any browser using media plug-ins that use DirectShow. Also, we’ve verified that it is possible to direct calls to DirectShow specifically, even if Apple’s QuickTime (which is not vulnerable) is installed,” Budd stated. More »
Update Vista’s DirectX9 files for better game compatibility
One of the fixes for getting games to run in Vista that do not normally (such as FEAR and 3Dmark06 as two examples) is relatively simple. These games require the latest version of Directx 9. Vista does not actually contain a full installation of Directx 9, just some elements for compatibility purposes. So, install Directx 9.
To install Directx 9c on Windows Vista:
step 1: Download the latest DirectX 9 redistributable file from Microsoft.com here.
step 2: Unzip the file into a folder on your desktop or in your documents.
step 3: Run the DXSETUP file.
step 4: You can delete the folder after the install has finished.
Windows Aero is the premium visual experience of Windows Vista. It features a transparent glass design with subtle window animations and new window colors.
Here are some solutions to common problem with running Windows Aero.
Which editions of Windows Vista include Aero?
The following editions include Aero:
Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows Vista Ultimate. Aero is not included in Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows.
To find out which edition of Windows Vista you have on your computer, do the following:
Open Welcome Center by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Welcome Center.
The edition of Windows Vista you’re running is displayed with your computer details near the top of the window. More »
1. DirectX 10. Without a doubt, Vista’s support for DirectX 10 is the primary reason why gaming in the Windows environment will transcend gamers’ wildest dreams and far exceed the visual quality of even the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. “When DX10 games come out, the end result will be a significant increase in visual fidelity,” said Microsoft’s Donahue.
This means a marked increase in the number of objects and/or characters on the screen at a time, as well as dramatic impact on the level of background detail trees, water, stars in outdoor and indoor environments. It also means, for example, that characters’ clothing and fur will flap in the wind. Based on the early gameplay screenshots released for DX10 games such as Crysis, the impact of this new version of DirectX is quite clear even at a glance. (See the comparative scenes from Age of Conan: The Hyborian Adventures below.)
This increase in graphical quality is the result of a number of enhancements in DirectX 10 code, operations and resulting capabilities. As an example, a brand-new shader model (Version 4.0) in DX10 allows for more detailed and nuanced 3-D graphics. More »