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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 »

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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 »