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DirectX 10 Only On Vista 216

Next Generation is reporting that DirectX 10 will only be released for Windows Vista. Those of us puttering along with XP will have to make do with 9. From the article: "The exclusivity of DirectX 10 means that in order to enjoy the high-end features of next-generation GPUs, gamers will need to adopt Vista. Some end users are upset with Microsoft, as the move effectively forces gamers to buy Vista if they do intend to remain serious about cutting-edge PC gaming." It may even be worth it for titles like Crysis.
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DirectX 10 Only On Vista

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  • Of course. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) * <slashdot.uberm00@net> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:48PM (#15439461) Homepage Journal
    From a marketing standpoint, this is the only way Microsoft is going to get a lot of people to buy their new OS.

    I can only speak for myself but from what I've heard, Vista will offer few enhancements over XP that I really need in an OS. Better searching? [microsoft.com] I don't particularly need it, but Google Desktop. IE7? [microsoft.com] Not a chance, Firefox has me hooked and has many more features. "Gadgets"? [microsoft.com] No thanks, but Konfabulator (now Yahoo Widgets) if you wanted them.

    Additionally, I'm still concerned about Microsoft's (and other companies') plan to control our PCs [cam.ac.uk], even though we haven't heard a lot about it recently. So by the time Vista comes out, I'm likely going to move over to a Linux distribution, probably either Ubuntu or Gentoo, and this is really the only thing I might still want out of Windows: gaming.

    This move smacks of Microsoft-brand lock-in, and it still won't convince me to move.
    • Re:Of course. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by joe 155 ( 937621 )
      if you are considering going over to linux you might want to look at fedora, it has some draw-backs (mainly just stuff like it not coming with mp3 support out of the box but fedorafaq helps get stuff like that sorted). I've heard good things about Ubuntu but decided against it because of the slightly weird name.

      back on topic, you do seem to be right, they do need to try and give people a reason to buy Vista but what makes me wonder is what they are going to offer for the version after Vista. MS said th
    • Marketing may be a corollary, but IIRC, DX10 takes advantage of the new driver model in Vista. so, it's probably technical reasons more than marketing that's driving this decision.
      • That makes sense on the surface, but it's kind of a weak argument for two reasons:
        1. The new driver model is more restrictive than in previous versions of Windows, for security reasons, so it's not like there's some cool new feature that DirectX is hooking into. Maybe having the desktop (AeroGlass) use 3D acceleration makes things easier on DirectX 10, but it could just as easily make things more complicated.
        2. Vista still has to maintain a large amount of backwards compatibility with DirectX 9 (and possibl
      • I highly doubt that knowing Microsoft. With Windows 2000, they limit you to Windows Media Player 9, you can't upgrade to WMP10, for that you need to buy XP. Now with Vista having DirectX 10, they aren't going to release an update for Windows XP users, so they are stuck with DirectX 9. I bet it would rather trivial for WMP10 to work on Windows 2000 and DirectX 10 on Windows XP, but Microsoft wants there to be "something new" to show for their next OS. They can't release DirectX 10 on Windows XP because then
    • Re:Of course. (Score:4, Informative)

      by WalterGR ( 106787 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:25PM (#15439761) Homepage

      I can't figure out whether people actually believe the "Vista is just XP with a new skin" /. meme, or they just propagate it for mod points...

      Either way, our friend Wikipedia has plenty of information [wikipedia.org] about the new features in Vista. In particular, note the following:

      D3D10 functionality will require the Advanced VDDM (Vista Display Driver Model), which in turn will require new graphics hardware. The graphics hardware will be pre-emptive multithreaded, to allow multiple threads use the GPU in turns. It will also provide paging of the graphics memory.

      The Direct3D page [wikipedia.org] has more information.

      • I'll be first in line to say that XP is nothing but an ugly skin on top of Windows 2000.

        Vista is a different OS in my eyes as there is the DRM issue that is as tied to the OS as Internet Explorer was tied to Windows 98-XP.
        Good luck with that.

    • From a marketing standpoint, this is the only way Microsoft is going to get a lot of people to buy their new OS.

      If Microsoft doesn't want to back-port their DirectX 10 to pre-Vistas and, in essence, make it a selling feature of their Vista then who are you to babble marketing advice?

      If game companies choose to develop in DirectX 10, at the risk at loosing customer base, then so be it... its their choice.

      With all the crying on /. about freedoms being lost on every other topic, why is that companies are not a
      • Nowhere in my post did I suggest that Microsoft change anything; this was only my opinion of the situation. Of course it's their choice.

        I'm confused at what you're actually trying to say here.
    • Interesting thought, once Vista comes out, that's the time for the Linux distributions that want to gain market share in the home desktop area to push hard. If they can offer something roughly feature compatible that can run on existing hardware... And of course with Linux you can do a live CD and demonstrate that it works on your hardware.

      Of course, Linux is not Windows, as I always say, but perhaps Linux is capable of pretending to be Windows.
    • Re:Of course. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by plover ( 150551 ) * on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:53PM (#15440012) Homepage Journal
      My hardware is definitely up to the task of running Vista without spending more money, but I'm not upgrading for the simple reason of "Treacherous Computing". I will not be a party to the erosion of my rights to do whatever I want with my own computer. It's not that I'm a pirate: I do not download movies or music simply because I think it's wrong to do so. However, I do not agree with the latest EULA that came with Windows Media Player because it's too onerous, and so I have not ever clicked "I agree" to the install package. (Winamp and VLC continue to serve me just fine.)

      If this means no more software is available to me because I won't upgrade, then I guess I won't be buying any of it. At $50 USD / video game, producers will need to think long and hard before releasing any "Vista Only" titles. (Hell, some are still releasing titles that can work on Windows 98.) Would you risk the revenue of a ten million dollar title betting on Microsoft's ability to pimp their newest OS? Are you going to be the one to explain to your boss "It only sold 200,000 copies because the guys who pirate software won't move to Vista."

      OS lock-in can work both ways. Let's play this one to our advantage. Boycott Vista.

      • Re:Of course. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) *
        Nice post. I'd mod it up if I didn't write the grandparent. ;^)

        A bunch of posts here are making that same point: Microsoft may effectively be stagnating DirectX development because many game companies will refuse to make games in pure DX10 format, as that would cut out a significant chunk of their potential userbase. If they make this and future versions of DX10 Vista-only, I predict that OpenGL or an entirely new graphic language will eventually take the place of DirectX as the de facto game API.
    • Is anyone actually surprised by this??

      MS pulled this stunt with DX5 and NT 4/2K.

      Even though someone took the DX5 Win2K beta drives, and got them working on NT4, Microsoft refused to support DX5 on NT4 simply because they wanted to sell (gamers included) a new OS.
  • by Anonymous Crowhead ( 577505 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:49PM (#15439465)
    You'll all get your copies from work.
  • Nobody uses the default Windows OpenGL drivers for game-capable cards anyway, so the OpenGL-via-Direct3D won't matter.
    • Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe that DirectX provides a lot more to game developers than just graphics. There is also DirectSound and whatever they use for joysticks and other input devices. I doubt Windows game devopers are going to go OpenGL unless they are trying to be OS X compatable (which could happen). I see developers just staying with DirectX 9 for several years.

      -matthew
  • So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ENOENT ( 25325 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:53PM (#15439498) Homepage Journal
    what's wrong with using OpenGL?

    • Re:So... (Score:2, Flamebait)

      Opengl only does graphics and is non portable to the Xbox if you want to port your game there.

      DirectX is a whole suite of multimedia api's with sound and networking and is ahead of SDL. (From what I heard, I dont develop games)

      Also Opengl is fragmenting and becoming stagnant as Opengl was sold to Microsoft from SGI. It seems the card makers are now coming up with their own proprietary versions.
      • -1, Moron? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by emarkp ( 67813 )
        How is OpenGL fragmenting? Do you mean the release of 2.0 which modernizes the rendering pipeline and the shading language? I'm sure you know that OpenGL wasn't sold to MS, right? The spec is produced by the OpenGL ARB, not by SGI, MS or any other single company.

        Oh, and MS left the ARB a while back.

        • How many graphically apps have you developed?

          Nvidia and ATI develop their own proprietary extensions and release their own opengl dlls that are seperate from Windows. I think Vista and XP use Opengl 1.5 though Opengl 2.0 is out. Again I dont develop games so I could be wrong.

          The patent covering OpenGL and some api's were sold to Microsoft. But its true its not the whole thing.

          DirectX10 comes with alot more stuff if you look into it and because of this the card makers try to match the implementation with the
          • Well, I've spent the majority of the last six years on an OpenGL application for medical imaging and simulation [prowess.com].

            I'm quite aware of the proprietary extensions. OpenGL has a well-documented extension process, which ATI and NVI have used extensively. Many of those extensions were rolled into standard OpenGL (pbuffers being the most important one for me) as the standard developed.

            NVI and ATI have had OpenGL 2.0 compliant drivers for some time now. Windows has never shipped with OpenGL compliance higher t

    • Which part of OpenGL controls my force feedback steering wheel ?
    • I've only used DirectX so I don't know how the graphics capabilities compare, but the reason I picked DirectX in the first place was that there's a managed version, which can be used with C#. I'm more of a hobbyist than anything, so I'm more interested in being able to get stuff done quickly than that little bit of extra performance (there is only very small extra overhead for DX API calls). As for why big commercial games use DirectX, though, that's another question...
    • Re:So... (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Despite all of the microsoft bashing, Direct3D 10 has the potential to be a major inflection point in the 3D graphics industry. The driver model of vista combined with the new rendering methods of d3d10 reduces the cpu time of rendering by approximately 50%. This allows for many more primitives to be drawn on the screen without the added cost of context switching between cpu and graphics engine.

      Also, d3d10 introduces a general purpose graphics shader which can be used to create vertices. In directx9 and
  • OpenGL (Score:2, Redundant)

    by LetterRip ( 30937 )
    Why wouldn't a game vendor instead use OpenGL and ensure that the game works with XP also?

    LetterRip
    • Because if they write it using the new DirectX then they are guaranteed Xbox-three-sickly (yay, Microsoft gave us a chance to dust off some old IBM jokes) compatibility - even if they don't have any actual plans to port to Xbox360, it gives them an option they don't otherwise have.
      • Is DX10 not backwards-compatible? I thought all DirectX versions were backwards-compatible so far. So, to reach a wider audience, they could go for DX9 instead.
        • AFAIK every version of DX is backwards compatible to SOME DEGREE. For example, older versions of Direct3D would NOT ALLOW YOU TO PLOT PIXELS. People who used workarounds to do may have found that their code didn't work later. This is just an example, I am not a graphics programmer, I only know some, so I don't know of the other stupidities. But anyway, you want to know how Direct3D programmers got stuff like dashboards in DirectX 5? They created a polygonal dashboard and textured it with their graphics. Fun
    • Because Microsoft pays them if they'll release the game DX10 exclusive.
  • by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:56PM (#15439524) Homepage Journal
    much more like an Apple zealot, which is why I'm as surprised as anyone about what I'm about to write.

    But, really, I don't really see anything wrong with this, nor do I see it as all that different from what Apple has done with its various releases of OS X. For example, Tiger introduced all sorts of cool new developer functionality, like Core Data and Core Video (I believe Core Image was already present in some capacity in Panther, but I may be getting my APIs mixed up). These were/are great for developers, but the side effect of them being used means that the resulting apps are Tiger-only.

    Isn't it essentially the same with Vista and DirectX? Certainly, it's a pragmatic, business decision - but it's hard for me to fault Microsoft for it.
    • The difference is that Mac OS X gets better with every new release version, whereas a lot of people would 'downgrade' from Vista to XP if their games would still run.
    • In that case, stop defending MS and join the rest of us slagging them off!
    • And I agree, there's nothing wrong with this. The fact that companies need to make money to continue development aside, it can get to be a real nightmare supporting legacy code for updates. In the case of DX, it is my understanding that there are some major changes and that they rely on Vista's new graphics driver architecture. Now that doesn't mean a backport would be impossible, but it sure means a whole lot more work.

      I don't think developers should be under a particular obligation to backport new feature
    • Unless Direct X 10 becomes like core graphics an integral part of the OS its still just an add-on. MS just tries to Bundle it to avoid a "nobody buys XP" disaster.

      So I guess a lot of gamers will upgrade to Vista when they upgrade their graphics card to a Direct X 10.

      The rest on the other hand? But gamers _are_ a huge crowd noadays, aren't they?
      • Have a look at how DirectX was really implemented in 9x vs NT vs 2000/XP. (NT4 being the stepchild with a very crippled DirectX support ever released.) It may have been redistributed as an addon, but it talked directly to the kernel drivers, included its own thunking in Win32K.sys (on 2000/XP) and so on. If we compare it with for instance the .NET Framework the difference is very important -- .NET doesn't allow you to do anything with the underlying OS that wasn't already exposed in Win32, while that is mos
    • nor do I see it as all that different from what Apple has done with its various releases of OS X.

      You're right: it isn't all that different. What is different is that Microsoft has somewhere around 80-90% market share, and Apple has a few percent. That's why Apple can get away with doing things that would land Microsoft in federal court.

      In any case, making DX10 Vista-only is probably still OK, even for Microsoft. On the other hand, as far as I'm concerned, it will probably mean that I will put a lot of ga
    • or do I see it as all that different from what Apple has done with its various releases of OS X

      The difference is that a huge market of a specific type of software is not dependent on any of what you mentioned. 98% -- or more -- of the games market for Windows is dependent on DirectX 10. Furthermore, users of the Core development apps are not a huge proportion of Apple's customers, whereas again, gamers are a huge proportion of the Windows market. I think this is an apples to oranges comparison.

  • OpenGL? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dhasenan ( 758719 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:00PM (#15439549)
    Will this encourage game developers to continue using DirectX 9 for the time being, or possibly switch to OpenGL? Vista won't be common for the next few years, after all.
  • Crazy Talk! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Slugburn ( 862526 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:00PM (#15439550)
    What! This is crazy talk! You mean I'm going to need the newest OS to play the newest games on the newest hardware. Has the world gone insane?
  • Slow Adoption? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Clazzy ( 958719 )
    The thing is, DirectX 10 won't be used for a long time. What's the point in developing for a market that is very small and won't grow for several years? People are going to work on DX9 for a while yet, so this won't exactly have a huge impact. Telling us that we need to upgrade to Vista for DX10 isn't an issue for a long time yet.
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:07PM (#15439604) Homepage Journal
    if they force me to buy Windows Vista to use Direct X 10, then I'll just wait until the come out with the Wii version, cause I'm not upgrading to Vista.

    Personally, I think this is a bad decision by them, but I'm sure Microsoft made some kind of deal that worked for them.
  • So we'll have to wait, what 10 years for DirectX 10, when Vista comes out?
  • Games market? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HunterZ ( 20035 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:29PM (#15439796) Journal
    (side note: this is old news - I heard of it at least a week or so ago)

    What does this mean for the games market? It seems to me that few developers/publishers are going to want to limit themselves to only a portion of their current market by developing a DirectX 10-only game - at least not until Vista is on well over half of Windows machines, which is likely to take a couple of years. This is especially likely considering the current cutthroat state of the PC games market, where the bar to entry in the top-sellers list is extremely high (not to mention that it's dominated by innovation-fearing publishers who would rather spend their money marketing recycled games built on DirectX 9 than fund a whole new engine for a DirectX 10 game).

    My prediction is that only a few DirectX 10-only games will be seen in the first year after Vista's release, and most of them will be mediocre Microsoft titles. The only other thing I can think of is if a game could be made that takes advantage of DirectX 10 when available but falls back on DirectX 9 otherwise; in this case, I'd expect to see a handful of FPS games touting optional usage of DirectX 10 features.
    --

    On the user end of things, most people aren't going to rush out and buy a new OS. Most people aren't going to know whether Vista will run on their system, much less what the advantages/disadvantages would be, so they will simply wait until their current system gets too old and will have Vista pre-installed on their next PC.

    I'm guessing that a lot of people will be upgrading within the next year, though, as I've seen indications that a large number of people are, for example, still using early AMD64 CPUs and GeForce 5xxx and 6xxx video cards.
    • The flipside is that if you developed a complex high end game made for higher end systems then requiring Vista would be ideal. Its a pain in the ass to debug a game for a very large multitude of different machines.

      Vista would ensure a nice system that is known to work well and would limit your QA costs by limiting your hardware.

      This is what happened with WIndows95. Game makers loved it not because of directX 1.0 but because it made users use SVGA cards and systems with 16 megs of ram rather than 4. Most app
      • Re:Games market? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ivan256 ( 17499 ) *
        Vista would ensure a nice system that is known to work well and would limit your QA costs by limiting your hardware.

        Doing something that cuts your QA costs isn't such a good move when it cuts your potential revenue by multiples of your entire budget.

        If Vista uptake occurs at the same speed as XP uptake, writing a Vista Only game would make as much sense as writing a Linux Only game for quite a while. Microsoft has a chicken and egg problem. Game exclusivity could speed Vista adoption, but Vista adoption has
        • The knuckleheads that dump cubic dollars into their PC's to game are the market for vista. And the n00bs that buy machines pre-loaded. Gaming consoles have basically passed PC's in performance, and especially in performance vs price. Despite the fact that Microsoft sells it, the 360 would be a much better way to go. If I ever decided to modernize my gaming, I'd go with a console,and keep my PC for the already large amount of great games I have and will continue to play.
    • Indeed, most "normal" people are not going to run out and buy a new OS. And the hardcore gamers were going to buy Vista anyway since they're always on the cutting edge. So I don't really see how Microsoft expects to get any more sales out of this move. Most people will get Vista the way they always do, when they buy a new PC and most of those people are not the cutting edge gamer types.

      Assuming that Microsoft knows/agrees with all of this, it could be that the DirectX 10 move is just a technical one to save
  • Old News (Score:5, Informative)

    by throx ( 42621 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:33PM (#15439831) Homepage
    Microsoft has been saying DX10 would be Vista only for about a year now. I even blogged about it [chase.net.au] last September. If the gaming community is only just realizing it then they only have themselves to blame because they're a year behind the devlopment community.

    There's actually very good technical reasons it can't be back-ported to XP and that's because it's changing the entire paradigm of the way the Windows OS works with the video card. The GPU and video RAM are being treated as OS resources that are time shared and paged in and out in exactly the same way the CPU and main system memory are currently. Simply put, this means at the very basic level that the driver interface (WVDDM) for the video cards is very different, and much thinner but as it is a new driver model, XP won't be able to load it.

    So, game development companies are left with the decisions of whether to use DX10 which has a bunch of new features (general purpose geometry shaders that can create and destroy primitives in the pipeline), or maximize compatibility and shoot for DX9 which is being effectively frozen.

    The bigger issue for most is that OpenGL becomes a "second class citizen" on Vista as any use of it outside full screen rendering effectively turns off the entire Aero interface. Users are going to notice this, and apps using OpenGL will get bad feedback for "breaking the interface when they run".
    • Re:Old News (Score:2, Interesting)

      by r_naked ( 150044 )
      As an interesting side note Vista has to disable Aero when a Java app runs. As soon as the app is closed the Aero interface is re-enabled. Did Microsoft do this on purpose, or are Java widgets really that proprietary?

      --PEACE!
      • This is Microsoft just trying to make Java obsolete by making it unpleasant/less attractive to use.
        There's no technical reason for the gui to go away, they just want to drive everyone to switch to .net.
      • Re:Old News (Score:3, Informative)

        by spongman ( 182339 )
        Vista disables DWM (required by Aero) in a number of circumstances. i forget the complete list, but the easiest way to disable Aero is to get a DC for the desktop window. with DWM, there is no desktop DC, the desktop is composited on the video card, not in GDI space. apps that need to read bits from the screen need to have the desktop composited by GDI, and for backwards compatibility they disable DWM while such an app is running.

        also, OpenGL apps, which require exclusive access to the video card, will cau

    • I have an awkward feeling that break with the interface and wrapping opengl in directx for non fullscreen apps is %100 intentional. MS is known for this type of behavior.

      What is worse is Microsoft is refusing to update to Openg2.0 claiming security and I believe they now own opengl now (correct me if I am wrong folks?).

      THis means the card makers will come out with more broken proprietary opengl versions. If I were a game maker it would be a nightmare finding bugs doing opengl due to the different implementa
    • on Vista as any use of it outside full screen rendering effectively turns off the entire Aero interface. Users are going to notice this, and apps using OpenGL will get bad feedback for "breaking the interface when they run".
      Yeah, I've heard about this too. The weird thing is, I work on a software that has it's own widget toolkit implemented in OpenGL and we loaded it on Windows Vista Beta to see if it would even run and strangely the Aero interface didn't go away when we launched our app. The team was prett
    • The bigger issue for most is that OpenGL becomes a "second class citizen" on Vista

      Yepp, MS trying to break OpenGL again. You can't say they aren't persistent.
    • Re:Old News (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Your information on OpenGL on Vista is quite out of date. While the crippled method you talk of is still possible depending on the drivers, perhaps you should keep up with what is happening in Vista development if you're going to be commenting on it.

      From http://blogs.msdn.com/kamvedbrat/archive/2006/02/2 2/537624.aspx [msdn.com]:

      "Windows Vista ICD's - this is a new path for 3rd party ICD's introduced for Windows Vista that will work in a way that is compatible with desktop composition. Essentially allowing direct acce
  • What is the world coming to, when you have to upgrade your operating system to get additional platform features?
  • by baadger ( 764884 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @05:57PM (#15440034)
    How will DirectX 10 compete with OpenGL for game developer mindshare? With news of version 10 does the DirectX featureset now dwarf OpenGL's (if it didn't already)? Are there any amazing revelations coming to OpenGL anytime soon?
  • once moms and dads start finding that the 49.99 they just plunked down for johnny (or even lil jill) can't be played on their new 2006 Windows XP Dell without spending another couple hundred on Vista come late 2007.
  • This isn't a surprise - the exact same thing is happening right now, and has been, with XP.

    I never "upgraded" past 2k - XP didn't have anything I needed or wanted.

    When Age of Empires III came out, I bought it, as I did with all of the other Age of Empires games and expansions. No luck - the game "requires XP" to function. Not that it really does - there are undocumented switches to let it install on 2k, and it works fine (the demo was the same way). Ditto Rise of Legends, *another* game that MS bought that
    • MS has always had the strategy of selling OS upgrades by artifically requiring them - hell, they've done this since DOS version 5 and "setver". That they would make something Vista-only purely to drive Vista sales is par for the course.

      Setver did the opposite. A lot of software was hardcoded to expect certain DOS versions, often because it hooked into DOS internals, or made assumptions that were not guarenteed to be correct in different versions of DOS. Setver was an MS utility that came with DOS to let you
  • Big gamble (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @06:05PM (#15440096) Journal
    I remember back when 95 launched and some companies decided to make their game 95 only (rather then dos). When 95 was delayed they had to delay their games and most game companies do not have microsofts reserves.

    95 take up was big because it really offered a huge difference between dos/windows 3.11 but still all the big companies stuck with supporting dos for a long time yet.

    Vista offers far less and people have become wary of buying newly released microsoft software. How many of you waited when XP was launched to see if it was going to be another ME? Certainly no games were XP only for a very long time.

    A game developer making a vista only game now is betting not only on MS actually shipping Vista on time, wich they can only do by redefining the term on time or with a timemachine, but also that it will be taken up by gamers.

    The problem is that games nowadays have a very narrow window of hotness. Say a new game is launched, I need to have it but don't have the hardware. A month later I will have cooled off and just decide to get the game when it is on budget and I got the hardware. If I can't play it at launch I can just play it a year later fully patched and with complete walkthroughs.

    Will Vista sell? Shall we be honest here? How many gamers have pirated copies? Live is expensive enough as it is and XP ain't cheap. Oh sure lots of people get it free with their machine from Dell but how many gamers buy from Dell? I steal my licenses from machines I free with linux (sorta illegal since they ain't mine but wtf. MS is getting free money for software never used because of their tax system).

    If vista improves on the anti-piracy front then many gamers will be faced with the question of buying new hardware, new OS and that new game. With the PS3 and the Wii also shining seductivly in the stores.

    Vista will take off on new computers but I think that like XP take off on already existing computers will be slow.

    MS seems to agree and is setting artificial reasons for people to upgrade.

    I don't think MS is going to be in trouble. XP takeup might not have been what they hoped but they still are earning billions so who cares. Game companies might be in for a shock though. If people don't buy the OS you set as a requirement you ain't getting the cash. MS can afford an ME. What game company can?

    • I agree with everything you've said so far, but I can't let this comment stand.

      XP takeup might not have been what they hoped but they still are earning billions so who cares

      I do tech support for Time Warner on all their products/services. When it comes time to help a customer get online access, it's running XP 99% of the time. Only in rare instances will someone still be running WinME. If it's running 98, it's only because they bought the PC used from a pawn shop or second hand.

      Face it, Microsoft scored big
  • vista adoption (Score:3, Informative)

    by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @06:13PM (#15440150)
    It sounds like vista offers a bunch of API improvements, ala directx 10 and the presentation foundation. What's interesting is how few things *won't* be back-ported.

    WPF is being back-ported to service pack 2 according the the wikipedia article. The powershell has already been released for xp. Directx 10 won't have games coming out for it for quite a while... what features exactly does that leave for vista?

    XP offered a major upgrade in stability, to the point where it's almost on par with most other operating systems, an that was the selling point. What's Vista's selling point? Seriously, after all these years of development, does it have 1 single exclusive killer feature?

    So far, the only thing I've seen are improved themes and hi res icons... I'd heard about built in virtualization in the past, but that hasn't been mentioned for quite a while. Was that dropped?
    • It's called a "hypervisor". It won't be shipped with Vista. The articles I've looked at say it will be shipped after Longhorn Server. So I'm not sure if it will even work with the consumer versions of Vista.
  • by Tom ( 822 )
    Some end users are upset with Microsoft, as the move effectively forces gamers to buy Vista if they do intend to remain serious about cutting-edge PC gaming.

    Oh, really? As if that is a surprise. When's the last time MS did not use every dirty trick in the book in order to force itself into a market or its products unto "customers"?
  • Inevitable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @09:12PM (#15441216) Homepage
    Ah, I've seen this coming for ages. The PC games market is bouyed up by those who stay on the cutting edge only - your average Joe doesn't stand a chance of having a PC that you could run a modern game on... take a random family with a PC and a random game from the full-price shelves and see how much fun it is to get it working at a decent speed.

    I'm getting away from MS as much as I can because of crap like this. My computer, my rules... you wanna force rules on me, you don't come onto my computer. I just can't be bothered to play about with MS-based computers any more just to get a poxy game to run.

    I don't care whether or not it offers new features or is given away free in cereal or everyone else in the world uses it, I'm keeping MS stuff strictly away from my own machines. I didn't want DirectX but numerous upgrades were forced on me by the games I wanted to play, and many of the upgrades killed performance or broke the install.

    Each time, I still ended up with a game that performed better under OpenGL (almost any Quake/Half-Life based game for instance) or could EASILY have been replicated without using any sort of acceleration library satisfactorily (Age of Empires II springs to mind - nothing in it that NEEDS DirectX and still a massive performance slog through any sort of WINE or similar program and for what? A 2D RTS that shouldn't need ANY fancy stuff to do it's job - hell, DOS versions of Command & Conquer on an old Pentium 133 did the same stuff in similar resolutions without coming NEAR the CPU time used for AOE just to draw a screen on a 1GHz)

    I work with MS systems all day long, spending half my time working around stupid quirks and things that should have been in the OS since day one. I get paid to do it there so I tolerate it and almost nothing uses DirectX, even though I work in primary schools. I don't tolerate the amount of setup needed to get a game running at home any more. Those machines that I have reserved as Windows "consoles" are treated as if they are plastered with strict disclaimers:

    - Games only. Do not use for serious work.
    - And old games at that, unless you feel like upgrading everything to get there and spend hours chasing patches, upgrades, updates, firewalls, drivers and controller setups just to play a crap game that you'll uninstall within a week.
    - And even if you do that, there's no guarantee that tomorrow the game won't work because of an update, a new requirement, or something else killing performance to the point where it's unplayable.

    In computing terms I'm now firmly considering myself an old fogie and haven't bought a game in a shop for years (unless you count a 50p copy of Warcraft in a local bargain bin), certainly not one I enjoyed playing.

    I recently sold off about 75% of my back-catalogue on eBay because I realised I would NEVER play them again - some still had the wrappers on, a surprising amount had been played once and then uninstalled (Black & White, for instance, which I bought based on hype, played through until my creature was taken away from me and then promptly uninstalled... my brother did the exact same when I lent it to him afterwards). I'm sticking with my favourites and re-living some of the classics. Emulators, DosBox and remakes all the way.

    If I want anything else, anything newer, I will buy a console. An old one at that. Secondhand with so many games bundled in that I could play forever, all for the price of a single full-price new PC game. If I can't afford a modern console and one game, I won't be able to afford the money for a PC that could run a modern game well enough, or the time to get it working, certainly not when you take into account how much I'd use it for because it WOULD be JUST a console in a fancy wrapper.

    I decided a few years ago to not chase the latest and greatest and to stick to what's fun. Counterstrike is the only thing I can't really do on any other OS (My Linux PC's are just too slow to run it even under WINE but, strangely enough, more
  • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <tzzagem>> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @10:24PM (#15441602) Homepage
    Vista's new Display Driver Model. It allows for a hardware accellerated desktop environment, in addition to multiple hardware accellerated windows (ie two videos can both be playing hardware accellerated at once) and the ability for GFX cards to have virtual memory.

    DX10 is built to take advantage of these new improvements. If they backported it, they'd have to do one of the following:

    - Don't take advantage of the new DDM in Vista, and just do an incremental update.
    - Backport the entire DDM to XP. This will result in less reasons to buy Vista anyways.

    Option 1 was clearly unacceptable if MS wanted to make advancements in PC gaming software tech (stuff). Option 2 is clearly unacceptable from a business standpoint.
  • More and more it seems to me that Vista is all about gaming. It seems to me that Microsoft has essentially given up on creating a solid, secure platform for those of us who use their computers for work.

    Which, I suppose, isn't all that bad a thing. The *nix OSes have such a long lead on all the important featuressystem uptimes, system security, solid code base, etcthat it probably really is best for Microsoft to focus on their XBox systems and cheezy Windows game-focused OS.

    I'm pretty sure all the n00bs and
  • Hum... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vga_init ( 589198 ) on Thursday June 01, 2006 @01:46AM (#15442564) Journal

    Forcing people to upgrade? It sounds naughty.

    Of course, perhaps games can be created that are backwards compatible with DX9 with merely a reduced featureset to refelect the capabilities of the libraries. The same software will turn around and take advantage of DX10 features.

    I would find it nice, however, if game companies made a strategic move by developing games using cross platform libraries (such as SDL, but more advanced) so that they could develop and distribute games rapidly for multiple platforms (read: more linux games?).

    Everyone loves great games. Not everyone has the latest computer or version of Windows. If I were a game developer, I might target linux platforms because I'd be comforted to know that my product relies on software that will enable it to enjoy a higher level of system compatibility across the board and better legacy support after it becomes old.

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