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Microsoft Corp. released a preview of what is set to be the next-generation application programming interface (API) for 3D applications. The technology preview will enable subscribers to MSDN service by Microsoft to learn how to program for the API that is yet to be released and that supports hardware, also due to be out later.

The Direct3D 10 technology preview showcases the newest set of graphics APIs for games and other high-performance multimedia applications on next-generation graphics hardware. The technology preview provides reference material, conceptual content, developer libraries, tutorials and samples that demonstrate how to use Direct3D 10. Additional content will provided in upcoming SDK releases.

The goal of the next-generation programming interface is to unify pixel and vertex processors as well as to add new graphics capabilities.

Instantiating a Direct3D 10 hardware device requires Direct3D 10-capable graphics hardware with a Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver. As of the release of this technology preview, such hardware is not publicly available and is projected to be available in less than a year. A software fallback (the Direct3D 10 reference rasterizer) is provided.

Samples and applications built with the Direct3D 10 December 2005 technology preview require the Windows Vista December 2005 CTP, available to MSDN subscribers, to run.

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