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[News] [Rival] Microsoft DirectX Fatally Broken, Allows Hijacking of PCs

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Microsoft to patch new DirectX hole

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft on Thursday said it is working on a security patch for a 
| vulnerability in its DirectX streaming media technology in Windows that could 
| allow someone to take complete control of a computer using a maliciously 
| crafted QuickTime file.   



Crushed by Microsoft: What I learned

,----[ Quote ]
| Then Microsoft came along.
| By the middle of 1994, Microsoft wanted real-time 3D software for its push
| into the PC consumer entertainment space. Privately, it began courting all
| three British companies. As head of U.S. operations for Argonaut, I was
| thrilled when--after a very positive meeting in Redmond, Washington--we were
| lead to believe that Microsoft had chosen to license and promote our
| technology over the others. Someone close to the negotiations even told me
| to "crack open the champagne."
| The euphoria that resulted lasted about a week. Through the grapevine, we
| learned that Microsoft had decided to license the software of our competitor,
| Rendermorphics, and, worse still, was going to purchase the entire company.


,----[ Quote ]
| Was I fired from Microsoft?
| Yes, I was indeed escorted from my building Tuesday afternoon June 24th
| around 12:15 in the afternoon, roughly four years and six months after
| joining the collective.
| Why?
| So many answers to this. The straw that broke the camels back was indeed a
| piece of email I sent to Bill and Paul challenging the competency of the
| management in charge of Microsoft's 3D technology. This might fall under the
| broader category of being an insufferable bastard, but it was indeed a piece
| of email that did it. To be clear I don't believe Bill or Paul gave my
| execution order. They're very reasonable guys whom I have enormous respect
| for. It was a layer to middle managers on the thread between myself and these
| guys who made the decision based largely on how stung they were probably
| feeling from my choice of verbiage. Suffice it to say that I did some
| extremely outrageous things in my time, which tended to cause people to have
| very polarized opinions of my performance.
| 3D vs. OGL
| As many of you know, my last stand was in the area of 3D. For the record; In
| my opinion John Carmack is a God, and has my complete respect. The longer
| I've known him, the more he has impressed me. In theory John is absolutely
| right about OGL, but in practice it will never be for reasons that have
| little to do with technical purity, and a lot to do with cold market forces,
| politics, and NDA's.
| I have to say it will be nice to look at the industry again through my own
| eyes when the Borg implant scars have healed. I'm hoping things will seem
| simpler now to me to.
| Who am I?
| I was originally hired by Microsoft as their Publishing technology
| evangelist. The position of "Game Evangelist" was created for me a year and a
| half after joining the company, because I wanted very badly to pioneer
| some "New" technology frontier, and I have always loved games. The "dream" of
| DirectX was originally had by three evangelists in Microsoft's Developer
| Relations Group who all wanted to make great technology. The other two, who's
| names I won't associate with this posting, left DRG to build DirectX. They
| shipped versions 1-3, before the technology was re-orged to another group as
| part of the great "internet" refocusing that happened several months ago. I
| stayed in DRG to carry the message.


Microsoft, Flight Simulator developers use images to paint misleading picture

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| We received this set of screenshots ages ago from Microsoft itself, which
| used this game heavily to promote the beauty of DX10 and how necessary is to
| switch from Windows XP to Vista. These two screenshots ended in quite a lot
| of mainstream magazines, and were all over the place in specialist IT media.  
| [...]
| Nobody buys explanations about why Flight Simulator runs so slowly on
| quad-core processors and most powerful graphics cards, as we concluded in our
| review.  
| FSX is rendering practically everything, forget about any modern 3D feature
| such as Occlussion Culling, Occlusion Querry and Z-buffer compression and
| putting a bitmap cockpit on blanked alpha texture, while everything else is
| being rendered.  
| This procedure just kills performance and we could not imagine any game past
| DX7 utilizing such a concept.
| We cannot avoid the thought that this plot might have been done deliberately,
| in order to spark interest about the game itself and boost sales of a product
| that usually has a limited customer base.  


Vista Offers Nothing to Gamers

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| This is just a small sampling of games obviously, but for our
| intended experiment, I think they did the trick. We wanted to
| simulate what a normal gamer might go through in order to play
| games on Vista, and the end result was just slightly more hassle
| than you would with XP.


Crysis DX10 Fraud Exposed - DX9 to DX10 Patch

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| Crytek developers have deliberately crippled Crysis for the only purpose of
| marketing DX10 and Windows Vista. the proof is a simple config file tweak
| allows the use of 'Very High' quality textures, shadows, etc on DX9 and
| WinXP.    


DX9 and DX10 performance compared

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| So, it seems, there is some difference to crow about - although it is our
| suspicion that, given the time and inclination, most of the flasher DX10
| features could be retro-fitted without much hassle, and the differences are
| more a product of time and money than capability.  


Inside CNET Labs: Lamenting DirectX 10

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| We compared the same title side by side on a system running DX10 on Vista to
| the same title on an identical system running DX9 on XP, and it's
| difficult--sometimes impossible--to detect significant differences in how the
| games look or perform.  


Adding DX10 has "done nothing"

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| Having tested the DX10 rendering path against the DX9 version, the chaps at
| the fantastically named Elite Bastards say that they can't "Help but feel a
| little disappointed to see yet another game where the inclusion of DirectX 10
| functionality has done nothing for the title either graphically or from
| performance standpoint".    


OpenGL 2.x and 3.0 APIs arrive this year

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| Approximately three months after that, Mount Evans (OpenGL 3.0) will
| run specifically on hardware born after November 8th, 2006. You've
| guessed it correctly, we are talking about DirectX 10-class hardware,
| bringing all the features of unified 3D architecture to the world of
| OpenGL. Mount Evans is compatible with Longs Peak, but of course -
| you will require OpenGL 3.0 class hardware to run everything.


Valve survey shows hundreds of thousands steamed up

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| However, the survey also shows how far Microsoft et al have to go
| - currently, DX10-capable gamers (ie those with Vista and a DX10 card)
| make up 1.21% of the gaming population.
|         ^^^^^


DAAMIT! AMD's DX10 is not up to scratch

,----[ Quote ]
| The gap isn't much, but there's a good 10-15 per cent difference between
| the two cards, and this is rather disappointing for a card that has
| been repeatedly marketed as future proof.


Lord of the Rings Online: DX10 Patch

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| The DX10 codepath offered by the latest update to the Lord of the Rings
| client software gives us no reason to recommend anyone upgrade to Windows
| Vista right now to use it. It offers a couple of real visual quality
| upgrades, but currently with a monstrous performance penalty.  


ATI: Linux vs. Windows Vista

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| Wow! We were completely blown away when our final results came in and the
| Linux 8.42.3 driver had outperformed Windows Vista with Catalyst 7.10 in
| Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. It wasn't just a neck-and-neck race but Linux
| was about 10 frames per second faster when running at 1280 x 1024 and 1680 x
| 1050.    


Gears of War PC Performance and IQ

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| DX10 On = No Advantage
| We are not sure exactly what turning on DX10 does, but we do know it causes a
| large performance drop on every video card. In our testing we found
| absolutely no image quality differences by turning this to “On.” The only
| benefit was being able to use “On/Antialiasing” for 4X AA, but you need a
| very fast video card to use that setting. If you have a GeForce 8800
| GTX/Ultra level video card you can enjoy that setting. But on the GeForce
| 8800 GT/GTS and Radeon HD 2900 XT you will have to sacrifice other in-game
| options or resolutions in order to use 4X AA. It is rather a shame because we
| noticed that 4X AA does improve the visual quality of this game in a
| noticeable way.        
| Disappointing In-Game AA Controls
| [...]
| Overall Summary
| Gears of War plays very well with DX10 set to “Off,” and this is the mode you
| will find the best gaming performance with.  
| [...]
| The Bottom Line
| We found no image quality differences inherent to enabling DX10 mode, but we
| did find a large performance drop on every video card. Simply put there is no
| reason to run this game in DX10 unless you have a powerful enough video card
| to handle 4X AA with this mode enabled. For the best performance run this
| game with DX10 “Off” and crank up the resolution with maximum in-game
| settings for a very fun, fast paced, action game.      


Vista-only game cracked

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| Falling Leaf Studios had previously reported that they were working
| on the 'Alky Project' that would contribute 'Alky Compatibility
| Libraries' to allow the successful running of Halo 2 and Shadowrun
| on Windows XP machines.
| Looks like it was a lot simpler than that.


Hacked DX10 for Windows appears

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| A chap called Cody Brocious from San Diego, California, claims to
| have started to create an wrapper for Windows executables so that
| they can be ran on another operating system, with no prejudice
| about that operating system.
| A year in, the Alky Project has gone live under the cover of a
| company Falling Leaf Systems. Members of its Sapling Program will
| be able to get the wrappers for DirectX10 applications and run
| them not just on DX10 hardware under Windows XP, but with some
| DX9 hardware as well.


Valve questions Microsoft's commitment to PC gaming

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| Half-Life 2 developer Valve thinks that Microsoft's current
| "Games for Windows" marketing push is a cynical ploy to sell
| more copies of Windows Vista, rather than a genuine effort to
| invigorate the PC gaming market.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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