Microsoft is killing OpenGL support??

I’m not sure if I’m 100% right but it seams that Microsoft is going to kill OpenGL in the current windows enviroment.

I’ve readed articles about microsoft and Vista (the upcomming windows version) and they said, not to support OpenGL like it is now, but they make it running on a directx layer or something.
Anyways to make a long story short, they are planning to stop supporting OpenGL in the windows enviroment and slowly add more directx support.
Someone told me that when they made a directx layer to run OpenGL, it’s runs a way slower as it does now.

Does the blendercoders community know more about this? This could be a dead hand for blender and windows support if I’m right.

Here some places where I readed it.;f=12;t=000001 (dutch, version) (search for keyword vista and read from there)

I hope someone can reply more about this topic, I’m quite stunned when I readed this, right now when I wanted to start seriously using opengl with c or c++.
I just can’t believe that they are doing this. :x

In my opinion this would be one of the worst moves microsoft could ever make. To cripple 3/4 quarters of graphics developers is to cripple 85% of their coders.

Now imagine that since linux and macintosh will continue to support OpenGL how many coders will move their projects over to those systems-M$ will lose many developers.

Many game companies now are developing with OpenGL, and if microsoft wants to keep these developers it better realize that they don’t want to handle all the tech support calls as to why their game is running slow. They could much more cheaply (Factor in personel and phone bills) go off and develop for linux and mac.

I myself am starting to get into OpenGL and C++, and if Microsoft stops support for it natively (not essentially as an emulator), than I’m all game for going back to a Mac or learning Linux.

On the issue of Blender, I don’t think it would be a death sentence, it would just mean that Microsoft users will not get the best experience with the software as the commands will have to go through an DirectX layer before being processed. It will be slower, but still usable.

it won´t be killed.

Blender users…if anyone have a choice…it´s you!
Now we have OpenGL 2.0 on the Linux platforms …so while Microsoft
is pushing their DirectX - someone else moves on.

This of course…means that a lot of you would have to switch to Linux
(or Apple OSX based computers) if you want native OpenGL support
but honestly…I could easily think of worse moves than that :slight_smile:

Most of the bigger animation studios have moved onto Linux/Unix
workstations long time ago as these seem more friendly to animators
and graphics software and certainly is better for their proprietary software

So - grab your Linux and learn now, and use a “playstation” or something
for your gaming needs :wink:

Well that’s the whole problem, I can’t use else then windows because I have to use programs for my proffesion that only work on windows. The only option would be installing 2th OS on my pc, but that means that I have to switch from blender linux to photoshop windows, then use Indesign on windows and switch back to linux for another blender render. That’s really anoying :stuck_out_tongue:

old news, very old news, but indeed scary.

even here we see that the opengl support is droping and directx seems to get more support. unfortunately directx is a bit more advanced and the opengl dev. is progessing to slow.

it is difficult to say how it will end, but when MS realy cuts of the openGL support to a limit it doesnt make sense to use it anymore, i doubt that many would rebell against that cause the majority uses intel and windows.

and i guess we all agree that without games on PC hardly anybody at home would buy a pc. teh pc is a modern gamestation and this product pressure is what MS is using.

i question how quickly many pro 3d apps will jump to directx and will drop opengl but for game design wich is the PCs main useage game dev might easier switch to directx. as far as i know it is also easier to code than opengl.

AFAIK you can run games and/or programs in full screen with full OGL support.

but i may be wrong.

since it is the “windowing engine” which they are running in directx


thats true the question is how far they will support openGL for it.
who can use it in a fullscreen mode for 3d apps?

as long as openGL is supported by the OS for what ever, its fine.
and that is where MS can have his influence on how they let
other have access to the openGL framework.

Yeah, this is old news, but here’s what I’ve heard about the subject.

ATI and nVidia will continue to make OpenGL drivers for Windows/Vista. Vista has a spiffy 3D enhanced UI, and so the entire UI runs on DirectX. If you want to run an OpenGL program it will be emulated. If you want to have applications like Blender use pure OpenGL, then you can still do that using your video card manufacturer’s drivers, but Vista’s 3D UI enhancements will be turned off.

There are a lot of Windows games and applications by big name companies (Discreet, Adobe, etc.) that use OpenGL. If Microsoft prevented OpenGL applications from running correctly, which includes running fast, then a lot of companies and users will be up in arms.

but MS has the majority, and hey since years basicly MS dictates,

i was not sure if you could still use openGL through teh hardware driver.
who cares about vista tools in blender anyway.


flashback to last year. this rumour has been around for a long time. we all know they can’t kill opengl, so i figure that worrying isn’t worth it.

my 2 cents.


Last I heard this is only occuring on signed (possibly even MS-windows drivers) drivers. Aero and the entire compositing engine can only use signed drivers, possibly only those from microsoft.

Install nvidia or ati’s (whol 'nother can of worms there) drivers, and poof, no MS BS. Instant OpenGL, rinse repeat, ‘Profit ???’, etc.

hi sam,

well i dont care that much cause i am on os x most of the time
or maya on windows, but judging from the game programmers
here the opengl vista thing seems to make them worry a lot
because there is still no true answer to that.

It sounds like a return to the old days when graphics professionals used Mac and gamers and office workers used Windows.

looks like M$ will kill everything that compete with their product including Java with .Net but open source always have their way to survive :smiley: in .Net the solution is Mono, for OpenGL i believe their is smart way to keep Blender available at Windows platform, don’t worry be happy, keep Blending! :wink:

What they really want is to do cool 3D effects in their desktop environment, similar to OS X, and of course they are going to use DirectX to power it. If DirectX is going to be running the UI, then they have no choice but to either turn it off, or emulate OpenGL.

Vista won’t be out for a while and even when it’s released I’ll wait 6 months or more before I choose to buy it. So just wait to see the real implications of this.

does OSX support directX?

just curious.


For as far I know, no, because it’s windows and Os specific.

But about the OpenGL support in Vista. They said it’s version 1.4, so there’s no support for the new cool shaders and technic and such.
It really looks like that I’m going to test how those OpenGL applications run and when I’m not happy with it, I’ll install linux.
And if it’s true that you can only use signed drivers, then isn’t Nvidia able to update your graphics card because those drivers are not signed at all. Each time I install one I get a warning about that. :-?

no it will jsut force Nvidia to work better with microsoft. or will force them to have to pay for the signing procedure each time they wish to upgrade.

Microsoft then tests the drivers for compatibility in all sorts of ways, then signs them.

it iwll slow upgrades but not stop them, and i wouldn’t be suprised if microsoft signed drivers for cheaper.


maybe a bit of-topic, but related to vista…

do some looking up on the system requirements of vista

to get everything out of vista you’ll need a 256mb graphics card, 2GB ddr3 ram and serial ata hard disc.

they don’t use bitmaps anymore but scalable vectors. vectors need to be calculated, wich requires more work of the graphics card.

256mb is called a minimum. microsoft is expecting more graphics card with 512MB to be launched as soon as vista appears.

(a question I have is: are these system specs only for running vista, or are you running office and other programs too at the same time?)

people will have to switch from AGP cards to pci-express, because AGP will be supported but won’t be able to get the most out of the OS (wich means for a lot of people buying a new pc)

for the 32bit configuration 512MB ram is a strict minimum, 1GB to run it smooth
for the 64 bit you’ll need 2GB, preferably ddr3 (drr3 only available in 2007)

there is high definition support in vista. who wants to play hd-dvd or blue-ray, will need a monitor with an hdcp-connection (high bandwith digital content protection)

till now, no tft monitor is available with such a connection

tis is a rouch translation of a dutch page

maybe windows is pushing its closed standards because it is feeling the hot breath of linux.
with friendly distros as suse, fedora, mandriva and ubuntu gaining more ground everyday, it sure is a interesting time in the world of operating systems.


^^ dammit, he got there first. Oh well, here’s the same information in a more fanboyish vernacular.

DirectX has been one of Microsoft’s best monopoly tools. It satisfies the ‘what’s theirs is mine and what’s mine is mine’ rule. Basically, Microsoft currently fully supports OpenGL apps so apps can be ported to Microsoft systems but DirectX apps are difficult to port to other systems without the right tools. Notice how you generally see PS2 games ported to XBox but rarely XBox games to PS2? The PS2 uses OpenGL. The more that Microsoft keep pushing their proprietary technology and the more people keep supporting it, the worse it will become. It’s why the internet is littered with windows media, Microsoft word files and IE/windows-only websites. When you support a company for so long and are warned far in advance about the way they behave and then complain that they are going to screw you in the ass, it’s hard to resist saying we told you so.

According to Wikipedia, directx is not really supposed to be in competition with opengl:

OpenGL has always been used to a substantially greater extent in the professional graphics market than DirectX, while DirectX is heavily used for computer game applications. This is in line with Microsoft’s official stand point; Microsoft acknowledges that professional graphics are more the field of OpenGL than DirectX. There are a number of reasons why OpenGL and DirectX are chosen over each other in the two different markets, and it primarily reflects the needs of the two different kinds of users.

Nonetheless, Microsoft obviously have different ideas. There’s no reason why they couldn’t just give it a rest when the OpenGL 2 standard becomes widely available with programmable shaders.

If people find that Vista makes running OpenGL apps too much of a pain, you can always stick with XP or 2000. After all, it’s not like they’re awful systems in need of an upgrade. I’m actually trying to make that not sound sarcastic. What I’m saying is that if you are happy with the system you’ve got then why bother upgrading to a system that will break some of the apps you use most?

Anyway, the Vista OS is way too bloated for most people to even consider running it. Dell reported that Aero Glass would need a 128MB video card and most reports suggest the system will have a minimum requirement of 512MB Ram.

Nigel Page is a strategist with Microsoft Australia. He told APC today that Vista would work best on a video card with more than 256MB RAM, 2GB of DDR3 memory and a S-ATA 2 hard drive.

One of the things you’ll notice about Vista beta 1 is that it runs dramatically quicker than Windows XP. The reason is the GPU is now doing a lot of work that the CPU used to have to do. There are a couple of gotchas though. The GPU needs a very high speed bi-directional bus to communicate with main memory. That has not been the case in the past, and what it means is that AGP will not be optimal.

There’s a LOT of encryption and decryption going on. We communicate on the PCI Express bus in a fully encrypted format because it is considered a public bus.

The downside is that all your existing flat panel monitors and projectors aren’t going to work with high-def videos in Vista. Bad news.

If you move from 32 to 64 bit, you basically need to at least double your memory. 2 gigs in 64 bit is the equivalent of a gig of RAM on a 32bit machine. That’s because you’re dealing with chunks that are twice the size? if you try to make do with what you’ve got you’ll see less performance. But RAM is now so cheap, it’s hardly an issue.

Thirdly, the graphics card and system bus is essential. PCI x16 is going to be very important. Any of today’s 3D GPUs will be fine? we’re not waiting for some mystical monster that may or may not come out. But they need to have 128MB of RAM on it. If they’ve only got 64 don’t panic.

taken from:

Bet you’re all getting the sleeping bags ready for camping outside the Microsoft store when that’s released.

Well, there’s at least some good news:

We acknowledge that many corporate notebooks have fairly low-end integrated graphics chips. They’re not exactly high performance graphics systems. For those users, we will provide a classic UI that looks like XP, and then we will have Aero that will start to make use of the GPU, and then there’s Aero Glass that will demand the higher level.

So I’m guessing all you have to do to get OpenGL apps to work is to turn the bloated GUI off? Not that I care, I’m never going to get one :P.