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Windows Vista's Aeroglass interface with Flip3D in action
Performance to rival that of Direct3D

The problem with OpenGL was that it was never officially supported or evangelized by Microsoft. Of course, Microsoft has always advocated its own Direct3D driver model over OpenGL, but GPU manufacturers have long supported OpenGL in drivers. Many games and productivity applications still use OpenGL even today. With Windows Vista, Microsoft made it clear that OpenGL support would only work as a layer sitting on top of Direct3D. There was going to be translation involved and thus, a performance hit.

This week the Khronos group, which is responsible for developing and maintaining OpenGL, has released a report indicating that OpenGL support will now be natively supported in Vista without layering over Direct3D. Using standard Windows installable client driver (ICD), OpenGL will be fully accelerated and be fully compatible with Windows Vista's Aeroglass UI. In fact, Khronos says that by the time Windows Vista ships, Aeroglass performance on OpenGL will be superior to that of Direct3D. According to Khronos and NVIDIA:
  • Hardware overlays are not supported
  • Hardware OpenGL overlays are an obsolete feature on Vista
  • ATI and NVIDIA strongly recommend using compositing desktop/FBOs for same functionality
However, the OpenGL ICD drivers must still be downloaded and will not ship on the Windows Vista installation disc. Khronos said that NVIDIA already has a beta 2 ICD OpenGL driver available and ATI will release its own soon. If no ICD is present, Windows Vista will rely on the layered OpenGL mode by default and only offer basic functionality.


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Funny...
By AppaYipYip on 8/11/2006 2:28:31 PM , Rating: 1
OS X has natively supported OpenGL since it's inception over 5 years ago.


Welcome to 2006 M$





RE: Funny...
By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 2:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just like how Windows XP supports OGL?

This is only news because for a while MS was considering layering OGL over WGF just like legacy D3D.


RE: Funny...
By Saist on 8/11/2006 2:37:15 PM , Rating: 1
Funny, so has *nix in general, Linux, Pure Unix (Irix for one), and the BSD's have supported OpenGL since inception. If I recall history correctly, OpenGL was developed by SGI on Irix.

Welcome to 1992 Microsoft. It's good to have you along.


RE: Funny...
By Knish on 8/11/2006 2:38:44 PM , Rating: 3
Hating on MS is cool, but MS has supported OGL since its inception as well. They were considering making it non-native to promote DX, but it looks like Khronos stepped in.

learn2flame.


RE: Funny...
By Saist on 8/11/2006 2:56:23 PM , Rating: 4
Knish, nice try. But you are going to have to do better than that. I've already given Engine a brief history on OpenGL above you, so I'm going to repeat the link, http://www.opengl.org

It's no secret that Microsoft's support for OpenGL has been less than impressive. Those of us who were alive when the Original Half-Life was released recall the obvious performance differences between OpenGL and DX on identical hardware at that time.

If you'll also drop by the ARB page for OpenGL, you'll also notice that there is a particular entity missing from the list. You'll find that page here: http://www.opengl.org/about/arb/overview/

Now, just in case you don't want to link just so you can remain as you are, I'm going to list the members here for you:

3DLabs, Now Creative owned, formerlly producers of high end workstation graphics accelerators, now working on Handheld and Portable devices

Apple Computer, hardware and software vendor, uses OpenGL as the default acceleration path for it's version of Darwin Unix

ATI, hardware and software vendor of budget, mainstream, and high-end graphics acclerators

Dell, hardware vendor

IBM, hardware and software vendor, uses OpenGL as the default rendering platform in it's AIX Unix and in it's Linux Systems

Intel, hawdware vendor

NVIDIA, hardware and software vendor of budget, mainstream, and high-end graphics acclerators

SGI, in bankruptcy, should be de-listed

Sun Microsystems, hardware and software vendor. Uses OpenGL as the default renderer in it's Solaris Unix OS, and in it's Linux Systems.

Now Knish, mind telling me who is missing from that list? Yes, that would be Microsoft.

Now, I could, at this point, go into history even further and demonstrate where Microsoft has gone out it's way to avoid supporting OpenGL. However, since at this point I have a feeling that I am stretching your attention span as is, I shall not.

Now, if you want me to clarify the position of Khronos in relation to Microsoft and this sudden change of "heart" by Microsoft, I will be glad to break that down for you as well.


RE: Funny...
By Knish on 8/11/2006 3:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure MS doesnt get along with the OGL team, and visa versa -- but you claimed MS didn't support OGL at all even though others have. This is clearly not the case.


RE: Funny...
By Saist on 8/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: Funny...
By Knish on 8/11/2006 3:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unfortunantly it is the case, whether or not you like it. And shoving my first post down to 0 isn't going to help hide the facts on this one.

You make it sound like i shoved your post down. Guess what, by replying to you i forfeit my voting privledges. Maybe if you came off a little less like a rabid anti-MS fanatic people wouldn't have voted you down in the first place.


RE: Funny...
By mindless1 on 8/11/2006 7:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually MS has demonstrated it for years when they went to extra effort to remove OGL support from video drivers they bundled with Windows- drivers which when submitted to them from the GPU manufacturer, had that support.


RE: Funny...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/11/2006 3:05:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'd say Microsoft's support of OpenGL is certainly better than *nix's support of Direct3D. :p


RE: Funny...
By Saist on 8/11/2006 3:19:03 PM , Rating: 1
slight problem masher2 : W.I.N.E., ReactOS, Transgaming.

Microsoft has left OpenGL deployment up to independant vendors like ATi and Nvidia.

In the case of *nix, developers working on implementing DirectX work fairly close with kernel developers.

So, no. Microsoft's direct support of OpenGL is far worse than *nix's support of Direct3D.

Now, if you want to make the argument that ATi and Nvidia's support of OpenGL in Windows is better than their support of OpenGL in *Nix, that argument you can make. That's not the one that's being made here though.

Alright, anybody else want to try and be a jerk or am I going to have to continue to come back here and give you history lessons on data you should already be aware of?


RE: Funny...
By Knish on 8/11/2006 3:25:49 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding me right? ReactOS has not shipped a single product to date. Not really the posterchild of development there.

WINE and Transgaming are also, for the most part, the same thing. And to make matters more damning, DirectX on WINE/WineX/Transgaming ISNT DirectX on Windows. Its a similar library written from scratch, and not surprisingly it doesnt behave or support in any way like the DirectX on Windows.


RE: Funny...
By Knish on 8/11/2006 3:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.winehq.com/?issue=272

quote:
Jason then put up a massive graphic that outlined the entire DirectX pipeline. He pointed out that Wine's DirectX implementation differs radically from Microsoft's. Whereas Wine calls OpenGL in response to API calls, Microsoft seems to package up calls and maybe pass them through to the driver.


RE: Funny...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/11/2006 3:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "slight problem masher2 : W.I.N.E., ReactOS, Transgaming."

I think those initiatives make my point for me. Unless I'm mistaken, none provide 100% compatibility for all applications, particularly Direct3D ones. And even when compatibility exists, there's a performance hit that's usually worse than what you see with OpenGL under Windows.

Again, if I'm wrong, please let me know.


RE: Funny...
By raven3x7 on 8/12/2006 7:52:48 AM , Rating: 2
yes you are wrong. The reason is OpenGL is an open API, D3D is closed. All D3D(and DirectX) in linux has been done through reverse egineering so 100% compatibility is simply not possible. The situation would change drastically if MS opened up DX. Also Wine and Transgaming have different D3D implementations. They started out the same but then changed.


RE: Funny...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/12/2006 9:59:48 AM , Rating: 2
> "The reason is OpenGL is an open API, D3D is closed."

Direct3D is an open API. Its closed source...but thats a different situation entirely.

> "you are wrong...100% [D3D] compatibility is simply not possible..."

Let's assume your statement is correct, which of course it isn't. But if 100% compatibility isn't possible under Linux, then my point that Linux doesn't support D3D well is correct. So how am I wrong?


RE: Funny...
By raven3x7 on 8/16/2006 7:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
Let me elaborate on that. DX is an open API for writing software with it. It's internals are not open. Only MS(and licensees probably) knows how it actually works. WINE is build on guesswork and reverse engineering the windows api(it is a monumental task). It can not be 100% compatible no matter what. Even what they have achieved know is quite astonishing. Additionally many incompatibilities in Cedega incurr because games often need parts of the windows api not yet implemented and are not DX related.
>"Let's assume your statement is correct, which of course it isn't. But if 100% compatibility isn't possible under Linux, then my point that Linux doesn't support D3D well is correct. So how am I wrong? "

No your point is moot. I failed to mention earlier the most important defficiency in your argument. OpenGl is portable. It was designed to work on many different systems including Windows. It is a rather easy task to implement the api in windows for MS. In contrast DX was designed to work in MS products and only those. It can not be ported to any other architecture without emulating a large part of the Windows api. Therefore to make a DX implementation one needs not only implement DX functionality but also reverse egineer and emulate the windows API. In conclusion you are comparing apples to oranges. Implementing OGL in Windows is a trivial task for MS. On the other hand implementing DX in a non-MS architecture requires monumental effort. So how can you compare the performance of the two?


RE: Funny...
By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 3:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
You right that Microsoft doesn't provide OGL support. Why should they? They're pushing D3D.

However, OGL support for Windows as provided by vendor ICDs (just like the D3D drivers) are fine.


So it comes down to this:

Can you use OGL in Windows? Yes
Is it slower than D3D? No

This is assuming the vendor driver isn't crap for either D3D or OGL.


RE: Funny...
By DigitalFreak on 8/11/2006 3:26:33 PM , Rating: 1
Somebody's quite full of themselves, aren't they?


RE: Funny...
By Hare on 8/12/2006 12:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the open source communitu would be happy to embrace D3D if it wasn't closed :P


RE: Funny...
By Hare on 8/12/2006 12:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Stupid DT comment system. This reply was to masher2 original message...


RE: Funny...
By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 2:46:54 PM , Rating: 2
They're just providing drivers like they've always done. Although now it'll have new hooks and calls to support the new windowing manager.

Give credit where it's due. MS heard the backlash and allowed the 3rd party ICD path for OGL (unless it was originally planned that way and just blown out of proportion).


RE: Funny...
By mpeny on 8/11/2006 2:46:29 PM , Rating: 1
Dude you need to be more informed if you are going to flame.

Ignorance is a b!tch.


RE: Funny...
By shabodah on 8/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: Funny...
By TomZ on 8/11/2006 5:54:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
They are single-handedly keeping prices at a monopolistic level.

Oh, really - please give an example of that. Before you answer "Windows," go and compare the the cost of Windows to OS X, and tell me if you really feel that Microsoft is taking advantage of their monopoly position in pricing Windows. The facts are not on your side here.
quote:
I'd not touch another Microsuck product ever again.

We could tell your obvious, irrational hatred of all things Microsoft the first time you said "Microsuck." Grow up.


RE: Funny...
By mindless1 on 8/11/2006 7:32:47 PM , Rating: 1
yes Tomz, the facts ARE on his side. It is quite clear that MS' monopoly position enabled them to keep prices artificially high. How arrogant to think a few words on your part would confuse this matter.

yes, windows, and no, OSX doesn't negate it.

If he wants to use "Microsuck" it is no more childish than telling someone they are childish for writing it. Either way, a couple of whiners who are upset they can't force their will upon others. That's human nature though and I suspect the PC era has made people feel more needy than ever before. Give them a little control over a computer and they get confused into thinking that trancends into other areas of life too.

"IF" someone wants to write microsucks, they are as entitled to that opinion as anyone else is to think MS is great. In many ways, MS DOES suck. In other ways, they are great. I wouldn't want a market without them, but if only they could play by the rules of a free market instead of forcing choices though a monopoly position. In the end the customer suffers.


RE: Funny...
By TomZ on 8/11/2006 9:30:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
the facts ARE on his side. It is quite clear that MS' monopoly position enabled them to keep prices artificially high.

No, they're not. OS X costs between US$100-$150, and Windows costs between US$150-200 at the retail level (obviously less for OEM and volume). When you factor in the much larger base of available applications with Windows, as well as the larger number of supported hardware configurations, that effectively negates the cost difference, so that the two OSs cost about the same in the end.

So, the one with <5% market share costs about the same as the one with >90% market share. So please explain to me how exactly the price of Windows is "artificially high." I don't think you understand what monopoly pricing power is. Monopoly pricing power would mean Microsoft setting the price at US$500, US$1000, or higher.


RE: Funny...
By dagamer34 on 8/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: Funny...
By JeffDM on 8/12/2006 4:00:30 PM , Rating: 1
Monopoly pricing power doesn't necessarily mean that the price skyrockets, though the power allows them to slowly ratchet up the pricing despite the fact that hardware continues to get cheaper. When a "cheap" PC was $2000, the retail price of the OS was about $100. Now, a retail copy of Windows is $300, even though entire computers are available for that price, new. So the cost of a retail copy the OS went up from 5% to 50% that of a cheap computer, even though the circuitry in the computer itself is now thousands of times more complex than it was a decade ago.


RE: Funny...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/12/2006 5:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
> "even though the circuitry in the computer itself is now thousands of times more complex than it was a decade ago"

Let's not speak loosely. The Pentium II was introduced 10 years ago. It had 3.3 million transistors. Conroe has 291 million. Thats 100 times. GPUs have increased a bit faster than this, the rest of a computer a bit slower.

Your average OS is now far more complex than it was 10 years ago as well. But software is made by programmers, not litho processes. Salaries go up over time, whereas lithograthy keeps getting smaller and cheaper.

> "When a "cheap" PC was $2000, the retail price of the OS was about $100. Now, a retail copy of Windows is $300"

Oops, ten years ago, a copy of Windows NT ran you $319 retail price. When Windows 2000 was first introduced, the price was identical-- $319. Now XP Professional is $299 (the home version is substantially cheaper).

Your "price inflation" is a myth.


RE: Funny...
By MrDiSante on 8/11/2006 6:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microsuck

Interesting way you have of making yourself not sound like a 12 year old AOLer. I mean really, the way you show your maturity and everything. It's even better than M$.


RE: Funny...
By mindless1 on 8/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: Funny...
By Chillin1248 on 8/12/2006 7:24:17 AM , Rating: 3
Why can't people get that Microsoft is capitalism at its finest?

This originally small company put out a OS that beat out OS/2 and other competitors to become the #1 mass market OS system out there. It is not like they blocked anyone from trying originally.

So because they made a better product and people like that product despite the many alternatives (including free OS's if you want to include Linux) that does not make them a complete monopoly.

So TomZ is correct. If Microsoft wants to charge $800 dollars for Windows, why should they not be allowed to? Obviously though the results of such a move would hurt them more than it would help. But the bottom line is that if you do not like Windows no one is forcing you to stay with it. I personally am looking at perhaps getting a Mac for my movie editing needs, so how can you say with such a variety of choices out there that Microsoft is being unfair in its competitive business model.


RE: Funny...
By Hare on 8/13/2006 4:18:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why can't people get that Microsoft is capitalism at its finest?
Eh. They backstabbed apple and stole every Os feature and continues to do so. They are capitalistic at its finest because they control the market with their monopoly position? That has nothing to do with being the most hard working, talented etc company.

If people were more aware of compiting systems like Apple (OS X) MS would loose a lot of market share. Now it just doesn't work that way since they are a monopoly. They use that position to leverage their products even further. This is just my opinion but I beleive most consumers would be a lot more happy with a mac than thinking about windows with it's malware problems. Most people just want to browse the web, use their spreadsheet and word processor and manage their digital life (photos, movies, music)...


RE: Funny...
By raven3x7 on 8/13/2006 5:36:05 AM , Rating: 2
Well actually it wasnt apple they backstabbed. It was IBM when MS was developing OS/2. And after that they pushed OS/2 out of the market with highly questionable tactics. Ppl are aware of Apple but having a closed system is what brought down many competitors to the IBM PC( Commodore Amiga etc). Of course Apple is more a hardware vender than a Software vendor right now so they cant really change


RE: Funny...
By masher2 (blog) on 8/13/2006 8:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
> "after that [Microsoft] pushed OS/2 out of the market with highly questionable tactics"

Just to correct your history, it was IBM's questionable tactics that pushed OS/2 out of the market, not Microsoft. IBM decided to treat OS/2 developers as just another revenue stream...a stream they tried to milk hard. Developer tools were extremely costly, and support was hard to come by and pricey as well. Plus new versions of early OS/2 tended to break code written beforehand, making application development risky business indeed.

Microsoft, on the other hand, treated developers like royalty. Tools were cheap or even free. Documentation and tech support were far above IBM's levels. Microsoft would even write code for developers, and allow them to include it in their apps-- all for free. New versions were backwards compatible with old ones.

The results were predictable. Windows software was a hundred times more prevalent than OS/2. So OS/2 died a death of its own making.


RE: Funny...
By RobberBaron on 8/21/2006 2:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
I believe xerox originally got ripped off.


How about actually updating OpenGL?
By Engine of End on 8/11/2006 2:21:11 PM , Rating: 1
How about giving DX10 some competition? Oh, nevermind, it's Microsoft. Anything they see as a threat just has to be killed or they will lose money. *rolls eyes*

Seriously, OpenGL needs some upgrades. It's been what, two years?




RE: How about actually updating OpenGL?
By Saist on 8/11/2006 2:44:05 PM , Rating: 4
Engine : ... um. How much do you actually know about OpenGL?

I'm guessing not a lot. The OpenGL 2.0 specification goes far beyond Shader Model 3 support. Rather, in case you didn't know this, the best shipping hardware today from ATi and Nvidia is not OpenGl 2.0 compatible. The hardware is OpenGl 2.0 compliant, and many of the more popular features are supported.

It should also be noted that after the OpenGL 2.0 standard was ratified that the OpenGL 1.5 specification was set, which appears to conform to Shader Model 3.0 specifications, or comparable to DirectX 10.

It should also be noted that OpenGL 2.1 Specification was released on August 2, 2006. That's last week, which is a lot sooner than two years.

Unfortunantly, much of the Gaming/Computer press today is purchased by Microsoft and Intentionally has avoided reporting that the functions Microsoft says will come with DirectX 10 are already here, today, in OpenGL 1.5, 2.0, and 2.1. There is no need to wait for Vista for those features, you can get them, today, right this hour, or right this half hour if you have a good connection, from any Linux Distrobution.

Why Wait?

And if you actually want to know a little bit more about OpenGL rather than spouting off as you did Engine, I'd advise dropping by http://www.opengl.org


RE: How about actually updating OpenGL?
By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 3:32:32 PM , Rating: 4
Shader Model 3 is in D3D 9. D3D10 goes way beyond that as well.

From looking at the 2.1 specifications, I don't see what really brings OGL past D3D9 functionality at this point. It's great that it's not longer dependent on extensions for everything.


However, OGL has an advantage over D3D in the extensions. Often the vendors would provide new features in OGL via extension long before they'd be available to D3D.


RE: How about actually updating OpenGL?
By killerroach on 8/11/2006 3:57:38 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly right... D3D10 will support SM4.0 out of the box, and will support SM5.0 soon after, from what I've heard (DX10a?). However, with OGL2, they're moving away from vendor-specific extensions...


By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 4:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well, with the Khronos group in charge, I don't see any reason why OGL shouldn't easily achieve parity and even surpass D3D10.

Right now it seems they're still pushing out new features as extensions before setting an API.


2006?
By Pops on 8/11/2006 1:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
That picture says "Windows Vista, Arriving 2006". Pretty funny.




RE: 2006?
By sh3rules on 8/11/2006 2:22:18 PM , Rating: 4
If they continue dropping features they might be able to pull it off.


RE: 2006?
By Sharky974 on 8/14/2006 5:47:56 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad it is coming in 2006 for corporate users.


Some old information and some new information
By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 1:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
I've mentioned about OGL being fully supported a while back here:
http://dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1371
Where I cited this:
http://blogs.msdn.com/kamvedbrat/archive/200%20%20...


However, it's good news to hear the official sources confirm this and that OGL might end up even quicker than D3D depending on the ICDs from the manufacturers.




RE: Some old information and some new information
By PT2006 on 8/11/2006 1:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 2:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, I noticed the extra spaces that were inserted afterwards but I figured people could just fix it on their own. It's better to have a proper link though =)


well
By GhandiInstinct on 8/11/06, Rating: 0
RE: well
By wrack on 8/12/2006 2:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
Then you will wait forever..............

Google was cool at a time but 75% of the products it has it still in BETA..! I for one would like to see the Gmail come out of age.


RE: well
By TomZ on 8/12/2006 3:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
I kind of get the feeling that google started going in too many directions at one, and started to dilute their development focus and marketing brand. IMO google should do what they do best - search with advertising tie-ins - and let other companies focus on other areas like distributing Linux, developing apps, etc.


RE: well
By Hare on 8/13/2006 4:20:38 AM , Rating: 2
So what if it's Beta? The beta is very mature when you compare it to other products with beta status. Most of the Googles beta-apps are very polished and stable. So what if it has a beta label?


Well of course
By inthell on 8/11/2006 1:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
of course Vista will support it! openGL is used in CAD software just as an example, would MS really want to ditch CAD users ha doubtfull.




RE: Well of course
By ChronoReverse on 8/11/2006 1:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
The issue was not whether OGL works or not but whether it'll be layered on top of the WGF (or whatever it's called now).

For CAD it's doubtful to be an issue but for gaming it would've been a performance drain (of an unknown degree). But OGL doesn't have to be layerd on top anymore so it's not an issue anymore.


Silly marketing scam....
By Gelde3001 on 8/13/2006 12:35:46 AM , Rating: 2
M$ taking a leaf from Sony it seems - no u cant have it - then, ok then u can, now u will all buy !>

Silly really to think they could drop it - how many lost sales would that have been let alone the fact microsoft themselves know Vista wont sell at all well at retail beyond the must have initial fanoy sales.

Oh well back to waiting on Amiga OS4....!




Open
By leexgx on 8/13/2006 9:31:04 PM , Rating: 2
i allways prefered OpenGL based games i find thay work faster and more smoother then D3D games, but to make the game work on Xbox and pc thay need to do it in d3d as its alot easyer to convert an game that is in d3d

open GL works better on faster nvidia or ATI (ish for ATI NO flameing) cards

when DX10 takes off maybe in 2-4 yrs after vista has come out we be able to see how good it is




backwards compatability
By kevinkreiser on 8/14/2006 2:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
this is great new for apps that have already been developed using the openGL API. im a software engineer for a surgical simulation company, and we write all of our aplications with openGL. thanks to this, my company and i'm sure many others won't have to worry about performance hits when our user bases migrate to vista and want to use our software.




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