Microsoft DirectX (Direct eXtension) is a collection of application programming interfaces for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms. It is a direct competitor of the OpenGL standard, maintained by the Khronos Group.
Direct3D is widely used in the development of computer games for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Xbox and Microsoft Xbox 360. DirectX is also used among other software production industries, most notably among the engineering sector because of its ability to quickly render high-quality 3D graphics using DirectX-compatible graphics hardware.
Both the DirectX runtime and software development kit are available free of charge, but are proprietary and closed-source software. The DirectX runtime was originally redistributed by computer game developers along with their games, but later it was included in Microsoft Windows. Game developers still often include an updated version of DirectX that prompts for installation automatically after the game installation to ensure proper program functionality.
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