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Ezekiel19
05-15-2005, 01:40 PM
The Future of Windows' Graphics Technology
By Loyd Case (http://www.extremetech.com/author_bio/0,1589,a=216,00.asp) Rate it Yourself (http://www.extremetech.com/review_article/0,1592,s=25534&a=151092,00.asp)

http://common.ziffdavisinternet.com/util_get_image/8/0,1311,i=84742,00.jpg

Underlying Longhorn is the Windows Graphics Foundation, or WGF. The first version, prosaically dubbed "WGF 1.0" will incorporate DirectX 9.0c as its primary interface. Longhorn will also have the next-generation 3D API also built in at release. You can think of it as "Direct3D 10," but it's currently called WGF 2.0.

(see Full Story)
..........
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1791702,00.asp

Beamtracer
05-15-2005, 09:19 PM
It's sad, really, that with all Microsoft's huge wealth and profit, they can't seem to come out with an OS on time.

The Longhorn ("Longwait") OS should have been released long ago, but at the earliest it will be released in December 2006. Then we hear that to make that deadline Microsoft will only release a cut-down version, without many of the touted features. For example, the improved search functionality has been ditched from the initial Longhorn release.

In the article above, note that some of the features they talk about won't be in the initial Longhorn release. Instead, users will have to wait until 2007 (or beyond) at the earliest.

So we have to ask, why is Microsoft launching a media campaign for features that won't be released until 2007? I think Windows users should demand better. The slipping release dates will only frustrate loyal customers.

archerx
05-15-2005, 09:26 PM
yes let them rush it so that its full of bugs......

i rather wait and have it good than have it now and full of bugs...

Boone
05-15-2005, 09:53 PM
I thought they were doing away with DirectX altogether...oh well. :hmm:

shingo
05-15-2005, 11:34 PM
What I'm curious about Beam is why you can't stam to stop yourself from jumping on any thread that is either critical of Microsft or has somethign to say about Apple. Not everything in the computer graphics world comes down to a showdown between Apple and Microsoft, and standards do not apply equally to both. Apple only owns 5% of the PC market, so whatever expectations there might be about the 2 companies will never be the applied equally.

Why should Longhorn have been released long ago? Who is so desperate for it? 64 bit hardware is still in it's infancy (even on Apple hardware) so there's hardly an ugency in that regard. There is no application development that I know of being held up because of the delays with Longhorn. Tiger has only just arrived and while it looks promising, it is largely an unknown quantity. Most Apple users seem to believe that it will be prudent to wait till the dust settles before jumping on Tiger also.

It's sad, really, that with all Microsoft's huge wealth and profit, they can't seem to come out with an OS on time.

The Longhorn ("Longwait") OS should have been released long ago, but at the earliest it will be released in December 2006. Then we hear that to make that deadline Microsoft will only release a cut-down version, without many of the touted features. For example, the improved search functionality has been ditched from the initial Longhorn release.

In the article above, note that some of the features they talk about won't be in the initial Longhorn release. Instead, users will have to wait until 2007 (or beyond) at the earliest.

So we have to ask, why is Microsoft launching a media campaign for features that won't be released until 2007? I think Windows users should demand better. The slipping release dates will only frustrate loyal customers.

leigh
05-15-2005, 11:37 PM
What I'm curious about Beam is why you can't stam to stop yourself from jumping on any thread that is either critical of Microsft or has somethign to say about Apple. Not everything in the computer graphics world comes down to a showdown between Apple and Microsoft, and standards do not apply equally to both. Apple only owns 5% of the PC market, so whatever expectations there might be about the 2 companies will never be the applied equally.

Why should Longhorn have been released long ago? Who is so desperate for it? 64 bit hardware is still in it's infancy (even on Apple hardware) so there's hardly an ugency in that regard. There is no application development that I know of being held up because of the delays with Longhorn. Tiger has only just arrived and while it looks promising, it is largely an unknown quantity. Most Apple users seem to believe that it will be prudent to wait till the dust settles before jumping on Tiger also.

I was going to say exactly the same thing.

EpShot
05-15-2005, 11:44 PM
I was going to say exactly the same thing.

same here.

SimonPickard
05-16-2005, 12:02 AM
I have to say that for the first time MS is doing the right thing with an OS.
They have the market pritty much covered in that area. Say what you like about XP no other OS out there supports as much hardware, or apps. It does it in as user friendly way as poss.
Now XP as we all know isn't perfect, not by a long shot, but it is good enough to last us until the next gen comes out.

From what I can make out MS has used XP to keep people while it's doing a GOOD job of lornhorn. Bearing in mind that the core of this next OS is going to be on most our computers for the next ten years I say take your time MS, do it right! I can live with XP, or XP64 for 2-3 years.

Regards,
Simon

Beamtracer
05-16-2005, 12:05 AM
I apologize if my remarks were offensive or not factual. I will bow out of the discussion after this post. :)

Why should Longhorn have been released long ago?
My comment was based on previous Microsoft press releases from 4-5 years ago.

There were headlines such as:

"Gates confirms Windows Longhorn for 2003"
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/10/24/gates_confirms_windows_longhorn/

Another article from eWeek in 2001...
"Jim Allchin, the group vice president for Windows, said the client team was already hard at work on Longhorn. "We anticipate a beta next year (2002) to begin that, with the final product shipping sometime in 2003," he said."
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1660250,00.asp

And this one from 2002...
"The next major update to Windows codenamed Longhorn, will not appear until the second half of 2004, Microsoft told attendees at the WinHEC this week."
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/04/18/allchin_confirms_longhorn_delay/

Who is so desperate for it?

I think a lot of software and hardware manufacturers are hurting because of the delay. Especially PC manufacturers who were hoping for it to create a sales boost in 2002.

And then there's AMD. Believe it or not, I'm actually a big fan of AMD. They were ahead of their time with 64-bit processing, but a lot of that lead was reduced by the Longhorn delay.

Even though I mainly use UNIX based operating systems (AMD + Linux is a great combination) the Windows delay prevented AMD gaining more traction. AMD's 64-bit processor roadmap was based on a 2002 Longhorn release.

It's in this context that the proposed new features listed at the beginning of this thread may not materialize until 2007 or 2008.

Over-and-out from me :)

JDex
05-16-2005, 01:53 AM
Since Beam may not return to this one I'll post it as a statement rather than a question...

As I understand it, AMD was not stiffled by the Longhorn push-back, because Longhorn was not intended to be a 64bit OS when the 2002/2003/2004? release dates were mentioned. AMD brought 64bit to the fore-front of interest, not Longhorn.

arneltapia
05-16-2005, 06:54 AM
yes let them rush it so that its full of bugs......

i rather wait and have it good than have it now and full of bugs...

i agree with you Archerx..

quid
05-16-2005, 07:20 AM
An os that uses a boat-load of 3D content would definately benifit folks like us as someone has to generate that content--ie more jobs. So I hope that they can throw some of their financial weight behind this os and get it moving. OS X Xp I really don't care, I just want something that generates excitement, jobs and is stable and fast. With that said, it does make me wonder though why Apple consistantly does things first on a gigantically smaller budget. Shouldn't they be years ahead of Apple with all of their size and financial strength?

Para
05-16-2005, 07:32 AM
I apologize if my remarks were offensive or not factual.

Appology NOT accepted since you do it on purpose.


As for thread itself, WGF 1.0 = DirectX 10 or like some have called it, DirectX neXt. I don't care when Longhorn comes out, I'm all up for letting it mature inside Microsoft instead of getting a gazillion service packs and hotfixes during the few first months of Longhorn.

Schwinnz
05-16-2005, 07:34 AM
I like what they wanna do with the "standardisation" of the shaders and stuff. (on page 5)

If it is done properly and severely, this could finally put an end to this stupid war Nvidia and ATI have been in since a few times, deceptively taking the customers into hostages. (just think about the normal mapping issues)

I hope this is not just a way to please temporalily the customers and keep them from switching to currently more powerful counterparts just like they did with IE 7 and all other browsers.

brisck1
05-16-2005, 09:05 AM
Sorry for being a lil off topic, but does anyone know what font they are using in there new interface?Personally I love the new look, its very clean and ergonomic.

Nemoid
05-16-2005, 09:27 AM
personally'i'd wait till the OS is out in its "full glory" , and technology supports it into a quite affordable way.right now, Longhorn isn't there and bilding up a good pc workstaion for 64 bit is possible, but not exactly cheap. this means less market for now. things will be different into some months BTW.:)

shingo
05-16-2005, 02:43 PM
Again Beam, it seems you continue to make blanket assertions without any qualification. You have not named one software application that is being held back by the delays with Longhorn. Most applications are based on exisiting OS platforms, not what might be.

For example, take Apple. Obviously they have an inside track on what's going on with their OS development, but where does it say that FCP 5, or Shake 4 requires Tiger to run? What pending Apple based applications have been waiting for Tiger?

To say that hardware manufacturers are hurting becasue of Longhorn's delay is also quite a stretch. ON the 64 bit Intel/AMD side, XP 64 is about to be released and there is Linux as an option, so I doubt Longhorn is the lone culprit. In case you haven't noticed, there is an economic downturn in North America right now, and that effects the technology industry just like everyone else.



I think a lot of software and hardware manufacturers are hurting because of the delay. Especially PC manufacturers who were hoping for it to create a sales boost in 2002.

Simon Wicker
05-16-2005, 04:48 PM
What pending Apple based applications have been waiting for Tiger?

dvd studio pro (tiger only), motion 2.0 (16bit/32bit float + core video support only under tiger) any app that has made good use of tiger technology like spotlight, anyone that has written a widget for dashboard, etc, etc.

however none of these have been 'waiting for tiger' as such because of course apple have had versions of tiger available to developers for the past year and released tiger when they said they would.

cheers, simon w.

Xevious
05-16-2005, 05:24 PM
I'm sort of in a quandry about this.

The computer I am using is quite old and I was considering buying a new faster computer. But now with Longhorn coming out next year, I start to wondering if this is wise.

I dont want to be behind the curve when 64 bit graphics computing becomes the mainstay. It is the future. There is no denying that.

shingo
05-16-2005, 05:29 PM
So without Tiger installed, these application will not work is that correct? Or do they utilise new features in Tiger? Makin "good use of tiger technology" is not the same as having development stifled.

dvd studio pro (tiger only), motion 2.0 (16bit/32bit float + core video support only under tiger) any app that has made good use of tiger technology like spotlight, anyone that has written a widget for dashboard, etc, etc.

however none of these have been 'waiting for tiger' as such because of course apple have had versions of tiger available to developers for the past year and released tiger when they said they would.

cheers, simon w.

agreenster
05-16-2005, 05:37 PM
http://common.ziffdavisinternet.com/util_get_image/8/0,1311,i=86485,00.jpg
He he he he he

Simon Wicker
05-16-2005, 07:01 PM
So without Tiger installed, these application will not work is that correct? Or do they utilise new features in Tiger? Makin "good use of tiger technology" is not the same as having development stifled.

er, that wasn't the actual question you asked, was it. i think the whole point is that what we as end users require is for our favourite software developers to have an extremely robust set of technologies at their disposal so they can implement lots of cool features and get lots of great free stuff (like 'free' support for open exr and 32bit float formats and support for rendering on the gpu rather than cpu) rather than each and everyone having to come up with this stuff themselves.

if an os is only updated infrequently then the onus on developing technology then falls on the software companies shoulders - they can either wait for a feature that may or may not appear or create it themselves. this then automatically favours the 'big' players like avid, alias, adobe, etc. rather than the smaller companies as they have much larger teams working on their apps. instead of having one 'standard' that people use it will be more likely to have each company making their own standards which can only be a bad thing - in this day and age why isn't there a seamless inter-operability between 3d apps, especially considering how dynamic and flexible a production pipeline has to be?

cheers, simon w.

MGernot
05-16-2005, 07:26 PM
So, is WGF1.0 still build on COM? Or will it provide a managed class-library like
MDX?

rudipooimf
05-16-2005, 07:44 PM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with slipping release dates when it comes to OS software. I'd rather have a product that's stable, and advances the technology beyond what i've become used to, than a buggy rehash of an old OS etc. Now missing deadlines on games, that should be illegal!! lol

shingo
05-16-2005, 08:32 PM
The question I asked originally was, does the release of an OS like Longhorn prevent vendors from releasing applications. And the answer is clearly no.

As for standardisation, it sounds to me like you are really talking hypothetically, seeing as the applications we are discussing are by and large the ones being produced by the larger companies anyway.

The whole hooplah about Open EXR and 32-bit floating formats is a classic case of Apple enthusiasts (who've probably never heard of either) getting all giddy just because it is supported by Motion 2. Yet another Apple marketing master stroke creating yet another Buzzword!! As though somehow, OpenEXR is going to create wonderful images all it's own.

I wouldn't be surprised if some daft Apple users assume Apple single handedly invented OpenEXR and floating point space. Both OpenEXR and float are far from OS dependent. Shake has supported float from before it even ran on OSX, and Nuke and Digital Fusion have supported OpenEXR for a few years now. The OpenEXR format and source code were made freely avaialable by ILM from day 1 (see http://www.openexr.com/downloads.html).

And you are seariouly wandering off topis Simon by rasing the issue of interoperability between 3D applications. 3D data interchange between 3D apps has about as much to do with the OS as does the weather. This is a matter of policy and competition, nothing whatsoever to do with OS.

er, that wasn't the actual question you asked, was it. i think the whole point is that what we as end users require is for our favourite software developers to have an extremely robust set of technologies at their disposal so they can implement lots of cool features and get lots of great free stuff (like 'free' support for open exr and 32bit float formats and support for rendering on the gpu rather than cpu) rather than each and everyone having to come up with this stuff themselves.

if an os is only updated infrequently then the onus on developing technology then falls on the software companies shoulders - they can either wait for a feature that may or may not appear or create it themselves. this then automatically favours the 'big' players like avid, alias, adobe, etc. rather than the smaller companies as they have much larger teams working on their apps. instead of having one 'standard' that people use it will be more likely to have each company making their own standards which can only be a bad thing - in this day and age why isn't there a seamless inter-operability between 3d apps, especially considering how dynamic and flexible a production pipeline has to be?

cheers, simon w.

shingo
05-16-2005, 08:37 PM
Oh and one mmore thing, GPU rendering is reliant onGPU and software vendors - it has little to do with OS. The fact that Apple have introduced it into Motion (again, long after it was common in 3D apps) does not make it an OS dependent feature.

The question I asked originally was, does the release of an OS like Longhorn prevent vendors from releasing applications. And the answer is clearly no.

As for standardisation, it sounds to me like you are really talking hypothetically, seeing as the applications we are discussing are by and large the ones being produced by the larger companies anyway.

The whole hooplah about Open EXR and 32-bit floating formats is a classic case of Apple enthusiasts (who've probably never heard of either) getting all giddy just because it is supported by Motion 2. Yet another Apple marketing master stroke creating yet another Buzzword!! As though somehow, OpenEXR is going to create wonderful images all it's own.

I wouldn't be surprised if some daft Apple users assume Apple single handedly invented OpenEXR and floating point space. Both OpenEXR and float are far from OS dependent. Shake has supported float from before it even ran on OSX, and Nuke and Digital Fusion have supported OpenEXR for a few years now. The OpenEXR format and source code were made freely avaialable by ILM from day 1 (see http://www.openexr.com/downloads.html).

And you are seariouly wandering off topis Simon by rasing the issue of interoperability between 3D applications. 3D data interchange between 3D apps has about as much to do with the OS as does the weather. This is a matter of policy and competition, nothing whatsoever to do with OS.

Simon Wicker
05-16-2005, 09:42 PM
The whole hooplah about Open EXR and 32-bit floating formats is a classic case of Apple enthusiasts (who've probably never heard of either) getting all giddy just because it is supported by Motion 2.

I wouldn't be surprised if some daft Apple users assume Apple single handedly invented OpenEXR and floating point space.

clearly no point in discussing this further.

cheers, simon w.

shingo
05-16-2005, 10:19 PM
I appolgise for sounding off my friend, but I have heard this Motion 2/32 bit/OpenEXR argument thrown up more than a few times already, as though it its supposed to signify that Apple has somehow beaten Adobe to the holy grail of title design. It's pretty frustrating to say the least. OpenEXR is just another file format and I doubt many Motion users will find themselves needing to work in float too often, pr even 16 bit for that matter. Color space is only an issue with film output, and Motion's toolset is far from being suitable for feature film production.

Color space matters little if other factors aren't up to par. Anti-aliasing is paramount, even more so when you are taling about GPU based rendering, which is notirious for producing artifacts.

clearly no point in discussing this further.

cheers, simon w.

kiaran
05-16-2005, 10:45 PM
Come on people, this is an interesting topic. Don't let it devolve into infantile, pointless anti/pro Microsoft BS.

I've never done any DirectX programming, but this WGF1.0 sounds like a god send for developers. If the article holds true, this means that regardless of what hardware you are using, every shader effect should look exactly the same.

Finally, it looks like PC gamers will have the same sort of quality control that console gamers have always had.

Does anyone know what sort of graphical goodies this new API includes? I can't wait to hear what they have in store.

beaker
05-17-2005, 05:49 AM
Oh and one mmore thing, GPU rendering is reliant onGPU and software vendors - it has little to do with OS. The fact that Apple have introduced it into Motion (again, long after it was common in 3D apps) does not make it an OS dependent feature.i don't mean to keep this thread totally off topic, but the big deal with Motion supporting 32 bit float, is that it supports it in hardware rendering which is a first. FFI, Toxic, DF, etc... only support 8, 10, 12 bit rendering in hardware. So it is in fact a OS dependent feature.

shingo
05-17-2005, 01:28 PM
Cool that is indeed interesting Beaker. I would be curious to know how dependent this is on the specs of the GPU however and whether this is made possible by Tiger or Motion 2 itslelf.

Still i don't mean to keep this thread totally off topic, but the big deal with Motion supporting 32 bit float, is that it supports it in hardware rendering which is a first. FFI, Toxic, DF, etc... only support 8, 10, 12 bit rendering in hardware. So it is in fact a OS dependent feature.

Thalaxis
05-17-2005, 02:33 PM
So we have to ask, why is Microsoft launching a media campaign for features that won't be released until 2007? I think Windows users should demand better. The slipping release dates will only frustrate loyal customers.

The reason for that is actually blindingly obvious, since MS talked about it at one of their developer forums
late last year.

mustique
05-17-2005, 04:37 PM
No offense to MS. But I'd want Longhorn to be available earlier.

How can we know if there aren't any apps hindered by the delay of Longhorn?
Maybe nextgen Maya is waiting for 4 it. Or next 3dsmax... - Lightwave...?
Maybe devs wil wait and see what the future of Winos looks like and how Longhorn
performs in the market before they release nextgen apps that feel so 21th century.

Para
05-17-2005, 05:03 PM
So, is WGF1.0 still build on COM? Or will it provide a managed class-library like
MDX?

Nobody seemed to answer this so I'll do it: No, WGF isn't based on COM or COM+ (both are actually getting phased away). Avalon is the word now :)

MunCHeR
05-17-2005, 05:08 PM
yes let them rush it so that its full of bugs......

i rather wait and have it good than have it now and full of bugs...

Its never stopped microsoft before, anyone remember windows 98, what a ripper that was NOT!

MunCH

shingo
05-17-2005, 05:16 PM
It's not that much of a mistery.

We'd know because any developers waiting for Longhorn would seriously be shooting themselves in the foot. Can anyone name a single developer who is rolling in so much cash that they can afford to adopt this hypothtical wait and see approach? It makes no sense whatsoever to stop developing an application based on the delays of an OS you don't even have acces too. What's more, apart from one example I can think of, there is no reason for it. A miniscule number of features and technology may be hindered to some extent, but so what?

Furthermore, if Longhorn's delay was such a hinderence to the development of Maya and Lightwave, you could bet your house that Apple (given that Tiger is suposed to be 2 years in front) would be sounding off left, right and centre about how Tiger is allows these applications to do things not possible on XP or XP64. Furthermore, if the next gen Maya is being hindered by the delays with Longhorn, what is to stop Alias from moving full steam ahead with their OSX version? Surely Alias has a greater allegiance to itself than it does to Microsoft.

The only applications I can think of that is possibly being hindered by Windows, is the FFI Autodesk line of applications, though I have no idea one way or the other. I could be that Autodesk are waiting for XP64, Longhorn, or that they have no desire to port to Windows altogether.

No offense to MS. But I'd want Longhorn to be available earlier.

How can we know if there aren't any apps hindered by the delay of Longhorn?
Maybe nextgen Maya is waiting for 4 it. Or next 3dsmax... - Lightwave...?
Maybe devs wil wait and see what the future of Winos looks like and how Longhorn
performs in the market before they release nextgen apps that feel so 21th century.

firestar3d
06-14-2005, 08:46 PM
No offense to MS. But I'd want Longhorn to be available earlier.

How can we know if there aren't any apps hindered by the delay of Longhorn?
Maybe nextgen Maya is waiting for 4 it. Or next 3dsmax... - Lightwave...?
Maybe devs wil wait and see what the future of Winos looks like and how Longhorn
performs in the market before they release nextgen apps that feel so 21th century.

Just so you know, Lightwave 64-bit Edition will shortly be available (might already be available) for XP-64 users running 64-bit hardware (yes I know that's a no-brainer), and for those of you who have kept up to date with the news on LW64 development, someone used the 64-bit edition of LW to generate an animation in a single pass using a 32Gig 64Bit Workstation running XP64 that was used in MS's promotional material. He also created another animation using XP32 and the standard build of LW8.2, although because of the 32-bit 2GB limit, the animation was far less complex (even though it still looked fairly decent given it was a comparison).

My point essentially is that Newtek are rolling ahead with LW64 without the need to wait for Longhorn to come out in 2006/2007. I very seriously doubt that there's anything in Longhorn that LW64 will need to do its' job, and I can see there's still room for future updates and feature additions to LW (both in 32-bit and 64-bit) even if it stays with XP after Longhorn is released. Development is certainly not going to hit a roadblock just because XP is a 32-bit platform (XP64 excluded of course).

I think that there are a lot of people out there that think just because new technologies are released like the Cell Processor and 64-bit CPU's, and because of announcements like Longhorn release dates etcetc, that suddenly their current technologies are obsolete and useless. Sure, they will eventually become obsolete as development outgrows them, but even now there's still a lot of room for development. Think back to the days of 8-bit computer systems before the first IBM based PC was released to the general public. Developers had to push the hardware to its' very limits and they found all kinds of creative approaches to tackling problems using much more limited resources compared to what today's PC's (and I count Apple and Linux workstations as Personal Computers too) have in them. Sure, there's an inherent limit in the memory space of 32-bit technology, but the same thing was true of 16-bit processors back before 32-bit technology was released to the general public, and they found ways around it.

And XP64 will take care of that limitation, as does OS-X tiger, as does Linux 64 now. Longhorn is not a critical update by any means.

if Longhorn's delay was such a hinderence to the development of Maya and Lightwave, you could bet your house that Apple (given that Tiger is suposed to be 2 years in front) would be sounding off left, right and centre about how Tiger is allows these applications to do things not possible on XP or XP64. Furthermore, if the next gen Maya is being hindered by the delays with Longhorn, what is to stop Alias from moving full steam ahead with their OSX version? Surely Alias has a greater allegiance to itself than it does to Microsoft.

I think shingo pretty much hit the nail on the head with his entire post here.

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