PCGH Retro: OpenGL plus Direct 3D - the Fahrenheit project
Once again PCGH takes a look at the short but eventful history of the computer. Today: What happened on December 17?
...1997: In the early nineties SGI's OpenGL was the leading interface for calculations of 3D graphics. But it was at home on workstations - for windows systems and thus primarily for games Microsoft offered a simple alternative in form of Direct 3D. The popularity of this graphics interface grew and soon led to discussions among developers: Should they support D3D or stay with the more potent OpenGL? And was the competition between the two systems harm the market?
But soon this should be disposed once and for all, as the joint press release of the two companies explained on this December 17: OpenGL and D3D are going to be fused into a single interface. The name of the project: Fahrenheit. In 2000 the development was supposed to be completed and thus Fahrenheit would be standard for both Windows and SGI systems. But with Direct 3D becoming more popular, Microsoft lost interest in the project, didn't invested much effort into the promised "Low Level” parts of the shared interface - and with the successful introduction of DircetX 7 everyone knew: Fahrenheit is dead. Soon SGI also backed out of the project. At that time Microsoft had already won the duel between OpenGL and Direct 3D.