PCGH Retro: Happy Birthday, DirectX 9!
Once again PCGH takes a look at the short but eventful history of the computer. Today: What happened on December 19?
...2002: For DirectX it possibly is the final victory over the concurring interface OpenGL - on gaming PCs at least: On this December 19 DirectX 9 is released by Microsoft - two years after the predecessor and only seven years after the first version. The official introduction was scheduled for January 22, but the files were available on Microsoft's download servers already. Soon the web was buzzing with a warning: If the interface is not running as intended it cannot be removed completely without reinstalling the whole system because Microsoft didn't intended the software to be removed. But the initial problems are fixed soon.
The most important innovations are as usual part of the 3D area which is called Direct3D: Shader Model 2 makes bigger Shader programs and more realistic effects possible. Graphics cards that utilize the new features are already available, although they are all Ati products; with the Radeon 9700 they were ahead of Nvidia whose Geforce FX wasn't available on the DirectX 9 launch yet. But soon almost every graphics chip supports the new standard and DirectX 9 becomes the most successful and persistent DX version.