I really need to sit down and write a history of Direct3D from day one, i.e. pre-Microsoft acquisition of RenderMorphics, through to around DirectX 6.

The anti-Microsoft venom that still surrounds the whole OpenGL v Direct3D wars still hurts - we honestly we're trying to (and did do) the right thing. Even the Wikipedia article I just linked to has unpleasant bias…

I still posit that the state of consumer 3D would not be what it is today without Direct3D appearing on the scene.

And OpenGL would still be in the same stagnant state that it was in 1995.

Anyhow, this little outburst was due to a comment on a blog I happened to stumble on.

Not quite a happy ending. OpenGL was totally shot down by Microsoft, who used its monopoly in the desktop OS market to push DirectX instead, a propriety Microsoft graphics library. Had they embraced openGL, we would be seeing good games on all platforms, not just Windows.

Lots of high-profile game developers signed an open letter to Microsoft, including John Carmack (who may have even authored the letter if I memory serves), to ask Microsoft to embrace OpenGL for the good of the industry, the developers, the games, and most of all, the consumers.

Of course, Microsoft wouldn't listen, and used their power to push out OpenGL and gain market control, as per their traditional modus operandi.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer, just wanted to point out that the ending isn't so happy after all.

To which I responded:

Regarding Zach's comment - Not to totally thrash a dead horse or anything, but I was the PM and oddly enough one of the developers on Direct3D and it's predecessor, Reality Lab.

We did not set out to “kill” OpenGL. OpenGL was stagnant, did not run on commodity hardware and had laughable realtime software rendering support. I posit that if it were not for Direct3D giving the 3D graphics hardware industry a kick in the arse, we would not have the games we have today and OpenGL would still be stagnant.

At the original PDK outing of Direct3D, all the 3D hw guys really had no idea what was going on - they were all aimed at arcade and military applications. No one was focussed on the consumer.

I wish people would look at that time objectively and not with “MS hate” in their eyes. Hmm, maybe it's time I wrote it up.

btw - it was Chris Hecker that authored the letter.

Time to sit down and write that history post…