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Windows Vista May Degrade OpenGL

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the you-have-chosen-poorly dept.


srw writes "OpenGL is the industry choice for cross platform, hardware accelerated 3D graphics, and it is also the only way you can get fast 3D graphics on your Linux desktop. It now seems Windows Vista implements OpenGL via Direct3D, seriously degrading its performance and attractiveness to developers." From the article: "In practice this means for OpenGL under Aeroglass: OpenGL performance will be significantly reduced - perhaps as much as 50%, OpenGL on Windows will be fixed at a vanilla version of OpenGL 1.4, No extensions will be possible to expose future hardware innovations. It would be technically straightforward to provide an OpenGL ICD within the full Aeroglass experience without compromising the stability or the security of the operating system. Layering OpenGL over Direct3D is a policy more than a technical decision."

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Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13258998)

#buttes rocks it

also, TripMasterMonkey and Garcia are karma whores who are denied FP. gobble my cock bitches


MS (-1, Offtopic)

BaCkBuRn (621588) | about 9 years ago | (#13259004)

God I hate MS...

Re:MS (1)

NyCoN99 (746391) | about 9 years ago | (#13259013)

MS. . . *shaking head* That is all

Re:MS (5, Informative)

PsychicX (866028) | about 9 years ago | (#13259024)

Read this post [] for an explanation of why this problem is NOT as bad as people are making it out to be.

Re:MS (1, Interesting)

BaCkBuRn (621588) | about 9 years ago | (#13259065)

"So, when a display driver for OpenGL is loaded, Aeroglass shuts down. First and foremost: This has absolutely no implications for fullscreen games on single monitor setups! So, with that important detail out of the way, let's look at the scenarios where we DO have a serious problem: * Multi-monitor setups * Windowed mode applications" Dude, damn near every 'geek' I know runs a multi-headed setup. Ive been doing it for years... Believe it or not, people with large resolutions like to run mmo's windowed.

Re:MS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259147)

Off-topic, but...

Anyone notice that every announcement about Vista details the removal of some interesting/important feature they haven't managed to complete or the addition of a newer, shinier way to screw everyone over?

Why am I using Windows 2000? Oh, that's right. It fucking works, and I don't have to deal with any of this shit.

Re:MS (1)

BaCkBuRn (621588) | about 9 years ago | (#13259031)

Seriously, they screw up portions of visa randomly at any given time: MultipleSclerosis Windows Visa

I Used To Like Them (1)

Makarakalax (658810) | about 9 years ago | (#13259033)

Amen to that. I actually went through a period of not hating them at all. I thought they were OK, I just didn't have much of an opinion or much technical respect for most of their products. Now I realise that this period of hating exactly coincides with the 5 years since XP was released.

I only hate them when they develop anything. When they release important new products they ruin the world of my hobbies.

Re:MS (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259036)

"I hate MS." --God

Monopoly (3, Funny)

sabernet (751826) | about 9 years ago | (#13259007)

Looks like open standards will be left butt-naked on Baltic Avenue.

Re:Monopoly (5, Insightful)

MooseByte (751829) | about 9 years ago | (#13259069)

Particularly fascinating that with all of the (formerly) core features that MS has been dropping from Vista, they still somehow find time in the development schedule to screw over an open standard like OpenGL.

WinXP SP3 - Now with fewer features and less compatibility than ever!

What, you fucking idiots? (1, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | about 9 years ago | (#13259010)

Microsoft, you're fucking stupid. The EU are going to murder you over this and rest assure the settlement with the EU wont be as lenient as the last time. I think it would silly for prosecution to demand anything less than the division of the company for a repeat offense. And I think that this time they'll get it.

Microsoft, you must understand three things.

  1. You are a monopoly. This monopoly means you have to tread very carefully not to fall foul of competition law. Building an OS that removes your only crediable competition in that sector of the market is not a wise move.
  2. The United states of America is not the same as the EU. Most of the EU is ruled by governments elected by proportional representation. This means that the EU political center is much further to the left than the US. Most believe in free enterprise but only if it is not unchecked; they're not going to be as receptive to your excuses as the republican party.
  3. European governments are starting to wise up that transfering as much as 0.3% of GDP to the United States in Windows licenses is not a smart move. To put the size of this figure in to perspective, the United Kingdom spends 0.3% of GDP on it's transport infrastructure. As a result, Governments are looking at OSS seriously and are likely to want to protect the future of it.

I am confident of one thing: the future of Microsoft will not be dictated by how well it fares in the US market but how well it fares in the EU market. It simply wont make sales in India, China or the South American countries. Linux is quickly becoming intrenched in these countries because these companies can't really afford to prop up the American economy. In many ways, the fact that they're so poor means they have to be smarter with their cash.Something that's better for us all.


Re:What, you fucking idiots? (4, Funny)

Tim Browse (9263) | about 9 years ago | (#13259054)

If I may paraphrase an Apple support engineer (whose name I sadly forget):

This website is not a red-painted BatPhone connected direct to Microsoft headquarters.

Re:What, you fucking idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259064)

I think it would silly for prosecution to demand anything less than the division of the company for a repeat offense. And I think that this time they'll get it.
How would the EU enforce breaking up a United States company?

Re:What, you fucking idiots? (1, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | about 9 years ago | (#13259131)

How would the EU enforce breaking up a United States company?

It woudl have no power to enforce it directly but it could ban Microsoft from selling anything to the EU unless it divides. That's a pretty big club to hit them with.


Ban microsoft from EU (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | about 9 years ago | (#13259170)

I for sure would welcome a selling ban to microsoft in the EU, but where will my games run on, and my tax return program O-:

Re:Ban microsoft from EU (1)

mscdex (774392) | about 9 years ago | (#13259190)

On CrossOver Office or Wine of course.

Re:What, you fucking idiots? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 9 years ago | (#13259197)

Perhaps so, but seems like a native OpenGL layer could easily be added to the OS as sort of a "plugged in component". If this became an issue preventing MS from making too many sales in the global marketplace, I'm sure they'd just suddenly produce an "OpenGL option" that you download via Windows Update or receive on CD for a few bucks, for those who "have special circumstances requiring it". Lots of folks would never know or care the difference, but they'd legally be covered since they provided the alternative ... and they'd still get the leverage of convincing more new game/graphics developers to just code for Direct-X instead so there was one less "requirement" for end-users to have installed to make the product work.

Re:What, you fucking idiots? (1)

QuantaStarFire (902219) | about 9 years ago | (#13259211)

I'd imagine the alternative is being banned from the EU altogether. Do you honestly think any large corporation wants to be barred from such a large market? I doubt it.

In Microsoft's case, it would affect multiple parts of the IT industry who suddenly would find themselves with the dilemma of no longer doing business in the EU (again, bad idea), or porting all their software to Linux/BSD/MacOS in order to keep things going. Either way, it'd result in massive loss of profits, and everybody would be pointing the finger at Microsoft for causing such a colossal fuckup.

I could be wrong though. Maybe losing the EU market wouldn't be nearly as bad as all that. After all, North America is all anybody really needs, right?

Re:What, you fucking idiots? (5, Insightful)

CarrionBird (589738) | about 9 years ago | (#13259086)

That's a very Eurocentric view. Even if the governments decide to go OSS, that's ony a portion of sales in any region.

MS would be smart to make a EU specfic version again, if only to keep out of the courts.

I think they just don't care. (2, Interesting)

cbreaker (561297) | about 9 years ago | (#13259189)

They'll do this, effectively crushing OpenGL on Windows. It will force game/application developers to write windows-only apps instead of cross-platform. OpenGL made is quite a bit easier to do that.

Then, when the EU or whomever else comes knocking four years later, it won't matter. Pay another few billion dollars and you're scott-free.

Microsoft has such a huge bank-roll that they could continue to operate like this for a long time, until finally someone says "Microsoft Windows is BANNED." Which would never happen, because they're a monopoly and many people depend far too heavily on it.

Re:What, you fucking idiots? (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 years ago | (#13259195)

It simply wont make sales in India, China or the South American countries.

      But then again, it never did. Everyone pirates the OS (at least in Central America which is where I am), because the price of the OS is a large fraction (if not all) of monthly income. Microsoft spent money putting Anti-Piracy billboards up around the city (billboards that cost $2000 a month to rent) instead of DUHHH selling the OS a bit cheaper in those markets. Like once you've done your programming it's really costing you a lot more to burn some extra CD's for the 3rd world.

      No, Microsoft corporate think is to start a whole new programming cycle and come up with a cheap but CRIPPLED OS for the 3rd world. Heh.

      The fear is, if they sell it cheap in the 3rd world people in the US will just import the 3rd world copies, and Microsoft will lose out. It's the same argument with cheap medication for the AIDS problem in Africa. Maximizing profit is more important to a megacorp than quality of life, or even life itself, apparently. Yet they sure are quick to outsource when they think they can save a buck. It's ok to make money but once in a while you have to address ethical issues as well and damn the share price. We're all on this planet together.

Are we surprised...? (1)

creimer (824291) | about 9 years ago | (#13259012)

Now we know where Microsoft plans to suck in all those extra CPU cycles that everyone has too much of.

Re:Are we surprised...? (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 years ago | (#13259119)

Now we know where Microsoft plans to suck in all those extra CPU cycles that everyone has too much of.

      Besides, if graphics performance is degraded, it gives everyone an excuse to buy those new CPUs and $5000 Radeon 83910000 SX FX MX cards that will be coming out, so Microsoft is really "helping the computer industry by promoting technology and innovation". Ugh, did I just say that?

      Never mind the fact that the human eye has a hard time detecting changes above 30 frames per second. Cards are at what, 300 FPS or so now at the top end? Oh MAN, I installed Vista and my frame rate is only 150 now, gotta get a new card...

      I still don't understand why drivers take dozens of megabytes, and an OS fills up a fair fraction of a gigabyte hard drive. Bloatware has been a problem for the past decade, and it's only showing signs of getting worse with the next iteration of Windows.

Re:Are we surprised...? (1)

Sancho (17056) | about 9 years ago | (#13259185)

Graphics cards aren't really measured in frames per second. Consider the highest end graphics card you can get today, and try to run Doom3 max settings. I bet you won't be getting that 300FPS now, will you?

Ummmmm. Games? (1)

imboboage0 (876812) | about 9 years ago | (#13259014)

Is this going to affect games or OpenGL Apps? If so, SOMEONE in gaming will come out with some sort of patch or solution. That, or Vista will be boycotted by many.

Re:Ummmmm. Games? (1)

what_the_frell (690581) | about 9 years ago | (#13259149)

It's Micro$oft's way of forcing the games developer community into DirectX. Also, it's a way of indirectly controlling hardware companies like ATI and nVidia and what graphics platforms they develop for.

Micro$oft probably figures that if they can make us more dependent on their technology, they'll increase profits because it'll force gamers to buy their latest version of Window$ in order to play the latest games, which forces them to also buy into Micro$oft's OTHER technologies they're trying to push.

Re:Ummmmm. Games? (1)

daviq (888445) | about 9 years ago | (#13259166)

Noting what they've done so far, and now killing off (slowly mind you) OpenGL, I don't think anyone will use Vista so a boycott would not be nessesary.

Re:Ummmmm. Games? (1)

morcheeba (260908) | about 9 years ago | (#13259176)

Someone may come out with a patch, but don't you think they'd rather be spending their time writing games instead of fixing MS's purposely broken OS? And, as soon as they fix it, MS will just break it again in a different way.

Normal MS Decision... (4, Informative)

Tiberius_Fel (770739) | about 9 years ago | (#13259015)

This seems in line with what MS normally does. They've been trying to snuff out OpenGL (so far as I can see) and keep everyone in proprietary DirectX technologies.

Re:Normal MS Decision... (4, Insightful)

mfago (514801) | about 9 years ago | (#13259044)

Yup, just a variation on embrace, extend, extinguish. So what someone needs to due is sue. Of course that may not work either: although Sun got $900M, Java on MS is still broken unless you download Java yourself.

Re:Normal MS Decision... (1)

Nasarius (593729) | about 9 years ago | (#13259075)

It's not *necessarily* that much of a problem. If SDL were rewritten so that it used Direct3D on Windows and OpenGL on other platforms, everything would be fine.

Re:Normal MS Decision... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259106)

SDL can only act as a container for OpenGL. On it's own, it is only capable of 2D graphics, which take up very little processing power anyway.

Re:Normal MS Decision... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259139)


SDL only delivers a way to create an openGL window, it is not a 3D API. The developer still has to use all the openGL functions.

So no, you can't just use directX on windows and openGL on other platforms, that would require the developer to write both a DirectX version of the rendered as well as an OpenGL version.

Re:Normal MS Decision... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259160)

I beg to differ. I write OpenGL software that runs on both winblows and linux. I would simply quit supporting the windows version...I will be damned if I am gonna learn another 3D api just to make my software compatible with windoww. Fuck you microsoft...fuck you so hard...well just fuck you.

Re:Normal MS Decision... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 9 years ago | (#13259203)

actually, I strongly urge that you continue to support it. Let a few benchmarks be run. Then see what happens. More importantly, it would be nice if gaming companies would do the same.

Re:Normal MS Decision... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259224)

It won't work.

lesson? (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 9 years ago | (#13259021)

shooting your own foot, eh?

of course it's their policy. Just like breaking kerberos protocols, complicating NTFS so it is hard to reverse engineer, etc, etc...

Logical choice (3, Insightful)

ytm (892332) | about 9 years ago | (#13259022)

Why risk using cross-platform standard while you can tie developers to your platform with Direct3D? It seems that Microsoft has no interest in supporting cross-platform solutions. Why should they?

Re:Logical choice (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#13259110)

Aren't they wasting money trying to interoperate with Linux now? It would be two major conflicts.

Re:Logical choice (1)

ytm (892332) | about 9 years ago | (#13259223)

Interoperability is another thing. It increases number of places where Windows can be used. Getting rid of OpenGL means that once an application is written for Windows it will most probably stay on Windows. Together with its users.

OpenGL, the open GL! (1)

vga_init (589198) | about 9 years ago | (#13259025)

If it's open, then why don't we just create a 3rd party implementation? Surely this library will be faster and more enhanced the Microsoft's OGL support.

Re:OpenGL, the open GL! (1)

mfago (514801) | about 9 years ago | (#13259071)

A third party implementation won't help: this decision (IMHO) will just cause more game developers on MS to abandon OpenGL in favor on DirectX. I'd bet some third party OpenGL library would be more trouble than it's worth for most.

Re:OpenGL, the open GL! (1)

koreaman (835838) | about 9 years ago | (#13259072)

Great idea! Can you get started immediately?

Drop me a line when you're finished:

Re:OpenGL, the open GL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259076)

Because it's more complicated than you think. If this was as simple as you just described, would people be up in arms about it?

Re:OpenGL, the open GL! (1)

Nasarius (593729) | about 9 years ago | (#13259099)

Do you have any idea how much work is involved in making an accelerated graphics library for a closed-source OS with closed-source video drivers? Even on Linux, the NVIDIA and ATI GL libraries are much faster than the standard X11 ones.

Figures (1)

azrane2005 (860037) | about 9 years ago | (#13259027)

Yet another reason Vista will flop, or at best, why more users will switch to alternative OSes. Anybody remember Windows ME, and the way it crashed when they showed it off?

Re:Figures (1)

sabernet (751826) | about 9 years ago | (#13259077)

Didn't Win98 do that too? Oh yeah, and weren't win98 and winME big cash cows for MS until XP came out?

Oh yeah, this'll cause it to flop...

Re:Figures (1)

Mugros (811343) | about 9 years ago | (#13259080)

Unfortunately this will not be the case. People will buy the new OS and if they test the 3D APIs they will find out that DirectX ist much faster than OpenGL. Their conclusion will be that OpenGL sux.

Re:Figures (1)

almostinsane (770051) | about 9 years ago | (#13259096)

Ummm... You didn't RTFA. All games will still work w/o a performace inpact. The impact is only for windowed apps. And you actually think people would switch to Linux just for OGL support? Come on, thats just retarded. Most games are coded for Directx anyway.

Re:Figures (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | about 9 years ago | (#13259182)

Please, there are still those of us who are trying to forget Windows ME!

Won't happen (hopefully) (1, Funny)

CarrionBird (589738) | about 9 years ago | (#13259030)

Or we'll see a cage match between Gates and Carmack. (of ID software, who uses OGL for thier games) My money's on Carmack and the other game developers.

Re:Won't happen (hopefully) (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 9 years ago | (#13259052)

My money's on Carmack and the other game developers.

      I hear Gates is pretty good at "The Sims" tho...

Yeah, right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259032)

Do we really believe Microsoft is going to break popular OpenGL-based games like Doom 3 and Neverwinter Nights?

I, for one, do not.

This was inevitable (5, Funny)

SlashEdsDoYourJobs (905360) | about 9 years ago | (#13259040)

Now that Microsoft have cancelled all the planned new features for Vista, the only thing left for them to remove is stuff that works fine in current versions of Windows.

Re:This was inevitable (1)

Triple Click (898568) | about 9 years ago | (#13259078)

Dude, you don't touch the Solitaire.

ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259042)

Kinda like IE7 crippling the Google Toolbar. We know how that played out.

Another useful link (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259049)


bit by bit (4, Insightful)

urdine (775754) | about 9 years ago | (#13259050)

Microsoft is "upgrading" itself out of the marketplace. No serious gamer is going to want to use Vista now. It's turning into same mistake Apple made back in the day - trying to control everything at the expense of flexibility and compatibility. The only thing Microsoft has going for itself is ubiquity - people use it because other people use it. They're chipping away at that foundation with a jackhammer now. This also comes at a time when people are switching to Firefox in droves, with Mac and Linux OSes on the rise. Not a smart move.

Re:bit by bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259209)

Perhaps this will make game developers seriously consider writing their software to play off a Linux boot DVD.. :)

oh these bastards (1)

milktoastman (572643) | about 9 years ago | (#13259051)

Microsoft is like a big stupid 8 year old bully after his premature growth spurt, greedily clutching his melting ice cream and knocking others' ice cream out of their hands so he can delight in is gluttony and his victims resentment...whoa, did I just write that? That came out of left field. I must be pissed.

All the time is spent in the GPU so who cares (4, Insightful)

rufusdufus (450462) | about 9 years ago | (#13259053)

I doubt layering OpenGL over directX will make a 50% slowdown; all the time processing is in the GPU and the amount of time spent in an API is insignificant.
The whole blurb sounds like a scare tactic to me. The article of course is /.ed

Re:All the time is spent in the GPU so who cares (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 9 years ago | (#13259142)

I doubt layering OpenGL over directX will make a 50% slowdown; all the time processing is in the GPU and the amount of time spent in an API is insignificant.

Of course it won't. That's why all the OpenGL functions in Vista begin with busy_wait(x), where x will be scaled based on CPU and graphic card speed. Most functions will also allocate a 4-kilobyte memory chunk and never free it, leading to a memory leak.

I wonder, thought: what's stopping graphic card manufacturers from releasing their own OpenGL libraries, which talk directly to the driver ?

Re:All the time is spent in the GPU so who cares (2, Interesting)

Lifewish (724999) | about 9 years ago | (#13259172)

I'm guessing that some of the extra clock cycles go into translating each OpenGL call into DirectX calls, and some goes into redundant processing by the DirectX libraries for stuff that isn't actually needed by the wrapper that's calling it.

Re:All the time is spent in the GPU so who cares (3, Insightful)

The Real Nem (793299) | about 9 years ago | (#13259215)

That's only part of the issue. Assuming the article is accurate, they will lock OpenGL to version 1.4 (current is 2.0) with no interface for extensions (except maybe a standard set?). This is like limiting OpenGL to the DirectX 7 feature set. The speed degradation wouldn't be 100% from the abstraction layer, it would be from a limited modern feature set.

No developer would want to use it, especially for games. They couldn't compete

Can OpenGL be updated like DirectX? (1)

Cerdic (904049) | about 9 years ago | (#13259057)

This is a really nasty thing MS is doing, but that's just the default OpenGL version that comes with Windows, right? What's to keep games from including newer/special versions of the dlls?

Or does OpenGL not update like DirectX does? Is it that only extensions are added through drivers while the base dlls never change?

Compatibility? (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | about 9 years ago | (#13259154)

What's to keep games from including newer/special versions of the dlls?

Think about the implications of that. Any game that does this risks breaking another application that was developed/tested using the DLLs that came with the OS.

Any company that screws around with your machine's config in that way had better be careful, or they could get lynched.

That also means that you'd have to give the user the option to use the default OpenGL drivers. Which means you'd have to test your own app under both. Or, optionally, you have your own set of drivers that only you use, but that means you have to check if it's compatible with all the video card drivers out there (because goodness knows, ATI and Nvidia aren't likely to care about your proprietary OpenGL implementation).

i know another thing that degrades vista (2, Interesting)

eight and a quarter (904629) | about 9 years ago | (#13259058)

.. installing it on my amd k6-2/350 with 192mb of ram and 5gb hard drive! yes this is my primary desktop. it runs windows 2000 :-)

Re:i know another thing that degrades vista (1)

Ptur (866963) | about 9 years ago | (#13259144)

Strange, that is about exactly the same setup I had until a year ago (except I had 8GB disk). Slow isn't it? Firewall, Anti-spyware, Antivirus, Antispam,... Am I glad I run W2K on brand new hardware now :)

Re:i know another thing that degrades vista (1)

CdBee (742846) | about 9 years ago | (#13259175)

You can speed windows up a lot when running on K6/2 processors by changing the BIOS setting to "non PnP OS" installed, then Windows doesnt have to handle IRQ allocation, which tends to be kludgy on those boards and sucks CPU power

Re:i know another thing that degrades vista (1)

eight and a quarter (904629) | about 9 years ago | (#13259191)

not really.. no firewall. i got a router. spyware? i notice when i'm infected. anti-virus? i scan when i'm asleep. anti-spam? you show me something anti-spam that'll work and i got some ocean front property in arizona where the fountain of youth has been undiscovered.

I am not quite sure this is true... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259062)

Does anybody else not believe this at all? I think this was totally blown out of proportion by the opengl guys and the real situation is going to be nothing like this. Of course, nobody on Slashdot is going to read the article anyway and the hyperbole is just going to grow and grow...

Re:I am not quite sure this is true... (1)

LocoMan (744414) | about 9 years ago | (#13259214)

I was actually thinking about the same thing. If this is true, then it'll be really bad at least for me since my main interest is on 3D animation(and my favorite one, Animation:Master, doesn't run on linux) which they all run windowed and with OpenGL (well, 3D Studio Max does have a directX option, but when I've used it it isn't as fast as OpenGL, at least with the setups we have at work)...

However I'm taking a wait and see attitude since so far the only source I've seen is a post on a public forum (even if it's a very respected one) which I can't even read to see what their sources are because of the slashdotting.

Are they forgetting about the CAD market (1)

MatthewNewberg (519685) | about 9 years ago | (#13259067)

Forget games becuase you can just write games in Direct 3d. What about the stuff that OpenGL does that Direct 3d, such as the CAD and scientific areas. OpenGL has a lot of 2d/ line functionality that Direct 3d just sucks at. Not to mention it also destorys the cross platform 3d market. I guess this is just another reason to switch to a MAC.

Re:Are they forgetting about the CAD market (1)

Knome_fan (898727) | about 9 years ago | (#13259123)

No, they are not.

You see, once they cripple OpenGL to a point where it runs 50% slower, is stuck at 1.4 and not extensible, Direct 3d will probably shine in all areas in comparison.

This makes sense (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 9 years ago | (#13259073)

TFA is Slashdotted, so this may be contradicted, but:

I imagine that this is only the case in the Microsoft drivers. It is less effort for them to write a set of DirectX drivers for each graphics card they intend to support and an OpenGL wrapper that can be used with all drivers than write a DirectX and an OpenGL implementation for each card - particularly since DirectX OpenGL wrappers have been around for years.

Vendors like nVidia, ATi and Intel will continue to provide non-wrapped OpenGL drivers, since they will lose sales if their card does 50% worse than a competitor who provides a native implementation.

Re:This makes sense (1)

darkonc (47285) | about 9 years ago | (#13259213)

We just need to lobby the games reviewers to compare video cards using the OpenGL drivers as a default.

News Flash: MS delibrately bungs competitor's code (1)

dan of the north (176417) | about 9 years ago | (#13259082)

Mmm... I never would have thought that MS would do that AGAIN!

a PITA for many programmers but... (1)

Jyaif (874856) | about 9 years ago | (#13259084)

fortunately, real time ray tracing isn't too far away

Ya I think this is a lie... (1)

rygoody (896278) | about 9 years ago | (#13259087)

This article is clearly brought on by a bunch of linux fanbois trying to put value to their miserable lives be creating some great conflict they think they need to correct. MS would not do that.

why even bother to upgrade? (4, Insightful)

free space (13714) | about 9 years ago | (#13259088)

windows vista (I preferred longhorn!) is intended by microsoft to be as big an upgrade as win95 was over win3.1, but every time I read news about it, I simply make up my mind more not to buy it


not running opengl effectively? are they kidding? how many independant software developers ( ms's biggest asset according to steve ballmer), gamers ( the #1 reason windows guys don't completely switch to linux), and researchers are going to be pissed off?

microsoft product designers like to develop software according to idealistic hypothetical usage situations. they assume that all users are happily running directx 9.0,that their video cards are all top notch and a 50% degradation would be nothing for the misguided few who still run GL. heck, maybe it will make them upgrade their dinosaur era hardware!

This means? (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | about 9 years ago | (#13259089)

What does this mean for current and future games that use OpenGL?

Is Carmack around?

Does this mean that games that currently use opengl based engines when say run on Vista versus XP take a performance hit?

Microsoft's 7 Stages to Profit (1)

Dark Coder (66759) | about 9 years ago | (#13259091)

1. Watch the yipping competition nipping at your heels
2. Get annoyed
3. Watch the market share slides (IE)
4. Announce how bad the competition is (Get the Facts)
5. Embrace the competition (Kerberos/Active Directory)
6. Engulf the competition (OpenGL with DirectX)
7. Profit?

So many ways to a profitable monopoly.... Still surprised?

As anyone could think any differently? (1)

kinglink (195330) | about 9 years ago | (#13259095)

Consider OpenGL is an open format, that anyone can use, why would Microsoft allow a "lowly" format to compete and get the same or better results with it's DirectX? I mean they invested millions into it.

It's just another way Microsoft will continue to play "fairly" ("oh we'll let IE7 conform to standards sure they will... but it won't conform to acid test or that like")

Honestly it's just another step in distancing Windows from the rest of the OSes, so Microsoft can get monopolies everywhere, or have their own propietary software for everything.

Even something like the Intel DRM chips are making Microsoft get a chance to have their own computers somewhere down the lines, who knows what they will do next, because they just seem to want to forge their own pathes.

Until now I had been using DX and OpenGL.. (2, Interesting)

AmazingRuss (555076) | about 9 years ago | (#13259102)

...for different applications, but after this, I'm dropping DirectX, and I will not be deploying Vista ANYWHERE. Fuck MS. Business reality and market share be damned, I will no longer be a participant in the quiet strangulation of any software that isn't Microsoft.

Sooner or later they will have killed off the medium guys and come for us little guys. I won't give them the rope to hang me with. I'd rather go broke now than get fucked over later with the lube I provided.

Until this, I was fairly platform agnostic, and I will remain so, with the exception that MS Software is NEVER an option.

Meet a newly-minted anti-MS zealot.

say it with me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259107)


lets you load any library that implements OpenGl...bypassing any opengl default lib. Its up to the card makers and game developers to determine if they want to do this. Remember the days of 3dfx? Do you remember copying the 3dfx dll to your quake directory?

so relax...let ms do what they want. in the end people will circumvent anything that affects performance or limits card capabilities.

Just when slashdotters were being nice... (3, Funny)

manboy9 (891227) | about 9 years ago | (#13259117)

It seems like just yesterday people were actually defending MS. Oh wait, it was yesterday [] .

There will be no MS sympathizers in this thread.

Provide your own? (1)

helmetnerd (905678) | about 9 years ago | (#13259118)

I see what the problem is here, but for a serious project, what's the big deal with providing your own OpenGL DLLs along with your program?

Let's get the details (4, Interesting)

Stiletto (12066) | about 9 years ago | (#13259130)

Now, now... Before we break out the pitchforks and torches, let's see exactly how MS plays this. The article is already slashdotted, so I'm going to have to do a little speculation.

If MS goes with a GL to D3D wrapper as a default implementation, but allowing vendors to write their own drop-in driver if they choose, then we get the best of both worlds.

For a small graphics device shop, maintaining a full ICD is a lot of work. If they had the option of "just do the D3D back-end and you'll get basic OpenGL functionality for free through the wrapper", the problem is solved. In this way, you actually get broader OpenGL support than you would with the current model, where anyone who wants good OpenGL support is stuck with having to implement a full ICD.

From the app writer's point of view it's also a win. Right now, as an OpenGL developer you have basically two choices: 1. Pick a PFD that goes through the graphics vendor's driver, and accept whatever coctail of driver bugs they never tested for you because you aren't Doom 3, or 2. Pick a PFD that runs your code through the dog-slow MS software path. If we had a 3. Pick a PFD that puts you in the safe but fast GL->D3D path, it would be easier and faster to bring accelerated OpenGL apps to market. I know of several OpenGL apps that purposely pick the software path because of driver bugs which wouuld immediately benefit from such a scheme.

So in conclusion, if MS is smart about this, they could keep their business focus on D3D, and broaden OpenGL support at the same time.

Linux does the same with Direct3D... (3, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | about 9 years ago | (#13259132)

Linux does exactly the same with Direct3D when you use Wine or Cedega, nothing evil in that, it just makes driver writing easier, since you only have to write one driver and not one for OpenGL and another one for Direct3d. Beside from that I doubt the 50% performance drop, while there might be a drop, most of the work is done on the GPU, so a bit translation from one API into the other should be that bad.

Time for everyone to get in a lather... (0)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | about 9 years ago | (#13259150)

Before everyone starts frothing and gnashing, please go back and read the title of the article: Vista may impact OpenGL performance. Not will impact, may impact. Vista has just now reached Beta 1. There is much that can and will change about it. Look at the other possibilities: Beta 1 could've included a full OpenGL ICD, but it could've been pulled before it reaches release, so even if this supposed layering wasn't present in Vista now, it could be later. There's just no good reason to get worked up at this point.

Now, let's get another little thing out of the way for just a moment, and that's OpenGL versus DirectX. Four or five years ago, OpenGL was the bees knees and DirectX was the red-headed stepchild. No longer. Pretty much every game released today is DirectX. There are a few notable exceptions, but they are the exceptions. OpenGL largely has itself to blame for this, for while it took ages for OpenGL to reach the 2.0 milestone, Microsoft has been radically increasing the functionality of DirectX. Game developers, knowing their largest market is the Windows platform, have gone where the money is, and Microsoft has done a lot to make DirectX very, very attractive to them, both from a financial standpoint and a performance standpoint. And while the idea of cross-platform gaming is a neat idea, I don't think too many game developers and producers lose too much sleep wondering how they're going to market to Mac OS X or Linux gamers; there are simply too few of them to matter. It's not nice to say that here, but it is the truth.

As for professional applications, typically the stronghold of OpenGL, even that has been fading. 3D Studio Max, one of the most popular 3D applications for the Windows platform, now strongly recommends you use the DirectX drivers versus OpenGL. Performance is usually better, and you get to make use of all the DirectX features implemented in hardware on gaming-derived video cards like nVidia's Quadro line. For a while, DirectX stability in these apps was dicey and OpenGL was rock solid, but even that has now been reverse. 3DS Max 7.5's OpenGL is noticeably slower and buggier than its DirectX, again a reflection of where developers are spending their development and Q&A time. Maya, Lightwave, and others are in similar positions. OpenGL won't go away, but it is slowly being marginalized. That's been going on for a while.

There's a lot of angst over what this will do the OSS platform since DirectX is solidly proprietary. Unfortunately, the answer isn't one you're going to like. Nobody, not Autodesk, not Microstation, not Adobe, not anybody in the large-scale commercial software space really gives two damns about the OSS market right now. And why should they? It represents an amazingly tiny fraction of their global market, yet would very likely consume a disproportionate amount of the overall support, troubleshooting, and Q&A resources available. That's not a winning combination for any company. Furthermore, most OSS adherents don't like paying for their software, and they certainly don't like paying $4,000-$10,000 for major OpenGL-based design packages. Thus, not only is the market tiny, it's unreceptive as well. Again, if the OSS market is wondering why no one is paying them attention, you don't have to think on it very hard to see why.

The good news here is that the OSS community can do whatever it damn well pleases with OpenGL. Don't want to follow the DirectX bandwagon? Write your own OpenGL app. Who knows? If it's done well, it might actually gain a foothold. But I sure wouldn't bet on it. I wish I could, because I'd love to see more competition in this arena, but I'm too much of a pragmatist to really have much faith in this area. Companies are going to keep using -- and paying for -- what works for them, and what works for them is what has always worked for them. Microstation shops generally stay Microstation shops. Ditto for Autodesk. Ditto ditto for Maya, Lightwave, 3DS Max, Photoshop, After Effects, and every other major commercial media app out there. OSS alternative may be available and free, but companies aren't going to convert to them just because they're free. They need to be better and free. They need to work well with all the entrenched applications. Without that, the TCO of a conversion far exceeds the cost of the commercial software, so nobody's going to do it except a few OSS diehards willing to put up with the tremendous risks, costs, and headaches associated with a platform move.

footshot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259153)

what'll happend to the CAD/Graphic Workstation Market when they've realized that Linux/FreeBSD/MAC outperforms MS Vista easily in SPECVIEW with about 50%?

And what will happend with NVIDIA's Cg?

anyway, not my beer!

Yes, it's redundant and I am new here... (1)

Jack Johnson (836341) | about 9 years ago | (#13259161)

Why oh why do the /. editors refuse to utilize Coral cahcing or similar?

poor linux ..waa ... waa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259164)

poor poor linux.
you cant do anything for youreself.
since when does ms have to support youre whiny bitch ass.

I was under the impression (3, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | about 9 years ago | (#13259173)

That graphics card/chipset manufacturers provided their own implementations of OpenGL through their drivers anyway. (That's definitely the case for NVidia-based cards at least) Therefore, this would only apply to the system default drivers, which almost no-one will be using anyway.

This is going to be a non-issue for the vast majority of people, and certainly for anyone who cares about 3D performance. Don't let that deny you an opportunity to bash "M$" though.

People, wake up! (1)

tereshchenko (715289) | about 9 years ago | (#13259187)

This is based on early beta version! Of course they will fix it by the time of final release. There are a lot of features broken so far - but they will be fixed.

No, they are not going to slow down 50% of games around, as well as they will not prevent Google Toolbar from working with IE7, will not prevent third-party desktop searches from indexing files, etc, etc, etc.

This is too paranoid even for SlashDot...

Speeding up the gamer move to Linux (1)

brennz (715237) | about 9 years ago | (#13259188)

For many years I've been perturbed, having to retain Windows hosts for my gaming needs. Though I would love to use Linux/*BSD fulltime, in the past I haven't been able to just from compatibility.

Now, it appears with Vista's pathetic OpenGL support, we are going to be forced to move.

Fortunately, WINE [] appears to be doing great things, and World of Warcraft is on the gold list. Hell, even Teamspeak has a linux client too! []

Meep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259206)

In Aero Glass mode, the desktop is running in Direct3D mode. To have OpenGL applications play well, you'll have to make them use the same API as Aero Glass does. And that works by wrapping OpenGL.

No desktop compositing with ICDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13259221)

Quoted from the thread (emphasis mine)
This information came from the OpenGL BOF held at Siggraph 2005 in LA this last Wednesday evening. This was confirmed at the BOF by NVIDIA, ATI and us (3Dlabs).

As soon as an ICD is loaded the composited desktop is turned off on Windows Vista. If you want the composited desktop Aeroglass experience, you will need to make your application go through Microsoft's OpenGL implementation, which is layered on top of DirectX. As pointed out earlier, this layering can have performance implications. Their implementation supports OpenGL version 1.4 only, without extension support.

We believe it possible to provide an ICD with full composited desktop support while adhering to the stability and security requirements in Windows Vista. But we need Microsoft's help in doing so.

Therefore, as mentioned before, please let your contact in the ISV or IHV or OEM community know how you feel about this and spread the word.

For some more information, you can browse these Microsoft Winhec slides:

"Windows Graphics Overview [WinHEC 2005; 171 KB]" e47-dfc3-4e74-92a3-088782200fe7/TWPR05007_WinHEC05 .ppt []

"Advances in Display and Composition Architecture for Windows [WinHEC 2005; 422 KB]" e47-dfc3-4e74-92a3-088782200fe7/TWPR05005_WinHEC05 .ppt []

Regards, Barthold 3Dlabs

Hmm, but isn't it this an improvement? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#13259222)

Isn't the OpenGL implementation (opengl32.dll) in current Windows versions even worse, being a software renderer?

And that's why the video card companies are currently distributing their implementations with the drivers, e.g. nVidia's nvoglnt.dll?

In Vista it'll at least be accelerated then, although more slowly than if directly working with the hardware.

Please correct me if I'm totally confused by this. :-)
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