Fahrenheit, de nieuwe über 3D API waarvan het de bedoeling is dat deze OpenGL en Direct3D versmelt, is in goede Microsoft-traditie inmiddels al met een jaar vertraagd...
Meanwhile, Microsoft is working on two other APIs, targeted at different markets. Both, once they are available, will hold out the promise of new applications and features in the graphics market.
Windows 2000 is slated to incorporate GDI+, an API that will merge the existing 2-D GDI and Direct3D formats and is expected to enhance 3-D capabilities on desktop PCs. Separately, DirectX version 7 is expected imminently and will let PC graphics chips use hardware-based transformation and lighting technology for the first time. "The reality is that if these features are not supported by [the API], they don't get used," said Dean McCarron, principal analyst for Mercury Research, in Scottsdale, Ariz. He said graphics-chip vendors are anxiously awaiting DirectX7 because implementing the transformation and lighting features will off-load much of the geometry computing tasks from the microprocessor and could dramatically improve desktop graphics performance.
[...] The Fahrenheit delay demonstrates the increasingly complex nature of advanced graphics. The project was unveiled in December 1997 as part of a broad cooperative effort between SGI and Microsoft. The duo was expected to deliver a range of low- and high-level software architectures that would merge the best of SGI's Unix-based professional-class graphics capabilities with Microsoft's growing 3-D presence for Windows-based PC games.
[...] But Microsoft and SGI are finding it more difficult than they expected to unify the Direct3D environment of Windows with the OpenGL API from the graphics giant. The two sides now believe they will not be able to deliver a single low-level API that embraces both environments until at least some time in 2001, and the first high-level tools created for use over both worlds will not be ready for use until some time next year.