Microsoft is working away on the next-generation of Windows, code-named
Longhorn, due in 2006. The new operating system will reshape the Windows
graphics architecture, from 2D to 3D, with the Windows Graphics Foundation (WGF).
This new architecture will usher in some major changes to how 3D graphics
operations get handled by Longhorn. These WGF changes extend well beyond
Longhorn’s Avalon technology, which will render the Windows Desktop using a
GPU’s 3D graphics processing power rather than the traditional 2D blitter. The
foundation will instead define the core 3D operations themselves.

The distinction between vertex and pixel shaders will essentially go away
with Common Shader Core that will contain vertex and pixel shader operations.
Other kinds of shaders like collision detection and physics calculations may
become available in this framework. Other major changes call for the GPU to be
available to multiple applications simultaneously where an initial feature set
would be introduced in WGF 1.0, when Longhorn ships. Longhorn Display Driver
Model (LDDM) will also come along to fix blue-screens caused by the graphics
driver.

Microsoft is working away on the next-generation of Windows, code-named
Longhorn, due in 2006. The new operating system will reshape the Windows
graphics architecture, from 2D to 3D, with the Windows Graphics Foundation (WGF).
This new architecture will usher in some major changes to how 3D graphics
operations get handled by Longhorn. These WGF changes extend well beyond
Longhorn’s Avalon technology, which will render the Windows Desktop using a
GPU’s 3D graphics processing power rather than the traditional 2D blitter. The
foundation will instead define the core 3D operations themselves.

The distinction between vertex and pixel shaders will essentially go away
with Common Shader Core that will contain vertex and pixel shader operations.
Other kinds of shaders like collision detection and physics calculations may
become available in this framework. Other major changes call for the GPU to be
available to multiple applications simultaneously where an initial feature set
would be introduced in WGF 1.0, when Longhorn ships. Longhorn Display Driver
Model (LDDM) will also come along to fix blue-screens caused by the graphics
driver.