This chapter has given you an overview of the history of DirectX. You have taken a look at the early days of programming for multimedia and seen how the need for faster graphics and better-quality games and multimedia helped drive the creation of DirectX.
To help you understand why Visual Basic is currently the language of choice and why DirectX is now available, this chapter has discussed the reasons multimedia and games were developed in languages besides Visual Basic for many years.
You have also briefly explored the common uses of DirectX, such as showcasing products with kiosks with information for consumers; incorporating user interaction; creating screensavers, games, and other multimedia applications; and synchronizing data.
You've also learned about the DirectX features available for multimedia development. The DirectX components enable you to incorporate 3D features with Direct3D; use the animation capabilities inherent in DirectDraw; register user input with DirectInput; add soundtracks to your application with DirectMusic; create a multiuser application with the network and modem capabilities of DirectPlay; package your DirectX application with DirectSetup; and use sound effects with DirectSound.
This chapter concludes your evaluation of DirectX from a bird's-eye view. In the next chapter, you will see how Visual Basic and DirectX work together.