DirectX is a collection of APIs that provide access to the display and audio cards of a Microsoft PC.
Using DirectX, a programme can easily determine the hardware capabilities of the machine it is operating on.
These APIs provide access to the advanced features of a PC, such as 3D graphics and high-quality music and audio effects. Software is hence able to run on any Windows-based computer with DirectX compatible hardware and drivers.
The name DirextX was coined as shorthand for the multiple APIs that make up the technology.
Originally the name of these APIs began with Direct and included things such as Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectPlay, DirectSound and more.
Why was DirectX created?
Direct3D, which is a 3D graphics API, is typically used in the development of video games for Microsoft Windows and in the Xbox consoles. It can also be used by other software applications.
The first version of DirectX was released in September 1995 as part of Windows 95, partly in response to the feeling from developers that the previous Windows OS, MS-DOS, was better for developing games on.
This version was released as the Windows Games SDK and made all versions of Windows able to incorporate high-performance multimedia.