DirectX is a collection of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for enhancing multimedia. In the beginning, there were several multimedia APIs released by Microsoft in the name of Direct including Direct 2D, Direct 3D, DirectSound, DirectWrite, DXGI, DirectInput, DirectPlay, DirectMusic and so on. Later on Microsoft released all these APIs collection in just one package called DirectX.
Interestingly, the name Xbox also comes from DirectX as Xbox uses the technologies introduced in DirectX. Although DirectX is installed and included in all versions of Windows including Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10. The default version of DirectX is different in every version of Windows. Here’s the Windows version and its default DirectX installed version:
DirectX 2.0a (ver. 4.03) –> Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0
DirectX 5.2 (ver. 4.05) –> Windows 98, Windows CE
DirectX 6.1a (ver. 4.06.03) –> Windows 98 exclusive
DirectX 7 (ver. 4.07.00) –> Windows 2000
Direct 7.1 (ver. 4.07.01) –> Windows ME
DirectX 8.1 (ver. 4.08) –> Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
DirectX 9.0c (ver. 4.09) –> Windows XP SP2 and SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Server 2003 R2
These are only the major updates that I have listed. There were quite a few other updates and versions which were either minor or Operating System specific. If you want to know more about all the versions of DirectX, you may visit this Wikipedia page.
If you are a hardcore gamer or a multimedia enthusiast, then you will love every bit of the new versions of DirectX. If you are still using Windows XP, just update its DirectX to the latest version and see the different yourself. Same thing applies to Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
If you want to know the version of DirectX installed on your computer, just go to Run –> dxdiag
The new window will show you details about installed DirectX components in your computer.
The web installer will automatically download the right and latest version of DirectX for your Windows computer. It can also be useful in case you are having problems with the DirectX installation like missing DLLs etc. You can just download and install the setup on top of existing installation and everything will be ok. If you are still having problems, kindly let us know through comments and we will try to solve your problems.