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View Full Version : The Future of Windows Mobile Multimedia

Robert Levy
10-29-2003, 02:00 AM
Microsoft has announced today their plans to bring DirectX down to mobile devices in the next generation of Windows Mobile. First on the list of features are DirectDraw and Direct3D Mobile. This is a COM based subset of Direct3D 8 from the desktop and is designed from the ground up specifically for mobile devices. Direct3D mobile features a flexible architecture that allows work to be done in software, using graphics acceleration hardware, or a hybrid of two. And, of course, it will be accessible through both native and managed code on both Pocket PC and Smartphone. This innovation will bring Windows Mobile applications to the next level in terms of their graphical display abilities. If you find today’s Windows Mobile games to be attractive, just wait until developers and hardware manufacturers start taking advantage of Direct3D Mobile.

Also in the plans for the next version of Windows Mobile is a subset of DirectShow. DirectShow will, at long last, give developers a standardized set of APIs for accessing cameras built in to devices and doing video capture. For .NET Compact Framework developers, a new Camera class gives easy access to invoking image capturing capabilities built in to devices. A standardized camera API is something that developers have been asking for over the last few years. Currently, developers must establish close relationships with each device manufacturer and code against the unique API that each one uses. This innovation will open the door to all developers to build applications that take advantage of the camera hardware provided by all manufacturers.

Lastly on the list of multimedia plans announced today, Windows Media Player is being rearchitected to support pluggable codecs and to allow other applications to host it using a new OCX control. With this, developers can extend the capabilities of WMP by writing codecs that allow it to play additional formats or extend the functionality of it by building a new user interface around the OCX control.