Microsoft's current plan for OpenGL on Windows Vista is to layer OpenGL over Direct3D in order to use OpenGL with a composited desktop to obtain the Aeroglass experience. If an OpenGL ICD is run - the desktop compositor will switch off - significantly degrading the user experience.
In practice this means for OpenGL under Aeroglass:
- OpenGL performance will be significantly reduced - perhaps as much as 50%
- OpenGL on Windows will be fixed at a vanilla version of OpenGL 1.4
- No extensions will be possible to expose future hardware innovations
It would be technically straightforward to provide an OpenGL ICD within the full Aeroglass experience without compromising the stability or the security of the operating system. Layering OpenGL over Direct3D is a policy more than a technical decision.
What can you do?
- Write to your preferred ISV, hardware developer or OEM and tell them to bring this up with Microsoft (e.g. 3Dlabs, ATI, Intel, Matrox, NVIDIA, HP, Dell)
- Bring this issue up on other developer and tech-related web sites. If you have a personal blog or podcast, talk about the issue there. Windows Vista might end up being a great product, but not if OpenGL is crippled
- Post your comments to this message board (please no Microsoft bashing - Just make it clear that Windows needs to stay a great platform for the OpenGL API and offer any suggestions)