Components needed for your Windows
What are the basic components, libraries and plug-ins needed for your system to handle multimedia tasks and run specific programs? You will find the most essential in this article.
DirectX and OpenGL
DirectX is a collection of Microsoft’s application programming interfaces (APIs) handling multimedia tasks in Windows (for example sound, video, 3D graphics). If you’ve ever played modern computer game, you probably know how important DirectX is. Since Windows Vista, DirectX is included directly in the operating system. For more information about DirectX visit Microsoft’s website.
Open-source world has its own “DirectX” called OpenGL, which is cross-platform (opposed to DirectX) API for 2D and 3D graphics.
Microsoft’s .NET Framework (also known as Dot NET) is need to run programs written specifically for it and as most new applications are built on .NET Framework, it is essential for all Windows users. Again, since Windows Vista it should be included in operating system, so you don’t have to worry about it, however for the current version visit the website.
Flash Player and Silverlight
Obviously you will need Adobe Flash Player mainly for browsing Internet. Whether you visit YouTube with tons of Flash videos, a website built as Flash presentation, want to play on-line Flash games or just simply to watch those beautifully annoying multimedia adds, you definitely need industry standard Flash Player.
Similarly there is a new technology from Microsoft called Silverlight. Works as Flash but it’s not being as widely used yet. I haven’t came across Silverlight animations and presentations anywhere else except Microsoft’s websites, so I suggest to reconsider its installation. I personally don’t have it installed and anyway, if website needs Silverlight, it will ask for the plug-in.
Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
If you are using applications or visiting websites (could be also your company’s on-line web application) written with help of Sun Microsystems’ Java programming language, you will definitely need Java Runtime Environment (JRE). It is provided free of charge (as other libraries and plug-ins in this article) and I would recommend installing it – you would be surprised how many applications need JRE to run.
We came to the end of the article and next time I will show you a great free advanced graphics editors. Yes, I will talk about Photoshop and Illustrator alternatives!