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DirectX is a suite of application programming interfaces (API) and programming functions used to develop, manipulate and manage graphic and multimedia components in Windows-based software. It is a proprietary Microsoft framework for its suite of Windows operating systems (OS), starting with Windows 95 and through subsequent versions. DirectX includes the following sets of APIs: DirectDraw, Direct3D, DirectPlay, DirectSound and DirectMusic.
DirectX serves as the bridge between the underlying hardware and development platform and helps developers access the underlying hardware's audio and visual capabilities through pre-developed APIs. DirectX is mainly used to develop video games and multimedia applications that require enhanced interaction and automation from system hardware.
DirectX also may be used to access input/output (I/O) functions but is popularly used to create and manage graphical application components. Application creation requires the DirectX Development Kit (DDK).