The arrival of Windows Vista 's first service pack will mean something else for gamers. DirectX 10, Vista's graphics platform, will also get a kick, with the release of 10.1. But will anybody actually want a new version of something that has met with a less-than-enthusiastic response so far?

The Inquirer reports that there's an intriguing subplot to DirectX 10.1 - any existing DirectX 10 hardware won't work with the new platform. While this seems like a major problem, it actually probably won't be, since game developers are hardly adapting to DirectX 10 graphics.

Microsoft will hope to get users and developers into 10.1 by locking people into the new standard once they've upgraded to Service Pack 1, of which DirectX 10.1 is reputed to be an intrinsic part. As the Service Pack's release date nears, we could be seeing an awful lot of Automatic Updates settings being turned off.

After all, who's going to lose out as the new standard is rolled out? Those who've bought a DirectX 10.0 compatible card, of course. A tiny majority, but one that has shelled out not insignificant amounts of cash...