With Microsoft becoming increasingly marginalized in areas like mobile media, DirectX is becoming less of a must-use toolset and more of a gaming-specific one. The other side of the coin is, of course, the increasing relevance of standards like OpenGL, OpenAL, and OpenCL: powerful cross-platform systems for graphics, audio, and parallel processing. You may remember OpenCL from its debut on the Mac in Snow Leopard, and OpenGL ES of course powers the UI on the iPad. OpenAL is still a ways from being brought under the public eye, but it’s getting there. In the meantime, OpenGL 4.0 was announced today at GDC, and clearly it has DirectX in its sights.