No Thanks to Microsoft, if it wasn't for Creative having just finished working on and released a new OpenAL wrapper, a lot of people would be VERY pissed off, and for damn good reason :-
Microsoft made the (quite stupid?!) decision to remove the hardware abstraction layer on their new Vista operating system, basically meaning no DirectSound3D and EAX support in Pre-Vista game titles. Sure if you only use 2 speakers then this wouldnt effect you, but there's a HELL of a lot of us that get a big kick outta playing our games with surround sound goodness as well.
Creative's own "ALchemy Project" gets around Microsoft's audio limitations and enables hardware acceleration for DirectSound and EAX audio algorithms. Thankyou-thankyou-thankyou Creative!!
More info over at the DailyTech folks.
Creative Labs has opened up the doors to its ALchemy Project to enable hardware acceleration for DirectSound and EAX audio algorithms in Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista. The Alchemy Project is currently in its beta stages and intends to work around Microsoft's audio limitations in Windows Vista due to the removal of the Hardware Abstraction Layer, or HAL.
Microsoft's removal of the HAL removes the software layer required by digital signal processors to enable hardware acceleration for various 3D audio algorithms including DirectSound3D and EAX in pre-Vista games. Nevertheless, digital signal processors that support OpenAL can still take advantage of hardware audio acceleration.