Microsoft now officially is saying that DirectX 10.1 is the integrated part of DirectX 10.1.
The new API will enable new hardware features, and according to Microsoft, Service pack 1 “Adds support for Direct3D® 10.1, an update to Direct3D 10 that extends the API to support new hardware features, enabling 3D application and game developers to make more complete and efficient use of the upcoming generations of graphics hardware.” We are sure that Nvidia doesn’t like the sound of this, as it doesn’t have a support for DirectX 10.1.
The second release candidate, dated the 13th of January, is already out and adds DirectX 10.1 support but currently, there are not many applications that can use the benefits of DirectX 10.1. We are sure that ATI’s demo team is working hard to make some.
Service Pack 1 for Vista is still scheduled for Q1, so we should see it hopefully before the last days of March. It should speed up a few things, while fixing some known bugs. You can read more at Microsoft’s TechNet here.