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OpenGL and Microsoft's Implementation

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I'm recently new to OpenGL, and I'm quite aware that Microsoft isn't so excited about maitaining their own continuing implementations of OpenGL. However, I believe it still sticks around to keep business from going elsewhere. The problem I heard is their implementation is only up to version 1.2? Why I question that is because we're near OpenGL 2.1, so can us Windows developers have access newer versions of OpenGL on the Windows platform? I'm guessing we do because the video card has the support we need, but then how does Microsoft's implementation fit in the picture? According to a short note in the book I'm reading, it says the Silicon Graphics is no longer maintaining their own implementation, so that's why I'm confused on how we rely on Microsoft's own implementation. How many times did I say that word? Anyway, any thoughts are greatly appreciated. I've been wondering about this for some time.

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