No DirectX 11.1 for Windows 7 planned?

When Windows 8 was released two weeks ago, one of the operating system's features was DirectX 11.1, the latest version of Microsoft's 3D graphics API. The company has listed all of DirectX 11.1's new features on its support page, Perhaps the highest profile difference between the new version and the older DirectX 11 is that DirectX 11.1 has native stereoscopic 3D support.

That means any PC games or applications written with DirectX 11.1 will have support for viewing the content via stereoscopic 3D glasses out of the box. Previously, stereoscopic 3D support could only be added to a game or application if you were programming with a particular graphics card in mind, such as NVIDIA's GeForce cards which support its own 3D Vision software, or AMD's Radeon cards with its HD3D technology.

There are still a lot of PC users out there with Windows 7 PCs who likely won't upgrade to Windows 8 but would still like to get DirectX 11.1. Unfortunately, it's looking like Microsoft is going to keep it as an exclusive for Windows 8, along with Windows RT and Windows Server 2012.

In a recent post on the Microsoft Answers forum, Microsoft employee Daniel Moth stated, "DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7. DirectX 11 was made available for Vista .... but at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7."

We contacted Microsoft to get an official response but a spokesperson told us, " ... we have nothing further to share."

Thanks to Winblows8 for the tip!

Source: Microsoft Answers forum | Image via Microsoft

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Fragmenting DirectX only hurts MS. Developers won't use the new 11.1 features because they want to target the largest amount of customers. Just like how lots of them are still targeting DirectX 9

Rudy said,
Fragmenting DirectX only hurts MS. Developers won't use the new 11.1 features because they want to target the largest amount of customers. Just like how lots of them are still targeting DirectX 9

Not if you understand DirectX, especially when features are not possible on Windows 7 driver model, and would offer the users nothing. Developers can write DirectX11 and augment with 11.1 features for stereoscopic content and other features for users that can run the 11.1 features.

It is silly to expect Microsoft to back port a complex driver model change back to an older OS. By the time they wasted all the work in doing this, most users will have moved to Windows 8 or bought new PCs with Windows 8, especially if they are gamers and want the extra performance that Windows 8 is squeezing out of many games.

Sem XL said,
DX10 didn't make me jump to Vista so 11.1 wont make me jump to that turd OS win8

A faster, leaner OS to the one you are running is a turd? Oh, you don't like the new Start Menu/Screen, and are going to let your ignorance keep you on a slower OS with less features. Brilliant logic.

thenetavenger said,

A faster, leaner OS to the one you are running is a turd? Oh, you don't like the new Start Menu/Screen, and are going to let your ignorance keep you on a slower OS with less features. Brilliant logic.


Windows 8 is far from leaner!

JHBrown said,

Windows 8 is far from leaner!

It's not more bloated either, so it must be about on par with Windows 7. The system requirements for both OS's would seem to reflect that.

FrozenEclipse said,

It's not more bloated either, so it must be about on par with Windows 7. The system requirements for both OS's would seem to reflect that.


Yes, because that worked well for Vista didn't it?

Mind you, since Windows 8 has removed features, it should be faster...

Windows 8 is faster and more efficient than 7, I just started encountering issues with my hardware that I had never had on Windows 7 and decided it wasn't worth it.

Though that's not really a reason to stay off it in general since that's a classic "your mileage may vary" situation.

I don't like the new app environment, mainly because it's not polished yet - but mostly because it seems like they are making a power grab with the Windows Store that is far more extreme than Internet Explorer was in the 90s and noone is batting an eyelid. I'd like to see it significantly refined, support for user side-loading of apps and for third parties to offer their own app stores for Metro. I'd go so far as to say the courts should mandate this on their desktop monopoly, maybe Valve or another vendor will complain. The iPad should probably get the same treatment for the same reason in the tablet market.

However the technically speaking rest of the OS is clearly a solid, if more minor upgrade to Windows 7.

Raa said,

Yes, because that worked well for Vista didn't it?

Mind you, since Windows 8 has removed features, it should be faster...

Personally I didn't find Vista much (if any) slower (at least after bootup) than Windows 7 after all updates were applied. 2 service packs, a Platform Update, and a Platform Update supplement later, Vista was a fine OS. Problem was, Windows 7 had already established itself and the negative rep Vista got since launch already caused irreparable damage.

Just like why DX10 wasn't available on WinXP, it comes down to OS support, specifically the driver model.

DX11.1 depends on the WDM 1.2 WDDM driver technologies. The DX11.1 platform EXPECTS these features to be implemented and running.

A portion is a part of how the DWM works different in both directions. It is full time active, meaning that on pre-DX9 video cards, the GPU Composer is software emulated. On newer GPUs, including DX10.1 and DX11, the DirectX platform is able to move out of the way, giving a faster leaner path to the GPU from games/etc.


With DirectX10, nobody at the time would 'accept' that the Video Driver model was completely new and impossible to 'strap' on to WinXP. The XPDM was not capable of providing the functionality or feature that the DirectX 10 Platform expected and NEEDED to be present, as it was handing over more scheduling and virtualization technology to the NT kernel of the OS.

The WDDM was a massive difference, as anyone that felt the early driver performance issues of Vista. It was a major shift in how Windows and even how OSes in general handed the GPU.


In order for Microsoft to support DirectX 11.1, they would have to back port the WDM 1.2 WDDM driver technology to the Windows 7 kernel. Which when that happens, it is no longer Windows 7 as the cascading dependency of other GPU related features all have to be adjusted until you end up with the Desktop only side of Windows 8. At that point, why not just spend the money for Windows 8 and ignore the freaking Modern UI that seems to driving the nuts crazy.

By moving to Windows 8, users will get the performance bump and other features, even if they don't think they would ever use the new UI. (However, as I have said before, anyone that uses it, ends up liking it and when forced to use Windows 7, find themselves missing Windows 8.)

So this is there way to force feed the crap known as Windows 8? Looking more and more like Apple! If only Linux could run the games gamers need. Microsoft would lose so many customers.

JHBrown said,
So this is there way to force feed the crap known as Windows 8? Looking more and more like Apple! If only Linux could run the games gamers need. Microsoft would lose so many customers.

Really? People are panicking over the start menu changing. You're saying theyd be fine with having almost everything else change?

McKay said,

Really? People are panicking over the start menu changing. You're saying theyd be fine with having almost everything else change?


When was the start menu mentioned in his comment?

I have Dx11.1 compliant hardware but considering the extremely slow uptake on Dx10/11 software, I don't feel the rush to upgrade to Win8 on my main machine just to get it. So my main machine will remain on Win7, however, I have updated my older laptop to Win8 and that runs very well

Hopefully Microsoft keeps DirectX 11.1 Windows 8 only and we get a good amount of games that only support DirectX 11.1! It is a great OS and there is no reason what so ever not to upgrade to it.

meh more reason for the windows 8 haters to upgrade. TBF I get the feeling people are just not upgrading due to the bad press windows 8 has got.

Windows 8 if faster, more secure and more SUPPORTED! among other things. If you don't upgrade you are a fool. Times change, software and hardware changes and so will your OS deal with it.

So, it's gonna be a complete suicide for game developers to code games in dx11.1 exclusive, unless they got a deal they can't refuse from Microsoft. Nah. Let win8 have it. I like win7 and I have yet to see any supreme benefits of them having dx11 support.

The basic reason not to upgrade to win8, is that I don't find it justified to upgrade to it so soon (yes soon!) from win7. And I am not buying another (upgrade) license for this. In a few years from now.... we'll see.

Leonard3E said,
So, it's gonna be a complete suicide for game developers to code games in dx11.1 exclusive, unless they got a deal they can't refuse from Microsoft. Nah. Let win8 have it. I like win7 and I have yet to see any supreme benefits of them having dx11 support.

The basic reason not to upgrade to win8, is that I don't find it justified to upgrade to it so soon (yes soon!) from win7. And I am not buying another (upgrade) license for this. In a few years from now.... we'll see.

It's always suicide to code exclusively in one version of directx, considering how many people are stil on WinXP.

Normally I would agree on the update thing, but Windows 8 is very cheap right now so IMO the upgrade can be justified. It will grand you access to an improved desktop environment as well as early access to the modern UI. Right now that isnt necessary but in a few months there will be plenty of applications worth having in the modern UI.

not only is it cheap now but you get media centre FREE if you upgrade and go online for a media centre key before the end of Jan 2013.

(or you can just get the media centre key you only need your e-mail address for this, make a Media Centre ISO with data.dat file that's from an activated install of media centre. This will allow he upgrade key to be used on installing the OS costing you nothing at all for Windows 8 Pro with media centre) I guess that's a tad on the illegal side though.

I don't see what the big deal is with Windows 8's exclusive DX11.1 support. Once developers start making DX11 games, they'll target as large an audience as possible. This obviously includes any OS that supports DX11 (e.g. Winodws Vista/7). Some developers may add DX11.1 features for Windows 8 users but that won't make their games incompatible with Windows Vista/7. It'll simply be a feature that can't be enabled.

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