One of the bigger advantages that Windows 10 boasted over its predecessors, especially for gaming, is that it's the only version of Windows to support the new DirectX 12 runtime. The new version offers significant performance improvements thanks to better support for things such as multi-threading. Today, however, Microsoft has toned down the differences between Windows 10 and 7 by porting over parts of DirectX 12 to the older OS, despite the fact that it's set to stop being supported in less than a year.
The announcement was made in a blog post revealing that Blizzard has brought those enhancements to its World of Warcraft title starting today with update 8.1.5, after enabling DirectX 12 capabilities in Windows 10 in July last year. Microsoft says it heard the wishes of its customers and decided to port the user mode Direct3D12 (D3D12) runtime to Windows 7. Blizzard is the first company to bring this kind of improvements to its games, but Microsoft says it's working with other developers to do the same for more titles.
Customers playing World of Warcraft on Windows 7 can now enjoy improved framerates, but Microsoft defends that the best experience is still on Windows 10. This is because the new OS features a handful of optimizations that make DirectX 12 and other modern low-level APIs run even faster.
As for when you can expect more games to make use of DirectX 12 in Windows 7, Microsoft didn't provide any specifics. Now that it got the ball rolling, it shouldn't be too long before other companies start making use of the new benefits.