Microsoft has confirmed that DirectX 11.1, its latest-generation framework package for Windows 8, will not be making the move downstream to users on Windows 7.
Designed to enhance, rather than replace, DirectX 11, DirectX 11.1 introduces a wealth of new features including portions of the XNA framework being added in, better cooperation between Direct3D, Direct2D and DirectCompute GPU acceleration models, a new software rasteriser dubbed WARP, the performance-boosting Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.2 and a new vendor-neutral system for supporting stereoscopic displays for true-3D applications.
While it's only really the latter that affects how things appear to the end-user - and even then only if they're interested in 3D gaming but don't have a compatible Nvidia or AMD graphics chip supporting proprietary 3D display modes - it's still a worthwhile upgrade, and one of the features of Windows 8 Microsoft likes to trot out at launch events and press conferences.
It's also, it seems, going to remain a Windows 8 exclusive.
Answering a developer's question about the WARP software rasteriser, Microsoft's Daniel Moth confessed in a post
that developers wishing to use WARP will be limited to Windows 8. 'DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7,
' Moth claimed. '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.
While Moth admitted that that could change in future - 'I personally am still crossing my fingers [for a Windows 7 release], but not as tightly as I did a few months ago,
' he claimed - it looks like, for now, gamers after the latest and greatest DirectX features will be saddled with Windows 8 and all the changes that brings.