Some DirectX 11.1 Features Confirmed for Windows 7

Right after reports went live focusing on a Microsoft Answers Q&A about DirectX 11.1 being a Windows 8 exclusive, Chuck Walbourn from Microsoft said on the Games for Windows blog that portions of the DirectX 11.1 runtime will be made available for Windows 7 after all.

According to Walbourn, Windows 8 includes an updated 'DirectX 11.1 Runtime' that supports Direct3D 11.1, updates Direct2D and DirectWrite, DXGI 1.2, and a revision of the Windows Imaging Component (WIC).

"Portions of the 'DirectX 11.1 Runtime' are being made available on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 via the Platform Update for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (KB 2670838) included with the Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview for Windows 7," he writes. "This includes the updated components above, but is limited to WDDM 1.1 drivers on Windows 7."

According to the update notes, the patch improves the features and performance of Direct2D, DirectWrite, Direct3D, Windows Imaging Component (WIC), Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP), Windows Animation Manager (WAM), XPS Document API, H.264 Video Decoder and the JPEG XR codec.

Walbourn's blog adds more detail to the update:

* ID3D11Device1, ID2D1Factory1, IDWriteFactory1, IDXGIFactory2, IWICImagingFactory2, ID3DUserDefinedAnnotation and related APIs are available. Methods that depend on WDDM 1.2 drivers or new Windows Store app APIs are not supported.
* Improved Direct3D 11 device interoperability via ID3DDeviceContextState, including the improved interop with Direct2D/DirectWrite
* D3D11_FEATURE_DATA_D3D9_OPTIONS feature detection
* In addition to the new Windows 8 WIC features, this update also fixes decoding of 96bpp floating-point TIFF images.

For more information, read the blog here, and the platform update notes here.


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  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer
    It seems to me that this is in Microsoft's best interest, overall. I'm betting that the next Xbox will use DirectX 11.1. Any game developer that wants to release games for both the next Xbox and for PC will have to contend with the fact that Windows 7 is the most popular OS in the world (and will probably stay that way for a while).

    If the lowest common denominator between the two systems is DirectX 11.0, that's what developers will shoot for. If Microsoft wants developers to use the latest and greatest features, they'll need to back-port them.
  • mace200200
    So what exactly does this mean for people one Windows 7 in terms of installing it? Are they putting out a new version of service pack one to be downloaded from windows update, or will graphics drivers be able to include it without us doing anything else?
  • dozerman
    Sigh. What will all of the tin foil hat wearing windows8 haters have to worry about now?