For Now, DirectX 11.1 Will Only Be for Windows 8

Microsoft's Daniel Moth revealed a few months back that DirectX 11.1 will be a Windows 8 exclusive – at least initially. The revelation arrived by way of the Microsoft Answers forum in response to questions about using the WARP accelerator and understanding the software stack C++ AMP is built upon.

"With DirectX 11.1, WARP was enhanced with (among other things) support for DirectCompute and hence it is one of the accelerators for C++ AMP. DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7," Moth answered.

Originally DirectX 11 was eventually made available on Windows Vista too, but for now Microsoft has no plans of doing the same and bringing DirectX 11.1 to Windows 7. "Should the plan change and either DirectX 11.1 as a whole, or WARP on its own, was made available on Windows 7, then you would have this available to target from C++ AMP," he added.

According to the post, WARP is a high speed, fully conformant software rasterizer. It's a component of the DirectX graphics technology that was introduced by the Direct3D 11 runtime. Moth describes it as a component of Windows 8 that can be shipped on other platforms, but currently there are no plans to do so.

One of Microsoft's big push with Windows 8 is in the platform's gaming capabilities. The Games app brings to the user front and center seemingly everything Xbox Live gamers have enjoyed for years. Games can be purchased for either platform, and achievements can be shared with friends and family spanning simple games like Solitaire to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Making DirectX 11.1 exclusive to Windows 8 seemingly pushes PC game developers into embracing the updated platform if they want to utilize those features. Various developers have expressed their distaste for the built-in storefront, but now that we're weeks into the platform's release, there really doesn't appear to be anything to stress over. Gamers can still purchase their games from Steam, GameFly, GameStop and more as if they've never left the Windows 7 desktop.

To show what Windows 8 can do, we can only dream that Microsoft would green light a version of Halo 4 that takes advantage of DirectX 11.1 and the new Metro UI design.

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  • wanderer11
    So what will DX11.1 offer than DX11 doesn't?
  • bryonhowley
    Good I hope Microsoft keeps it that way and hopefully there will be plenty of DirectX 11.1 games to take advantage of it. There is no need to port any part of Windows 8 to a obsolete OS. As soon as Windows 8 went retail Windows 7 became obsolete.
  • freggo
    If M$ thinks that makes me upgrade some 50 business PCs to windows 8... well, guess again :-)
    If anything, it will have the opposite effect.

  • xpeh
    I have a feeling that DirectX 11.1 might be as useless an upgrade as Windows 8 is.
  • Usersname
    wanderer11So what will DX11.1 offer than DX11 doesn't?A few blades of grass for Winsheep to graze on. That and further attempts to keep developers from contemplating the use of OpenGL.
  • kingnoobe
    WoW bryon could you be any more of a fanboy.

    Give me a break win 7 is far from obsolete this is simply MS trying to shove people into updating to windows 8. Which won't work anyways, and they'll soon get enough backlash to make work for windows 7 also.

    And if they're gonna be like this I have no problems getting a windows 8 for free. Of course I don't see dx 11.1 becoming mainstream for awhile anyways, so Ill stick with a perfectly good windows and laugh at all the idiots like yourself.
  • williamjuly2003
    This does not seem like a good idea to force people to upgrade to windows 8 just because people are going crazy to upgrade.
  • williamjuly2003
    This does not seem like a good idea to force people to upgrade to windows 8 just because people aren't going crazy to upgrade.
  • ravinmachine
    Considering that most games still use the anitquated DX9 (thanks a lot consoles lol) this is a non issue. Besides if M$ was truely interested in the PC gaming scene they would have released the rest of the Halo series a long time ago for the PC. With everything lately they really don't give a rats a$$ about PC gamers other than wanting us to upgrade to Windows 8, and that's really not going to happen in any significant numbers.
  • matt_b
    I see 11.1 being as relevant as 10.1 was. If it takes that much money for an OS upgrade for that minute feature set, then Microsoft's business model from Vista and up is unnecessary. Microsoft is just trying to find the right carrot to entice resisting users to buy their upgrade, we all know that 7 and even Vista is not incapable of running 11.1 as they all run on the same underlying architecture.

    @Bryon, Windows 7 is far from irrelevant. Windows 8 is widely viewed as a sidestep and not an upgrade in any way except for their tablets and phone (what Windows 8 is obviously designed for anyway). Not to mention, most businesses will continue to run Windows 7, Vista, and even XP for several years to come as most will not touch an OS until at least SP1 comes out . When an OS does what it is designed to do and works well for the user's need (something MS lost an understanding in), then they are not apt to upgrade nor should they feel they have to for that reason alone.