Microsoft Backtracks on Windows 10 DX12 Exclusivity

It looks like Microsoft is finally caving in to popular demand by implementing DirectX 12 into its Windows 7 operating system. The near decade old OS will finally support the new graphics API after Activision Blizzard reached out to the company. Yep, it’s all thanks to World of Warcraft. 

After Blizzard released its multi-threaded performance update for the game in late 2018, (patch 8.1.5 Tides of Vengeance) the company was keen to implement it for its consumers still using the Windows 7 platform. Despite the fact that Windows 7 is nearing end of life this year, Microsoft obliged, and here we are.

In a blog post Jianye Lu stated that: At Microsoft, we make every effort to respond to customer feedback, so when we received this feedback from Blizzard and other developers, we decided to act on it. Microsoft is pleased to announce that we have ported the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7. This unblocks developers who want to take full advantage of the latest improvements in D3D12 while still supporting customers on older operating systems.” You can read the full blog post here.

It’s also worth noting that whilst this is certainly a step in the right direction, DirectX12 is, for the time being at least, only being bundled with World of Warcraft, and won’t be releasing as a separate runtime for the entirety of the system. It’ll likely also require a driver update from both Nvidia and AMD to function as well.

There’s a certain irony to this given just how much Microsoft pushed DX12 as a Windows 10 only solution, but hey ho, here we are, at last, with DX12 on Windows 7. Now where’s my old Win7 Boot Key?

Zak Storey

As Associate Editor of Tom's Hardware's prestigous British division, Zak specializes in system building, case reviews and peripherals, and has a particular penchant for liquid-cooling. He's also a lover of all things Viking/Scandinavian (thus the poor attempt at a beard).