Microsoft Keeping DirectX 11.1 A Windows 8 Exclusive, Won’t Offer Windows 7 Update

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News Posted: Mon, Nov 12 2012 2:03 PM

If you like keeping current with your DirectX version and happen to dislike Windows 8, you're going to be finding yourself in a bit of a bind. Despite having shipped alongside Windows 8, DirectX 11.1 hasn't been talked about too much. In fact, it wasn't until just now that I even learned of it. Being a minor version increase, however, nothing here is truly major, leading to a very confusing and disappointing choice by Microsoft: 11.1 is exclusive to Windows 8.

This comes as a bit of a shock to me, because about a week ago, I defended Microsoft in a conversation stating that it's "unlikely" that the company would come along and release a piece of integral tech and keep it exclusive to Windows 8. Little did I realize it already happened; it just took a little while for people other than game developers to learn about it.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat - DirectX 10 (Left) vs. 11 (Right)

The biggest feature 11.1 introduces is native stereoscopic 3D support. This is pretty big, because as it stands, current games that best support 3D must be designed with both NVIDIA and AMD in mind, or one over the other as has become the case many times. With native support, it means game developers can create a stereoscopic game without worrying about vendor-specific APIs.

A full features list can be found here, although it helps to be a developer if you want to understand any of it. The admission by Microsoft on 11.1's Windows 8 exclusivity took place on the Visual Studio forums where Microsoft's Daniel Moth said:

"DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7. DirectX 11 was made available for Vista (bing it), but at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7."

Even if you have no interest in anything DirectX 11.1 offers, this definitely feels like a burn. It's not as though Windows 7 is "outdated" by any stretch, and it's in fact what a lot of people would consider perfect (as far as OSes go). Couple this with the fact that Windows 7 won't be seeing a Service Pack 2, it seems likely that this is the new trend we can expect from Microsoft anytime a new Windows version is released.

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realneil replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 8:16 PM

Yes Rob, this feels like a burn.

They want to ~force~ adaptation of Win-8 by users of Win-7.

Unfortunately, this is not how to do it.

Win-8 is a PITA and this doesn't change that fact.

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CDeeter replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 9:32 PM

My lord Microsoft is starting to feel like Apple. This sucks.

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RiCoFrost replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 10:24 PM

its a $40 upgrade, whats the bet you spend way more then that on piss on the weekend.

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RWilliams replied on Mon, Nov 12 2012 10:53 PM

The cost means nothing to those who just don't like the direction Windows 8 took. I have friends who wouldn't upgrade to W8 even if they were given a free copy.

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Super Dave replied on Tue, Nov 13 2012 12:35 AM

I agree with RWilliams. I can have a free copy of W8 through MSDN but I'm gonna pass on it. Nothing about it appeals to me!

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CDeeter replied on Tue, Nov 13 2012 8:26 AM

Absolutely 0 chance of that happening, I don't drink =)

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Manduh replied on Tue, Nov 13 2012 10:53 AM

Wow, they just keep on trying to force us to make the switch..... not going to happen in this house!

By the way... a $40 "upgrade"? More like a $40 "downgrade". I don't like the looks of Win8 at all. Why would I want to use my computer like a mobile device when I can just use my mobile device. Plus, I don't like having to jump through hoops to use applications, browsers, or search providers of MY choosing. Anybody who wants even the slightest bit of freedom wouldn't make the "upgrade". IMO.

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rrplay replied on Tue, Nov 13 2012 11:40 AM

Most of the new and better improvements with Win 8 could have been included in a SP2 for Win 7,optimized kernel ,better task manager, and possibly Direct 11.1  support . when ever MS say that they have been listening to its customers   think not  ! Still think that Windows 8 is a royal PITA and def worse than Unity was, but at least there were plenty of viable choices available.

Absolutely no fun to realize the slight improvement for Direct 11.1 when some folks would rather have a better gpu or better games to play on Windows 7, than be frustrated with day in - day out task use of WinBlows 8 on the PC desktop,.

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I don't think I'll be buying windows 8 unless I'm building a really, really dumbed down HTPC.

PC Specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 x2 6400+  Cooled by a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (push-pull)
  • 2GB DDR2
  • MSI Radeon HD 6450 2GB
  • Stock Dell motherboard
  • 250Gb HDD
  • XFX Pro Core edition 650W PSU
  • Stock Dell inspiron case


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Mattos replied on Fri, Nov 16 2012 12:56 AM

So this DirectX 11.1 isn't a significant update? Then I guess it doesn't justify getting windows 8. But yeah I suppose it is a bit of a burn.

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Being a tablet usr myself, I like the look and feel of W8. It did take a small learning curve to acquaint myself with it, but now that I've had it for a couple of weeks I like it. Plus there's the same desktop you can use that you had in W7 if you don't like the Metro view.

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Nov 21 2012 8:51 PM

There's just one lesson here: OpenGL will never try to sell you a new OS.

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