Before there’s a great clamouring among the gamers that this reeks of the same tactics employed by Microsoft to convince tons of people to migrate to Windows Vista, there’s a legitimate reason why Windows 7 won’t receive the update in full. Because Windows 8 is based on a new kernel and supports ARM architectures, it was necessary to revise the code so that battery life in portable devices like the Surface RT tablets with Nvidia’s Tegra 3 would be conserved better when playing games or using apps that used DirectX calls. DirectX 11.1 adds support for graphics virtualisation, native 3D support, shader-based filters for video streams (minimising stuffer when a video is buffering) and changes to GPU utilisation to conserve battery life. Does that mean that all DirectX development on Windows 7 ends with version 11? We’ll know when the next update is due to land, but for now there are no cosmetic or performance differences between the two, just an updated feature set.
UPDATE: Hit the jump for an update, seems like all is not what it seems.
A slight change of plans regarding the update may have taken place internally in Microsoft’s labs but this was never communicated to the public. Reports from Neowin, who delved into the release notes for Internet Explorer 10. A few features that are included in DirectX 11.1 do make it to the Windows 7 platform and are only available if the WDDM 1.1 graphics drivers are used and the Release Preview of Internet Explorer 10 is downloaded. As it turns out, there are also a few performance enhancements promised in DX11.1, but Microsoft hasn’t noted whether this is for apps or games. In all accounts, both platforms run games equally well.
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