Microsoft says DirectX 11.1 is only for Windows 8

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Microsoft says DirectX 11.1 will be a Windows 8 exclusive. Does it matter?

Over the years, new versions of DirectX have heralded new and improved features for computer games, as developers added more and more detail (eye candy) to the titles we all know and love. So there is a good chance many will be somewhat unhappy with Redmond's confirmation that the next version of DirectX (DX 11.1) will be exclusive to Windows 8.

As you may recall, Microsoft did something similar with DirectX 11 when it launched - making it exclusive to Windows 7. However, Microsoft later retrofitted the platform to work with Vista computers.

"There is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7," Microsoft's Daniel Moth recently claimed.

That means if you're still running Windows Vista, you certainly won't be able to get DirectX 11.1. Honestly, gamers who aren't running Windows 8 probably won't be missing all that much in terms of new features, as the majority appear to be relatively  minor upgrades. However, there is one key change that could be a deal breaker for some niche gamers: native stereoscopic 3-D support.

As Eurogamer notes, previous versions of DirectX forced game developers to implement 3D technology with a specific video card.

Additional DX 11. specs include: 

• Shader tracing and compiler enhancements
• Direct3D device sharing
• Check support of new Direct3D 11.1 features and formats
• Use HLSL minimum precision
• Specify user clip planes in HLSL on feature level 9 and higher
• Create larger constant buffers than a shader can access
• Use logical operations in a render target
• Force the sample count to create a rasterizer state
• Process video resources with shaders
• Extended support for shared Texture2D resources
• Change subresources with new copy options
• Discard resources and resource views
• Support a larger number of UAVs
• Bind a subrange of a constant buffer to a shader
• Retrieve the subrange of a constant buffer that is bound to a shader
• Clear all or part of a resource view
• Map SRVs of dynamic buffers with NO_OVERWRITE
• Use UAVs at every pipeline stage
• Extended support for WARP devices
• Use Direct3D in Session 0 processes