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Microsoft won't bring DirectX 11.1 to Windows 7

The latest flavor of the API suite that enables 3D animation and other multimedia effects remains exclusive to Windows 8 as Microsoft has no plans to port it over to Windows 7.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

Windows 8 will have sole custody of DirectX 11.1, according to a Microsoft engineer.

Responding to a question on an MSDN forum, Daniel Moth, a Microsoft program manager, broke the news that "at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7."

That same holds true for versions prior to Windows 7, leaving the new DirectX version exclusive to Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012.

DirectX is a collection of programming interfaces from Microsoft that enable 3D animation and other multimedia effects used mostly in games. Developers tap into DirectX so their applications can take full advantage of the hardware power of the PC.

DirectX 11.1 offers a variety of benefits over its predecessor. DirectX 11 was designed for Windows 7 but also made available for Vista. So there was likely an assumption among many developers that DirectX 11.1 would trickle down to Windows 7.

Microsoft could reconsider its decision, but Moth seemed less than optimistic.

"If the plan changes, you can bet we will be blogging about it (I personally am still crossing my fingers, but not as tightly as I did a few months ago)," he said.

CNET contacted Microsoft for comment and will update the story if we receive any information.