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Microsoft restricts DirectX 11.1 to Windows 8

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Windows 8

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Microsoft's latest operating system behemoth copped noticeable criticism across various issues leading up to its release, with notable (opens in new tab) industry (opens in new tab) luminaries (opens in new tab) chiming in their opposition to the software's reclusive certification process and boxy exterior. Add another possible flashpoint: Neowin (opens in new tab) reports a Microsoft tech (opens in new tab) revealing DirectX 11.1's exclusivity to Windows 8 with "no plan" to retrofit Windows 7 with the latest version.

"DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7," Microsoft Principal Program Manager Lead Daniel Moth wrote. "DirectX 11 was made available for Vista, but at this point, there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7."

A quick scope of DirectX 11.1's features (opens in new tab) shows a strong emphasis on efficiency improvements over new features. The most notable addition involves the inclusion of native stereoscopic 3D support which enables DirectX 11.1 games immediate 3D capabilities (with appropriately squarish glasses) by default.

Not many games slapped a padlock on their content purely because of DirectX— Just Cause 2 and Battlefield 3 's lack of Windows XP support are the two most notable examples—so Windows 7 gamers should be in the clear for the foreseeable future. Though, Microsoft is staying silent—when questioned by Neowin on DirectX 11.1's Windows 8 exclusivity, the company sent back a simple "nothing to share."

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?