When Microsoft released DirectX 11 as part of Windows 7, it back-ported the API to the previous version of the OS. That may not happen with DirectX 11.1, though. Windows 8 and Windows RT both ship with the latest iteration of the API, but according to Microsoft developer Daniel Moth, "at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7." Neowin prodded Microsoft for comment, and the firm had "nothing further to share," which at least confirms Moth's assertion.
The list of Direct3D 11.1 features available on Microsoft's site doesn't include anything that really catches our eye as a must-have feature for gamers. We've been told that DirectX 11.1 will have native support for stereoscopic 3D implementations, which should make life easier for developers who would otherwise have to write separate code for Nvidia's 3D Vision and AMD's HD3D schemes. However, stereo 3D doesn't appear to be catching on with gamers despite being supported by numerous DirectX 11 titles.
DirectX 11.1 does have a few interesting tricks up its sleeve, of course. It boasts better support for graphics virtualization and has the ability to apply shader-based filters to video streams. There are provisions to conserve power, too, but nothing looks compelling enough to drive Windows 7 users into the arms of the Modern UI.
Of course, if DirectX 11.1 isn't coming to Windows 7, future revisions of the API probably won't support the OS, either. We haven't heard a peep about DirectX 12, though. It could be a while before the next major release.