Windows 7 update brings some DX11.1 features

Last week, a Microsoft developer stated that DirectX 11.1 would remain a Windows 8-only feature. That remark was true—but, as it turns out, only partially so. According to a post on the MSDN Games for Windows and DirectX SDK blog, there’s a new patch out for Windows 7 that includes "portions" of the DirectX 11.1 runtime.

The patch is available here from Microsoft’s Support site. It’s also being rolled out as part of the Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview for Windows 7. The official release notes say this platform update "improves the features and performance" of components, including:

  • Direct2D
  • DirectWrite
  • Direct3D
  • Windows Imaging Component (WIC)
  • Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP)
  • Windows Animation Manager (WAM)
  • XPS Document API
  • H.264 Video Decoder
  • JPEG XR codec

That description is a little vague. Thankfully, the MSDN blog post offers a more thorough run-down of the changes and additions in store. Those are:

  • ID3D11Device1, ID2D1Factory1, IDWriteFactory1, IDXGIFactory2, IWICImagingFactory2, ID3DUserDefinedAnnotation and related APIs are available. Methods that depend on WDDM 1.2 drivers or new Windows Store app APIs are not supported.
  • Improved Direct3D 11 device interoperability via ID3DDeviceContextState, including the improved interop with Direct2D/DirectWrite
  • D3D11_FEATURE_DATA_D3D9_OPTIONS feature detection
  • In addition to the new Windows 8 WIC features, this update also fixes decoding of 96bpp floating-point TIFF images.

"All other features of DirectX 11.1 are Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 only," concludes the post. Notably absent from the list is version 1.2 of the Windows Display Driver Mode. According to Microsoft’s overview, that revision "includes several new enhancements that improve performance, reliability, and the overall end user experience."

For us PC gamers, one of WDDM 1.2’s most notable additions is that of a "consistent API and [Display Driver Interface] platform for Stereoscopic 3D scenarios such as gaming and video playback." Windows 8 systems with compatible stereo 3D hardware and the right drivers should be able to toggle stereo 3D right from the Screen Resolution control panel. Over time, the new stereo 3D mojo may reduce the importance of vendor-specific standards like Nvidia’s 3D Vision and AMD’s HD3D.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    Microsoft bills this update as “pre-release”, just like Internet Explorer 10.

    As much as I like testing new things, I think this time around I’ll wait for the words “pre-release” to be removed.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Wow, way to fragment that even further. It doesn’t help that DX is always being updated, but they never actually change the numbers behind it. So you never really know which version you have. The only indication is the date.

    Built in 3D support wont gain any sort of support from AMD or Nvidia if it isn’t cross OS. Their solution already is. Why would they switch something even more proprietary and niche?

    • jensend
    • 7 years ago


    Having to download ~200 updates on a fresh SP1 install is a pain, trying to slipstream is a pain, and it’s frustrating that after telling people SP2 was “under heavy development” two years ago MS is purportedly calling off SP2 entirely.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      But, SP2 would make it easier to avoid 8! We can’t have that now. Microsoft must make using 7 a pain, so that everyone moves onto the new shiny. (although it isn’t very shiny without Aero.)

        • LoneWolf15
        • 7 years ago

        For once I am modding you up as someone obviously didn’t get your sarcasm.

      • Ryu Connor
      • 7 years ago

      I hit Google and dropped in the terms “windows 7 sp2 under heavy development”.

      I got [url=<]one[/url<] hit. The rest of the hits simply reference the first article. Even they didn't get the original phrase "under heavy development" from a source of their own. Instead they pulled it from a Russian website [url=<][/url<]. A site no longer in operation. No one ever states where wzor got their claims from. In short I'd say the Internets got duped. The writing has been on the wall for a while now that SP2 would never come to be. I called that very reality [url=<]months ago[/url<]. As for updating an image. Take a look into DISM. Honestly though, I really don't expect anyone except business customers to bother with keeping an image up to date with patches. Even most of them with the resources will just leverage WSUS or SCCM instead of maintaining a monolithic image.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    DX 11.1 Feature list

    [url<][/url<] [quote<]Support a larger number of UAVs[/quote<] Some where out there, there is a Taliban reading it going "Nooooooooooooooo!!!!"

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      Silence -_- !

      I kill you O_O !

    • My Johnson
    • 7 years ago

    I’m confused. Do I still need DirectX 11.1 specific hardware to support these software enhancements?

      • yuhong
      • 7 years ago

      No, only for actual feature level 11.1 features.

    • xeridea
    • 7 years ago

    The stereo 3D being built into DX 11.1 is kind of worthless. They are only supporting it on Win8, which millions are avoiding like the plague. So its good in theory, but for the next 8 years or so game developers will still be forced to write their games for vendor specific methods.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      Devels still haven’t figured out how to use DX11 and its multi-threading abilities. I’m not holding my breath for them to figure out DX11.1’s 3D abilities.

    • mcnabney
    • 7 years ago

    Odds of compelling DX11.1 games before nex-gen consoles come out?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago


      • xeridea
      • 7 years ago

      There aren’t any DX11.1 specific features that would make a game better than vanilla DX11.

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      Odds of compelling DX11.1 games after nex-gen consoles come out?

      Same answer.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago


    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago


      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Good FP. All caps, grammar error.. You got it all

        • Glix
        • 7 years ago

        No way! The spelling is correct, SSK needs to get that looked into.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          No it’s not, he missed an apostrophe.

            • eofpi
            • 7 years ago

            That’s grammar, not spelling. Also, you and Glix have comma splices.

            • Malphas
            • 7 years ago

            Thankyou, eofpi. If you’re going to be a grammar-Nazi, at least get it right.

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