Monday, 26 November 2012

DirectX 11.1 (3D) Feature Exclusively on Windows 8

| Monday, November 26, 2012 | |

The latest upgrade to DirectX, Microsoft’s collection of APIs for gaming and multimedia programs, will be available solely to Windows 8 users. Previous versions of Windows have been excluded from this update, the chief feature of which is native support for stereoscopic 3D. So those of you who are still battling with the decision of whether or not to upgrade to Windows 8 may find this new feature to be just the reason to flip over to the other side. 

A look at the new functions that Microsoft has added to DirectX 11.1 would make it seem as though Microsoft has made this upgrade exclusive to Windows 8 as a means to make people adapt the new OS. The most significant feature added in this DirectX update is the native stereoscopic 3D support. Before this update game developers had to incorporate stereoscopic 3D support directly in the software and program it keeping specific graphics cards in mind that would be able to support it. In any case, stereoscopic 3D is a feature that most gamers don’t seem to take much advantage of. But those who want to play PC games in the future with native stereo-3D support would definitely need to upgrade to Windows 8. 

DirectX 11.1 will be compatible only with Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Server 2012. Microsoft has no plans to make DirectX 11.1 work with Windows 7 or Vista. Microsoft says that DirectX 11.1 is exclusive to Windows 8 the way DirectX 11 was to Windows 7. But while Microsoft had later made DirectX 11 available for Vista, as of now it has no plans to make DirectX 11.1 available to any other Windows versions. 

But the fact that you can get DirectX 11.1 only if you’re a Windows 8 user should not necessitate a shift to that operating system considering most games these days still continue to be based on the older DirectX 9. Although developers have started to make games for DirectX 11 that works on Windows 7 systems now, it’ll still be a long time till there will be extensive support for DirectX 11.1. Thus, there doesn’t seem to be any need to switch to Windows 8 only for the purpose of being able to use the newest DirectX update. 

However, it is possible that Microsoft doesn’t retrofit DirectX 11.1 for any older Windows versions the way it did for DirectX 11. And in that case any future updates it may have planned for DirectX would probably require multimedia users and gamers to move over to Windows 8 to access other important features. But for the present, only those of you who have to use a lot of 3D software need to worry about upgrading to Windows 8 and benefiting from the stereoscopic 3D support. 

Ultimately it depends on whether or not developers make use of the new features exclusive to DirectX 11.1 in their software. If not, then there seems to be no reason to worry about not having a DirectX 11.1 supported Windows OS.
Author's Bio: This guest post is brought to you by Chad Bauer of timewarnercable.wedocable.com, a site that offers savings and current information on time warner internet.
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