As we all know by now, Microsoft will finally end Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020. Windows 7 was and is Microsoft’s most-loved operating system to date. As of February 2019, 33.89% of Windows users are still using Windows 7. Microsoft justifies the move by stating, “All good things must come to an end, even Windows 7. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. But you can keep the good times rolling by moving to Windows 10.”
We all know that Microsoft has been desperately trying to get users on old Windows versions to upgrade to the new Windows 10. They even gave Windows 10 free for a limited time period. However, a new feature was added to Windows 7 which completely goes against their stance on the issue.
DirectX is a software developed by Microsoft that communicates with a PC’s hardware components. It’s a collection of APIs which are designed to handle tasks which involve rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics. It enables Windows in rendering video and playing audio. DirectX is crucial in playing games on Windows.
DirectX12 was launched in 2014, exclusively for the Windows 10. This meant that users who were running old versions of Windows were stuck with the old and outdated DirectX11. But it seems that Microsoft has backtracked on keeping DirectX12 a Windows 10 exclusive.
Today Microsoft announced that they ported DirectX 12 to Windows 7 for World of Warcraft and other numerous unannounced games. This came after, Blizzard informed Microsoft that DirectX 12 was bringing framerate improvements to World of Warcraft on Windows 10. Blizzard, having a large base of players on Windows 7, asked Microsoft to port DirectX12 to Windows 7 as well. Surprisingly, Microsoft listened. DirectX Program Manager Jianye Lu stated, “At Microsoft, we make every effort to respond to customer feedback, so when we received this feedback from Blizzard and other developers, we decided to act on it,” He further went on, ” Microsoft is pleased to announce that we have ported the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7. This unblocks developers who want to take full advantage of the latest improvements in D3D12 while still supporting customers on older operating systems.”
DirectX12 is not exclusive to World of Warcraft, as Lu states, “We are currently working with a few other game developers to port their D3D12 games to Windows 7”.
However, Microsoft does also state that Windows 7 won’t be receiving all the benefits of DirectX12 as Windows 10 does. Graphics drivers should be in the works by various GPU manufacturers and should be released in the near future.
Don’t want to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10? Consider buying Microsoft’s expensive Windows 7 Extended Support. Read more about that here.