Now Microsoft is moving DirectX 12 to Windows 7, which brings great benefits to World of Warcraft gamers, but it only supports 64-bit Windows 7 with SP1 installed. But why does Microsoft make DirectX 12 Games run on Windows 7? This post will give you an answer.
DirectX 12 Games Run on Windows 7
When Microsoft introduced Windows 10, it was clear that the only operating system supporting DirectX 12's latest API was Windows 10, which forced many gamers who wanted to play DirectX 12 games to upgrade their operating system to Windows 10.
But in March of this year, Microsoft announced that World of Warcraft can use the DX12 API on Windows 7. Then why can Microsoft support DirectX 12 games run on Windows 7? Probably the main reason is China. There are a large number of people in China who like to play World of Warcraft.
At the end of last year, Blizzard added DirectX 12 to World of Warcraft on Windows 10, which greatly improved the framerate, so it is very popular among gamers.
Therefore, Microsoft said: “We have received warm welcome from the gaming community, and we continued to work with several game studios to further evaluate this work. To better support game developers at larger scales, we are publishing the following resources to allow game developers to run their DirectX 12 games on Windows 7.”
However, there are some technical differences of DX12 between Windows 7 and Windows 10. Windows 7 does not support DirectML and some fence usage modes, but supports all other features of the Windows 10 1809 update. And the D3D12 on Windows 7 uses different Present APIs.
Besides, there are some limitations to support. The DX12 only supports 64-bit Windows 7 installed SP1, because there is no PIX or D3D12 debug layer, no shared surfaces or cross-API interop, no SLI/LDA support, no D3D12 video, and no WARP support on Windows.
Why Make DX12 More Accessible?
Actually, it is very surprising that Microsoft brings DirectX 12 games to Windows 7, because Microsoft will end the support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. Therefore, this action may mean that Microsoft is trying to cater to Windows 7 gamers in this way.
According to the Stream Hardware Survey, it shows that there are 71.57% gamers using Windows 10, while there are only 20.4% gamers using 64-bit Windows 7. However, the result of this survey actually biases to Windows 10 compared to the general OS survey.
But through the data of StatCounter, the market occupied by Windows 10 has changed from 31.22% in July last year to 58.63% in July this year, which means that gamers update their operating systems faster than the mass market.
Windows 7 is still the most popular operating system in China. In China, 49.46% of gamers use Windows 7, and only 41.13% of gamers use Windows 10.
Maybe Microsoft also wants developers to adopt DX12 more widely because DX12 and Vulkan haven’t made many contributions to APIs or gaming after debut for 3 years.