On Microsoft’s Answers forum, employee Daniel Moth reasoned that, “DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7. DirectX 11 was made available for Vista …. but at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7.”
A few things: First, for those unaware, Direct X is Microsoft’s 3D graphics API. Call it that “thing all video game graphics engines have to be optimized for to work on PCs properly”. Version 11.1 has a ton of interesting new features, but perhaps it’s most interesting one is the support for native stereoscopic 3D.
Moth’s statement is a bit odd, but considering the final line – “at this point, there is no plan” – it all makes sense: Direct X 11.1 will most likely be exclusive to Windows 8 for the time being to encourage users to upgrade.
After all, if there’s one thing Microsoft loves, it’s “timed exclusives”.
However, given how there’s currently no games that take advantage of Direct X 11.1, it remains to be seen how long it will be kept off the much more wide-spread (and loved) Windows 7 platform in order for developers to play catch up.