Update: Apparently, AMD made 'speculative comments' regarding Windows 7 and DirectX 12. You can read the original story below.
Microsoft’s DirectX set of low-level graphics API’s has defined gaming and rendering-heavy applications in Windows ever since its introduction in Windows 95. It enabled high-performance multimedia to run on PC’s for the first time.
Every major release of Windows has since been accompanied by a new version of the API, but Microsoft has recently made it a habit of backporting DirectX to older versions of Windows. We saw this happen first when Microsoft released DX11 – once a Windows 7 exclusive – back to Windows Vista via a Service Pack. Although, back at Build 2014, Microsoft said that it would backport DX12 that will release alongside Windows 10 two generations back all the way to Windows 7. It seems those plans have since changed.
According to AMD’s Richard Huddy, who is the company’s Chief Gaming Scientist, DirectX 12 will not be coming to Windows 7. In an announcement, Huddy made during a presentation at PDXLAN, he said:
“52 percent of all people who use Microsoft operating systems these days are still using Windows 7, and that number is going up. It’s a very very popular operating system and one thing that’s not going to happen to it is DX12, DX 12 is not coming to Windows 7″.
It seems DirectX 12 will only be available to those running Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, so if the API lives up to its name, and game developers make full use of it, this may finally be reason enough for gamers to upgrade from Windows 7.
Microsoft has yet to confirm Huddy’s comments and since DirectX 12 is still a long way to completion, plans may change between now and launch day. The good news is that DX12 will still be supported by all NVIDIA Fermi-based GPUs (GeForce 600 series) and up, AMD Graphics Core Next-based GPUs (Radeon HD 7000 series) and up, and Intel Haswell IGP’s and up, so hardware compatibility is still strong.