Will not be a Windows 8 only thing
It looks like Windows 7 will get DirectX 11.1 after all. Last week a Microsoft employee told the world that DirectX 11.1 would be exclusive to Windows 8 on Microsoft's Answers Forum.
The fear was that gamers who wanted the latest graphics would have to upgrade. But there was a fear that developers might move away from DirectX 11.1 because there would be a limited audience for their software. Microsoft has since announced that there has been “some confusion” over all this. Normally this means that someone said something they should not have.
Windows 8 is to feature the full DirectX 11.1 Runtime package, including Direct3D 11.1, Direct2D, DirectWrite, DXGI 1.2 and a revised version of Windows Imaging Component. For Windows 7, parts of these features will be made available through an update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1.
The Service Pack 1 update installs several APIs for DirectX 11.1, but will support just the WDDM 1.1 drivers, and not Windows 8's WDDM 1.2 drivers. Direct3D 11 is also available, including Direct2D and DirectWrite improvements, as well as the D3D11 Feature Data D3D9 detection and WIC updates, Microsoft said.