If you’re a Windows 7 gamer refusing to upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft has some exciting DirectX 12 news for you. The company announced that DirectX 12 is finally making the jump from Windows 10 to Windows 7, but in a very limited manner. Working with game studio Blizzard, Microsoft is now bringing DirectX 12 support for World of Warcraft to Windows 7 users.
“Microsoft is pleased to announce that we have ported the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7,” the company stated in a short blog post. “This unblocks developers who want to take full advantage of the latest improvements in D3D12 while still supporting customers on older operating systems.”
The move was made after evaluating customer feedback, the blog post continued, and World of Warcraft will be the first title to benefit from the performance boost that DirectX 12 offers, including an increase in frame rate for even smoother gameplay. Microsoft still cautioned that performance will be better on Windows 10 than the older Windows 7, as the former has more operating system level optimizations. “Windows 10 has critical OS improvements which make modern low-level graphics APIs (including DirectX 12) run more efficiently,” Microsoft said.
To take advantage of DirectX 12 support, World of Warcraft: Battle of Azeroth users will need to download game patch 8.1.5. Additionally, the patch also delivers a number of new game enhancements, including new quests and more adventures. According to Nvidia, Windows 7 users will just need the company’s current Game Ready Driver to run the game, AnandTech reported.
Unfortunately, this means that DirectX support won’t be widely available to all titles running on Windows 7, but Microsoft claimed that it is working with “a few other game developers” to expand DirectX 12 support on the platform.
Though the addition of DirectX 12 support to Windows 7 will benefit gamers on the operating system, gamers on the platform will want to explore upgrade paths to Windows 10 in the future. Microsoft previously announced that it will end consumer support for Windows 7 in 2020. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft won’t deliver security patches for free to Windows 7, so if you’re still using the operating system at that point, you may be more exposed to new security risks. People wishing to remain on the platform can still receive updates if they’re willing to pay Microsoft a fee.