Microsoft announced back in October 2014 that its upcoming operating system Windows 10 will ship with DirectX 12. Windows 10 is expected to be released in Fall 2015, three years after the release of Microsoft's current state of the art operating system Windows 8.
DirectX is widely used, not only on Windows but also on Microsoft Xbox gaming systems and even other devices such as Sega's Dreamcast console.
Most modern games require DirectX to run even though some support other APIs as well.
While Microsoft did confirm DirectX 12 for Windows 10, it never mentioned if the new version of DirectX would also be made available to previous versions of Windows.
AMD's Chief gaming scientist Richard Huddy mentioned in November that DirectX 12 would not come to Windows 7 and while it is likely that AMD received information about compatibility with earlier versions of Windows in the past, it has not been confirmed or denied by Microsoft yet.
If you have been gaming on Windows for a while you know that this would not be the first time for Microsoft to exclude older versions of the operating system from receiving updates.
When Windows Vista came along, DirectX 10 was a Vista exclusive. This meant that XP systems were stuck with DirectX 9.
How did this turn out for new features and technologies introduced in DirectX 10? Not well. While there were a handful of games that supported DirectX 10 and even some that required it, the majority of games did not and used DirectX 9 instead.
If Microsoft ships DirectX 12 with Windows 10 and does not provide access to some or even all of its new features to older systems, it is likely that history repeats itself.
While Windows XP is being faded out and likely less of a factor in late 2015 than it is today, Windows 7 will be the operating system that is installed on the majority of PCs.
Game companies and publishers would be foolish to release games that would not run on Windows 7. This means that there will be a fallback at the very least.
Considering that it is unclear how successful Windows 10 will be, it is likely that some companies won't invest money in optimizing games for DirectX 12 unless it is a multi-platform title that is also being released on the company's Xbox system or subsidized by Microsoft.
So, the majority of games will run on Windows 7 regardless of whether Windows 7 will receive the version 12 update or not.
If things go really wrong, it could end up like it did on Windows Vista were DirectX 10 never took off.
Now You: Do you think that Microsoft will make DirectX 12 available on older Windows versions?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.