Microsoft has pulled a lot of about-turns this week, including bringing the Halo series to Steam, and now it’s just brought DirectX 12 to Windows 7 for the first time. Yesterday, Microsoft posted to its DirectX Developer Blog to confirm World of Warcraft is now running on DirectX 12 with Windows 7, a feat previously only possible on Windows 10.
World of Warcraft already had DirectX 12 support since late 2018 for those on Windows 10, but this is a huge boon to see it available for Windows 7 users also. Chiefly, DX12 adds multithreading support for World of Warcraft, delivering a substantial performance boost when compared to single-threaded frame rates.
WoW players merely need to update to latest 8.1.5 version of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth in order to take advantage of this feature. Nvidia and AMD have also said their current drivers already support this feature.
This feature isn’t exclusive to Blizzard’s MMORPG, either. Microsoft has made D3D12 runtime to Windows 7 and all developers are now free to add DirectX 12 features for users running the older OS.
“At Microsoft, we make every effort to respond to customer feedback, so when we received this feedback from Blizzard and other developers, we decided to act on it,” said Microsoft’s Jianye Lu. “Microsoft is pleased to announce that we have ported the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7. This unblocks developers who want to take full advantage of the latest improvements in D3D12 while still supporting customers on older operating systems.”
World of Warcraft players on Windows 7 with multithreaded processors will now enjoy a hefty performance boost. Microsoft has said DX12 will run faster on Windows 10 but this backward compatibility is a welcome move for sure. It’s an odd one too, considering Microsoft is planning to totally sunset Windows 7 support within the next year. Blizzard’s bean counters will doubtless be pleased though, as they’ll only need to continue maintaining a single version of WoW.
Microsoft has also said it’s working with a handful of other developers to bring a number of other D3D12 games to Windows 7.