Old Dog, Old Tricks – MS Locks DirectX 11.1 To Win 8

By Alec Meer on November 12th, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

I had to sign 14 forms in triplicate before Microsoft would release this press shot

It’s been a while since Microsoft pulled the ol’ ‘oh no, this new version of DirectX couldn’t possibly work on earlier versions of Windows’ scamgasm, but as the relatively friendly age of Windows 7 is overshadowed by the dawning of the firm’s desperate desire to make Windows 8 a cross-platform goliath/software shop, an old habit has returned. The next version of DirectX might be a purely iterative one, but if you ever look a game that requires DirectX 11.1 you’ll be looking at a game that won’t run on Windows 7 or earlier.

While a similar state of affairs with DX10 and Vista raised a lot of hackles at the time, at least in that instance Vista was a pretty significant change from XP, whereas Win 8 is very much Win 7 with coloured square-shaped bits on top, so it’s going to be that much harder to swallow any claimed technical reasoning for the ringfencing of DX11.1.

11.1 sounds as though it’s predominantly efficiency improvements rather than shiny new features, but a guess that might be enough to ensure a DX11.1 game isn’t entirely easily reworked into DX11. But I must bow to the wisdom of the crowds there – if anyone has any smart theories about what 11.1’s new stuff actually means for PC games that use it, please do share them below and educate me.

The most obvious addition is native stereoscopic 3D support, which would mean DX11.1 games can do the funny glasses thing on any supporting graphics card rather than requiring separate functionality for NVIDIA and ATI. Given 3D is very much a niche element in PC gaming it doesn’t sound like any great loss – but again, the essential issue is whether a game made for DX11.1 will also include a DX11.0 mode. If not, some of us may feel forced into upgrading to an OS we don’t necessarily want (and I personally can’t stand, on a desktop PC at least) if we want to keep up with all the Shader-Joneses.

The revelation about DX11.1’s 8iness came about somewhat obliquely, in the form of an MS staffer claiming it to be so in a tech support thread. “DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7. DirectX 11 was made available for Vista, but at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7.” It’s not impossible he’s wrong, or that MS simply haven’t made Win 7 DX 11.1 yet, but it’s cause for concern for those of us who are otherwise perfectly happy with snappy, stable, familiar Win 7.

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254 Comments »

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  1. bonglord420 says:

    Our new product is awful. Perhaps we should take feedback and criticism on board and try to fix some or all of its major problems…

    …Nahhhh let’s just force people to buy it by shoehorning software exclusivity into it.

    • Slinkyboy says:

      Maybe they went with 11.1 instead of 12 to see how gamers react. If we’re pissed enough, they’ll say 11.1 is also for Win7, common sense. 12 will later be announced exclusively for 8.

      • James J. Kilroy says:

        Careful, if you start to treat Microsoft kindly they will take advantage of you.

        • Mayjori says:

          Careful, if you start to treat Microsoft kindly they will take advantage of you.

          Careful, Microsoft will take advantage of you.

          fixed it for you, no need to thank me.

    • Guvornator says:

      Hmmm, apparently not enough people were forced to buy it. Byeee, Steve, thanks for nothing… http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/nov/13/microsoft-windows-steven-sinofsky

      • Mayjori says:

        Reading between the lines it sounds like stevei might have been a voice of reason reagarding the overzealous releasing of new versions and forcing that tablet interface down desktop users throats.

    • mesk14 says:

      OH NOES! A company wants to add incentive to their new product,Internet WHINERS unite!
      Really,dont you people get tired of bitching about every little fucking thing? And the funniest thing is all your complaints and bitching is for nothing! Do something more constructive with your time

  2. povu says:

    By the time DirectX 11.1 is used in any significant way in games we’ll probably have windows 9 already.

    • Dark Nexus says:

      And by the time it’s required, we’ll likely be into Windows 10.

      • abandonhope says:

        And my axe!

      • LionsPhil says:

        I wouldn’t be entirely surprised, although it’s also a bit of a crazy theory, if they try to move to a subscription model for Windows before then.

        Which would be a mixed blessing. This problem wouldn’t exist because you’d just roll forward to the new release.

      • dsi1 says:

        But W10 is going to be shit!

      • Mayjori says:

        lets pray we have an alternative by then.
        /looks sideways at linux “NO PRESSURE DUDE!”

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Yeah tell me about it, we’re still using DX9 in 2012, about 10 years since it originally came out. Give me a break.
      I mostly blame the consoles for this though, since porting from the 360 is common. It’s a shame since 10 is much prettier.

      • The Colonel says:

        Ten bob says that Direct X 11.1 is common to both Xbox 360-2 AND Windows 8

    • bakaohki says:

      Then it will be dx11 for around five to six years again? :)

    • LintMan says:

      I wouldn’t be too sure about that: the next step is clearly for MS to release Halo 4 as “Windows 8/DirectX 11.1 only”. Along with any other games MS can leverage into doing so either via cash or their xbox live developer licensing requirements.

    • gillesv says:

      … Or Microsoft will have gone belly-up and we’re all using Steam on Linux!

      Or maybe not.

  3. ScubaMonster says:

    Well since every game I can think of is also still compitable with DirectX 9, I can’t see this being a problem. No sane game developer is going to make desktop PC games that only work on Win 8.

    • jalf says:

      That’s kind of missing the point. Sure, you can make games without DX11.1, and people obviously *will* do so.

      But would it be easier for developers to make games with DX11.1? Would their games be more robust? Would they perform better? Would it be *better* for developers and for gamers, if they were able to use DX11.1?

      The problem here is not that “ohnoes, developers will make games that no one can play now”, but rather “developers are going to be unable to use the latest and greatest tools Microsoft makes available, and will basically be stuck with 10-year-old stuff”.

      • Mattressi says:

        I really hope that’s the case. Maybe it will finally open the market up to something other than DirectX and developers will start using open-source tools (or just other tools which aren’t bloody MS or Apple exclusives).

        • Memphis-Ahn says:

          Doubt it, OpenGL is an alternative and still people choose to use DirectX (except id Software it seems). When XP phases out and the next generation of consoles rolls around everyone will just move to DX10 (if not 11), since that makes the most sense.

          • Panda Powered says:

            I bet they make their next console use Dx11.1 to screw back-porting and force win8 on PC gamers. :P

    • kyrieee says:

      I was about to say that XCOM isn’t, but turns out it is even though it doesn’t run on XP.

      • nasenbluten says:

        Well, there is a workaround to run it on XP, you need the kernel32.dll from Windows 7 and a hex editor.

      • RobinOttens says:

        XCOM was designed to also run on consoleboxes though. That’s the main reason most games these days are still using DirectX 9 right?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Just Cause 2.

      Also that weird Futuremark space 6DOF FPS thing that died on its arse (probably becuase it was Vista/7 only in an era where a serious chunk of the Steam survey was showing people still on XP [I was one of them]).

      • MrLebanon says:

        Shattered Horizon… super cool game… if you had a $3,000 pc at the time xD

      • dsi1 says:

        Shattered Horizon was amazing until the devs tossed in a bunch of weapons to try and make it like every other game on the market…

    • zaphod42 says:

      Just Cause 2, Shattered Horizon, Battlefield 3, Dirt:showdown, Medal of Honor Warfighter, NFS Most Wanted, NFS The Run, Sleeping Dogs, Sniper Elite V2, Ghost Recon, Assassin’s Creed 3, Hitman Absolution, Mechwarrior Online and War of the Roses are all Dx10 only. No Dx9 support at all.

      And there’s more.

      There’s at least one game on that list you’d probably like to play. Its an issue. Its not like “this won’t ever be a problem game developers love dx9″

      • Jandau says:

        You need to learn the difference between a game not supporting DX9 and a game not working on DX9. For instance, Mechwarrior Online works just fine on DX9. Another example would be Dishonored, which lists Vista (and hence DX10) in its minimum requirements but it works on DX9 with no problems.

        Then there are games that “require” DX10 or higher – The requirement is artificially imposed and the game itself isn’t really built around DX10. A good example would be Halo 2.

        A very small number of games really truly requires DX10 or higher, though the main reason for this is that the current console generation is holding everyone back. I don’t mind it myself, saves me the trouble of having to buy a new gaming PC…

        • Caiman says:

          Microsoft needs to be giving me reasons to upgrade to Windows 8, not skip it. Being a dick to gamers is entirely the wrong way to go about it.

          [posted in wrong place, whatever]

        • Premium User Badge

          dahauns says:

          While you still may find some “DX10+ games” that can be coerced to run under xp/dx9, graphics engines themselves increasingly start dropping dx9 capabilities/have been developed without it in mind due to the limits dx9 imposes and due to the fact that designing a game/engine with dx9 in mind can negatively influence DX10+ performance.
          Frostbite 2 and the Avalanche Engine 2 are on the forefront, followed by current versions of Codemasters’ and Ubisoft’s inhouse engines. UE4 will be DX10+ only as well AFAIK.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The one problem is that new consoles are coming out soon and the new x-box might be directX11. If that’s true we could quickly see a whole host of AAA games ready to use dx11 alone.

      • Premium User Badge

        Rikard Peterson says:

        That seems quite likely.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        End of 2013, or so the rumors say. Which means that a few developers will be working on launch titles right about now.

        • marach says:

          Ummm no you don’t need years of announcements. The Dev kits have been in the hands of Devs for a year (or more in the case of the next Xbox) infact version 3 hit 2 months ago and Dev consoles are expected to be delivered before years end/January at the latest. Expect an announcement at E3 that the Xbox will be released for that holiday season.

  4. Demon Beaver says:

    From the 11.1 feature list: “Support a larger number of UAVs”

    My guess is you’ll need DirectX 11.1 for the next COD…

  5. Kaira- says:

    Microsoft uses strong-arm tactics, the amount of surprised people includes:

    • iucounu says:

      May I steal a few lines from Patrick Nielsen Hayden? Thanks.

      “I have an inchoate, perhaps indefensible, and yet powerful sense that conversation about this whole range of issues would be improved immeasurably if we could all just fucking stop one-upping one another over what is and isn’t legitimately surprising.

      “There are things that amaze me because I didn’t expect them; there are things I’ve known for a long time and which mostly inspire in me a tired sense of yes yes yes, that again, yes. This is almost certainly true for you as well, but you know something? They’re different things.

      “If we spend our goddamn lives sneering at one another over whether we were angered or amazed or appalled at exactly the right time or not, we’ll have wasted our goddamn lives. So stop it. Do we want to trade knowledge and understanding, or do we prefer to spend our time on this earth looking for chances to lord it over others based on others’ moments of naivete or ignorance? I assure you, we’re all naive and ignorant about a lot more than our precious self-images, at any given moment on any given day, would like to admit. The chances for one-upmanship are never-ending. But ask yourself: Is that kind of thing what you want out of your one and only life? Is it what you want at the end of all things?”

      (Sorry, it’s a trope that annoys me.)

      http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/012733.html#505529

      • LintMan says:

        I think it’s extremely rare for any “sneering” or similar sentiment to be directed at the other people in the conversation (which is what I assume PNH is talking about, rather than the object of surprise or lack thereof) when someone says “no one is surprised” or things along those lines – particularly when it’s not in reaction to someone else expressing surprise..

        As Kaira used it here, this is just an expression of cynicism or pessimism about the situation – it has little nothing to do with “one-upping” or sneering at tthe other commenters. I thought it was pretty funny.

        • diamondmx says:

          Yes, I would translate the OP’s remark here as “Not this shit again, Microsoft…stop doing this!”

      • Dozer says:

        Related. XKCD on “why didn’t you know that already?”
        http://xkcd.com/1053/

  6. DigitalSignalX says:

    Sweet. Now I can combine my distaste of all things 3D & Microsoft’s business practices at the same time, further cementing my lack of desire to upgrade.

  7. pupsikaso says:

    DX10 didn’t force anyone to buy Vista just for a handful of games that made full use of it. DX9 was used all the way through to Win7 and ist STILL in use even now by most games (especially console ports).

    It’s gonna be the same story with DX11.1 and Win8. Win8 is going to be skipped by the majority of people just like Vista and Microsoft will not learn from it again.

    • PopeJamal says:

      That will be all well and good until Xbox 720 (or whatever they plan to call it) comes out and, OH, LOOK HERE! It says that Xbox 720 development will be done EXCLUSIVELY in DX 11.1.

      Where does that leave you, when 90% of the so-called “AAA” game market is developing on DX11.1?

      That means your “Battlefield 15″ and “COD 25″ and “Indie Darling: Coded for Xbox Live Arcade” will be easy to port to Win 8, and not so easy to port to Win 7, Android, iOS, and Sony’s box (if they don’t go bankrupt).

      Everything is fine. Welcome to the bold new future!

      • SuicideKing says:

        Good point, actually. But if i remember the leaked spec sheet, it said fully compatible with Direct3D11, so DX11 support should be a given.

        Plus the GPU they’re supposedly using a current gen Radeon (7000-series) GPU, which may not be able to support (most probably wont) anything beyond DX11, i don’t think it’s a problem.

        Think of this like DX10.1. How many of you’ve even heard about it? Yet it exists, some GPUs have up till DX10.1 supported.

      • Archonsod says:

        “Where does that leave you, when 90% of the so-called “AAA” game market is developing on DX11.1?”

        Playing games I actually like.

      • mrmalodor says:

        “Where does that leave you, when 90% of the so-called “AAA” game market is developing on DX11.1?”

        Yeah, like that’ll happen any time in the next 5-8 years.

    • Premium User Badge

      Continuity says:

      DX10 did force me to buy windows 7 when I was perfectly happy with XP, so the principle holds. This tactic of only updating Directx on the latest OS does eventually force gamers to “upgrade”, and in the same way I expect to be forced to “upgrade” from windows 7 at somepoint, purely because of DX exclusivity.

      Embracing Directx over OpenGL was the biggest technical mistake the gaming industry ever made.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Win 7 had DX11, so that kind of made it a bigger jump than DX10/Vista

        • Premium User Badge

          Continuity says:

          Yes but it was DX10 compatibility that forced me to upgrade… I’m not talking “ahw ma gawd its haz bigger numberxz!!11!!” I’m talking these games x, y, x slimly won’t run with out at least DX10. I couldn’t give 2 shits about DX11, or graphics in general for that matter, but I object to being unable to play a game that I have decided on getting.

          • Miltrivd says:

            With a bit of luck, the strong-arm effort of DirectX + Windows Store (and all the incoming platform enclosing) will be enough of a push to breath new life into OpenGL and Linux distros (more drivers, more basic user friendly). I’m hoping really hard here, because the future doesn’t look pretty.

      • Premium User Badge

        Joshua says:

        DX10 was not vista exclusive out of principle, but part of a complete rewrite of how Windows handles hardware (this is the reason Vista had such a bad launch: All the drivers had to be rewritten)). DX9 on Vista and Win7 is actually done trough the built in support DX10 has for DX9.

        Mabye there aren’t that many visual changes, but under the hood, the entirety of DirectX was rewritten spefically for Windows Vista. This is why it is impossible to port it back into WinXP – It is not part of any selling tactic.

        Dunno ’bout DX11 though.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          this isn’t even that though… Win8’s exclusivity is the extra .1 in DirectX 11.1, rather than a full jump from 9 to 10, or 10 to 11.

          Of course, even a machine on XP, with DirectX 9 probably has a backlog of Steam games

          • Solidstate89 says:

            “this isn’t even that though”

            Actually, it is. It is exactly that. If 11.1 ever does get back ported to Windows 7 it’ll be at great expense at Microsoft’s part as they would have to completely backport the kernel changes, as well as the changes made in WDDM 1.2 and DXGI 1.2. Technically feasible, but not at all easy. And not something I’d expect a company to do. Even in the Linux world is’t not exactly common to see features back-ported to an older kernel version. It happens, but it’s not common.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Well, they bothered for Vista; it got DX11, despite WDDM changes between it and 7.

            How much effort that was relative to how much the 7/8 transtion is is not really something I expect any of us can make a particularly informed guess at. Also MS might have been trying extra-hard to appease disgruntled Vista early-adopters in that instance.

          • Stromko says:

            Or you know, they could have patched DX11 to DX11.1, which was probably the plan before marketing got involved. Microsoft made all the products involved here, Windows 7, Windows 8, DirectX11 and DX11.1, they can be reasonably expected to want to support compatibility if they saw their customers as anything but a revenue stream.

            It’s not unusual to see customers as anything but a revenue stream to be exploited in every possible manner, but corporations are people now and you’d expect people to not be incredible assholes or you just wouldn’t do business with them.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            But there really wasn’t any difference in WDDM between Windows 7 and Vista. The differences between 7 and 8 are greater than that. Nowhere even close to the differences between XP and Vista, but still far more than what was different between Vista and 7. WDDM 1.2 and DXGI 1.2 are hardly any upgrade for gaming, but everything else it’s quite a significant difference despite just being a .2 upgrade.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Interestingly, 7 just got a new version of the kernel driver framework this week. Not necessarily related at all, mind.

      • Ragnar says:

        There’s an 8 year gap between Win XP and Win 7. I don’t mind upgrading my OS every 8 years or so, and Win 7 brought with it numerous enhancements that I now rather enjoy, and prefer not to be without.

        Win 7 to Win 8 is a 3 year gap, and the only enhancement is an app store that I couldn’t care about. I’m perfectly happy waiting it out until Win 9, and then evaluating my options.

  8. QSpec says:

    And Steam is picking up the Linux flag just in time.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      I’ve been messing with the Steam beta and it’s working pretty dang well thus far. Eager to see what games get added to the store over the next few months.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      and we can hopefully look forward to an upswing in OpenGL. If you throw in mobile platforms, there’s quite a few DirectX-less platforms out there now.

    • fish99 says:

      Just in time? You know how long it will be before my whole steam library works on Linux, and that’s not to mention all the other software I use.

    • varangian says:

      And this kind of thing is probably exactly why they’re having a serious go at Linux. MS fragmenting the code base purely for their own commercial interest does Valve and other developers no good whatsoever. My guess is they’ll start by supporting existing distros of Linux but in time you might see them coming up with their own distro optimised for gaming.

  9. Jraptor59 says:

    It could backfire on them too. The game manufacturers don’t HAVE to make games 11.1 compatible…

    • Demon Beaver says:

      Is it safe to assume that Windows 8 is backwards compatible with DirectX 9? They might not see much use of 11.1’s new features but they won’t scare away people from Win 8 with the threat of their games not working.

      • Stromko says:

        They won’t say it, but every version of Windows has broken compatibility with older (and not so old) programs, and Windows 8 won’t be different. It doesn’t come with a start menu, that’s how focused they are on pleasing their existing customers.

        • Dozer says:

          Actually, that’s not true. Windows 95 has a built-in SimCity mode to allow SimCity (the first one) to run, despite a bug with SimCity which coincidentally did not manifest in DOS or Windows 3.1. Microsoft discovered SimCity didn’t work during Win95’s beta testing, dissembled the SimCity binaries, discovered the bug in SimCity’s code, and added a special mode to Win95 to prevent SimCity’s bug from making it crash.

          Microsoft were enormously committed to backwards compatibility until some time within the last 10 years, where they seem to have adopted the Apple philosophy of carelessly breaking software with OS upgrades, showing no mercy to the enterprising developers who discovered undocumented shortcuts.

          No idea what their philosophy is now though. I upgraded this month from 32-bit XP to 32-bit Vista, I’m a bit behind the times.

          • Loiosh says:

            If you’re curious, this is called a compatibility shim. Microsoft has been doing this for years with new Windows releases where a large number of programs (and games) are investigated and shims are created and dynamically inserted to fix compatibility issues.

    • Mattressi says:

      I really hope that no developers (or publishers forcing developers) are dumb enough to make their game DX11.1 (or DX12) only. I only recently upgraded from XP to Windows 7 and I honestly see no difference between DX9 and DX10/11 modes, now that I can use the DX10/11 modes in games. No significant performance increase or decrease and little to no (usually just ‘no’) change in visuals. I’ve finally got Just Cause 2 and I can’t see anything about it which would require DX10/11.

      Ideally, I’d love to see DX done away with completely. Hopefully Steam for Linux will lead the way into a gaming future which doesn’t require us to pander to companies like MS, just so we can play a game (though, I just don’t pander and simply ignore the game until I eventually end up upgrading).

      • Ginga121 says:

        If you see little to no difference in Visuals between DX9 and DX11 you clearly aren’t playing games that make proper use of DX11. Either that or you don’t have a computer powerful enough to turn the settings relative to DX11 up high enough

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          Between DX9 and 10, I agree. See Assassin’s Creed 1 vs 2.
          But 11 is not much better, and most games don’t even use it.

          • Stromko says:

            Assassin’s Creed 2 is a sequel to Assassin’s Creed 1, so it has more graphics.

            Okay that’s a little facetious, but it probably has a lot more to do with the differences between them.

            I haven’t noticed anything looking prettier since switching from XP to Windows 7, myself. I know I had to double my memory to get the same general performance, and even after that I couldn’t get any benchmarks that showed an improvement of performance on my DX11-compatible card when I upgraded.

        • Mattressi says:

          I tend to play at the highest settings, but, admittedly, I always turn off all forms of horrible blur filters (DoF, motion sickness…er… blur, and sometimes have to turn off post processing entirely because they’re all tied to it). If DX11 mostly alters all the crap which adds blurriness to the game, perhaps that’s why.

          Can you name any particular feature I should be looking for? God rays, SSAO, and other “advanced” features that some games (Crysis, Stalker CoP) disabled for non-DX9 users were all able to be utilised when people simply “hacked” the games. The only thing I can think of that DX9 doesn’t have is tessellation, but I’ve never understood what it is, just that it makes no visual difference for me. Also, while poorly worded, my original post was meant to be talking about why DX10/11 would be required, rather than simply an option. As I said, JC2 doesn’t seem graphically different (except for the ocean simulation, which is a very small part of the game) to any other modern game that I’ve played. Certainly nothing pops out at me and makes me say “oh, that’s why they couldn’t use DX9″. But I’m no game dev/publisher, so maybe it’s easier to not support DX9 or you get nice subsidies from MS if you don’t?

      • Ruffian says:

        Alot of ports? Cause I doubt it would make a ton of difference in games of the like that aren’t optimized for pc specifically.

  10. Cytrom says:

    Microsoft using dirty tricks to force people to upgrade… business as usual. I see no news here.

  11. GSGregory says:

    Maybe if microsoft wasn’t willing to do anything to sell their shitty product? This simply tells me they don’t even believe people will want their product unless they force them to upgrade. Most likely though someone will figure out how to hack dx 11.1 onto win 7. On another note dx 11 games have been going up lately.

  12. chewbaccasdad says:

    With all due respect, eat a shit sandwich, Microsoft.

    • zaphod42 says:

      They really are just the worst aren’t they? How can somebody abuse their customers so much, be so hostile, and yet continue to profit?

      Oh yeah, state sponsored monopoly and strong arm abusive tactics.

      Well, that won’t last.

      Fuck you, MS. Steam is on Linux now, I don’t need you anymore.

      • Premium User Badge

        darkChozo says:

        State sponsored monopoly? Lolwut? Microsoft has a sordid history of being investigated for anti-competitive practices, including from its home country (the USA, aka the country that gets tax money when Microsoft does well), and arguably in several of those cases the investigations were ill-conceived and unnecessary (oh no M$ is forcing a key feature of a modern OS on us what will we do) [to preempt the inevitable gotcha, I’m only referring to the media player and browser issues, not the other ones].

        Feel free to dislike Microsoft, particularly when they do stuff like this, but a baseless claim is a baseless claim.

        • Kaira- says:

          Public offices use MS Windows and by extension, usually file formats which are proprietary or contain proprietary extensions (see: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) and thus don’t work correctly on other platforms, which creates dependency on MS. Ta-dah, we have a devious cycle, and the only winner is MS.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            That’s… dubious at best. I assume you’re mostly speaking about OOXML, which, AFAIK, is an open (albeit proprietary) format that all modern office tools can work with. The translation is never perfect, but the same could be said of any filetypes of the same class. And while most public offices do use Office and Microsoft tools in general, it’s trivial to argue that that’s the de facto tool for word/whatever processing. More importantly, I’ve found that the majority of government services accept PDF as a document format for submitting forms and such, which is open and platform-independent. In the US, at least, there’s actually quite a bit of regulation in this regard, which is why there’s usually options.

          • wu wei says:

            OOXML, which, AFAIK, is an open (albeit proprietary) format that all modern office tools can work with. The translation is never perfect […]

            That’s putting it somewhat politely. Large sections of the “open” format are things like “store this date in Excel 2.0 format”, with no explanation of what that is without looking at how Excel 2.0 implemented it. Requiring access to proprietary code in order to implement a document format is the complete opposite of “open”.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Do you have a source for that? I’m genuinely curious, from what little research I’ve done (I wasn’t kidding about AFAIK) the main criticisms of OOXML are that it’s overly complex, that it conflicted with an existing ISO standard (ODF), and that the approval process was extremely shady. While none of those are particularly nice, they also don’t have much impact on the openness of the standard (well, you could make an argument for the complexity obfuscating the source, but that’s orders of magnitude less blatant that depending on proprietary code).

            I rather doubt that anything as referring to secret Excel standards would have done anything less than cause an uproar, and considering that Wikipedia makes no mention of such an issue (considering WP’s userbase…), it’s a rather suspect claim.

        • El_Emmental says:

          hu hu, the amount of stuff Microsoft can get away with thanks to the US… If it was a korean company… :V and look at these fines from the European Court

      • Mr.Bats says:

        I find Apple worse

        • LionsPhil says:

          Apple, this past decade or so, have been trying hard to outdo Microsoft’s ’90s era for sheer malevolence.

          That being the Microsoft era of “no, OEMs, if you offer other operating systems, we will charge you more for Windows” and “here, users, have this free, preinstalled browser, rather than bothering with that Netscape thing”.

          • Brun says:

            “here, users, have this free, preinstalled browser, rather than bothering with that Netscape thing”

            Given that a web browser is an essential part of any modern OS I don’t find that building it in is particularly malevolent. All smartphone OSes do it, yet no one complains. Malevolent would be locking the OS down to prohibit the installation of other browsers, or voiding your support warranty if you installed other browsers. Such actions would have (rightly) run afoul of anti-trust regulators. As it stands though, the actions against Microsoft over Internet Explorer were pretty baseless.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Bloody youngsters.

            Ah, an edit. Right, so if you know I’m talking about behaviour from the 90s, just to emphasise this again, why exactly are you comparing against smartphones?

          • mouton says:

            At least Apple is much more optional.

          • Mr.Bats says:

            Someone said “Apple once was the Republic and then all of a sudden it became the Empire” I find it suitable

          • Brun says:

            Bloody youngsters.

            That is an unsatisfactory answer. Still seems frivolous, at least in hindsight.

            just to emphasise this again, why exactly are you comparing against smartphones?

            I’m pointing out that ALL smartphone OSes do something today over which Microsoft was taken to antitrust court 10 years ago (an established legal precedent), yet I don’t see Apple or Google getting hauled in front of the DOJ because Safari and “Browser” are pre-installed on iOS and Android, respectively. Everyone hates on Microsoft and uses US/EU v. Microsoft as examples of their shady dealings, and usually highlight the IE debacle. But when you think about it, everyone else just kept on doing what they did, but only Microsoft got screwed.

            I’m not trying to shill for MS here, everyone knows they’re shady – but if you think that the IE and WMP issues are great examples of their shadiness, then Apple and Google (for starters) need to go down on the same ship as MS.

          • LionsPhil says:

            …and you did see the bit where I said Apple today are trying to do a Microsoft from the ’90s, right?

            As it happens, the browser bundling has become less of an issue, if only because it’s become leapfrogged by bigger sins (as well as the growth of the web such that an OS without one seems as crippled as one without a filer). Apple’s licensing terms mean that you can’t even have a meaningfully competing browser on iOS: see Firefox, for example. (And, yes, Windows Mobile is in that list of shame too.)

          • Solidstate89 says:

            Not Windows Mobile; Windows Phone. And yes, despite the similar names there is a big difference. Windows Mobile (and I believe even as far back as PocketPC) allowed meaningfully different third party browsers.

  13. rustybroomhandle says:

    Realistically this won’t likely impact anyone’s life significantly. But that’s secondary to what this shows (again) Microsoft thinks of their customers.

  14. Slinkyboy says:

    Fuck M$. Nuff sed.

    Also Steam better do something about this. Newell do something…

  15. Nameless1 says:

    What a bunch of clowns

  16. Vinraith says:

    There’s literally nothing about Windows 8 that makes me think I’ll ever “upgrade” to it. If that means I can’t play a few games made by developers sad or desperate enough to take MS’s bribes, I tend to think I’m not missing much anyway. Here’s hoping Windows 9 is to 8 as 7 was to Vista.

    • neolith says:

      Stunts like that didn’t make me buy Vista, they’ll not make me buy Win8 either. I can live with not being able to play the next Halo or Shadowrun or whatever sad excuse for a game MS brings out for it.

  17. SuicideKing says:

    Well, i believe there is a way to run DX11 on Vista (because Vista and 7 have, like Win 8, the Windows NT 6 kernel) so i think the same should apply here. Maybe once a few years have passed there’ll be a way.

    Either way, seeing that till now, whichever game uses DX11 also supports DX10 (iirc DX11 wasn’t as big a change from DX10 as 10 was from 9.0c), i think any game using DX11.1 WILL use DX11 too. Which is probably why it’s a minor version increment and it’s not called DX12.

    Anyhoo, So far there isn’t a DX11 exclusive i know of, this with Vista being a flop and 7 out since 2009. A lot of games still use DX9.0c exclusively, and most support it. So i don’t think there’s anything to worry about unless Windows NT 7 (and Windows 9) does something magical for gaming.

    Couldn’t really understand too much of the stuff on that MSDN page though, i’m no game designer :P

    p.s. for a comparison of Win 7 vs Win 8 gaming performance, check out:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-8-gaming-performance,3331.html

  18. McDan says:

    This is why I love RPS, that opening paragraph, picture and alt-text made me spray water across my unniversity library. Excellent.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      RPS is not an excuse to set off the sprinkler system.

      • Droopy The Dog says:

        Might just be a very small library, times are tough in some uni’s.

  19. phobon says:

    There’s one point many people don’t seem to understand: The target audience of any new DirectX version is not the gamers, but developers.
    Considering the typical development time of a modern graphics-engine, nobody (including MS, I guess) is expecting a DX11.1 exclusive title for at least a few years. It’s basically an investment in programmer productivity which won’t affect us users for a long time now. On the other hand, it seriously improves the situation for engine developers (and probably the OS-developers at Microsoft as well as driver developers etc.). This leads to better, more stable code and therefore more features in FUTURE engines. In my opinion, at least the jump from DX9 to 10 and 11 was a giant improvement and I’m really glad I don’t have to hassle with the DX9-interface any more. I have not checked out Dx11.1 professionally yet, though.

    So unless you’re actually writing Direct3D-code, please wait until the first exclusive title actually exists before whining about an API most people wouldn’t know how to use anyway.

    • GSGregory says:

      That would be all well and good if they weren’t locking it to windows 8. There is no technical reason or windows 7 limitation to do this just like there was no real reason to lock xp out .10 and 11 can be used on xp and a .1 update to 11 sure as hell would be compatible with windows 7.

      The issue has nothing to do with the technical aspects of 11.1 or the benefits but the method of delivering it to customers.

      • phobon says:

        I can’t really comment on the DX11.1 situation, but for DX9 to DX10 there WAS a technical reason, namely the completely new display-driver model. The new (virtual) memory model alone would have been almost impossible to port to the old drivers, for example.

        Again, I don’t know if there’s a similarly good reason this time. But I think we should worry about that when it’s starting to affect us, at which time it probably won’t be an issue anymore. (We’ll all be running Windows 10 or SteamOS by then, anyways ;) )

      • Premium User Badge

        Joshua says:

        Ehrm, DX10 and 11 can NOT be run on Windows XP. All that “upgrade” does is change the DX version number – actual games do not work with it.

      • Solidstate89 says:

        Look up WDDM and tell me with a straight face there was no reason XP couldn’t have gotten Direct X 10 – because you’re insane if you think otherwise.

        XP is an arachaic operating system using principles from the last era in computing. Before GPU HWA began taking foot, before sandboxing, before application level permission environments finally crossed over from the *NIX world into the NT world (your hated UAC? Basically a Microsoft implementation of UNIX admin security rights). So don’t just proclaim with absolute belief what is in actuality complete false.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Well, XP had the UNIX security model. Run as non-admin, then use “Run as…” to get root when needed.

          And it kind of sucked, not least because so many application developers just can’t let go of DOS.

          UAC and the compatability code around it is a damn sight subtler and bends over backwards to not let that hit the user. The whole VirtualStore thing in particular is a pretty damn impressive effort to let apps think they’re still running in a Win95 world without actually letting them scribble all over the system, or even each-other. fakeroot eat your heart out.

          If you truly want archaic, look to Linux, with its monolithic kernel, fragile graphics stack, and POSIX encumberance.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            Microsoft likes to claim that NT is a hybrid-kernel, but let’s face, it’s a monolithic as well.

          • iniudan says:

            Microsoft has a history of poor file management security or poor implementation of them, so don’t come telling Unix security system is bad. NTFS file system right management security might be on level with Unix now, but their file system integrity, until windows server 2012 with their release of ReFS, had been lagging way behind, but still doesn’t correct that their NTFS right management tool are just bad (not that you cannot manage properly with them, but find them too prone to miss management by idiot, compared to Unix tool, but I might be biased on this one, since idiot I worked on Unix usually had hard time to just get thing working properly) on top of having to deal with legacy FAT right (extremely easy to deal with, but what a annoying waste a time setting when dealing with file sharing), hopefully those two are finally corrected in windows 8 and windows server 2012.

            Don’t get me started on GPO, which is a convulated nightmare of legacy right.

            Add on top some predefined group that actually don’t do what they are suppose to, without manually configuring, wtf make a predefined remote desktop users group, in their OS, without giving policy right to use it, to the group by default… ho yay… it Microsoft, thankfully they corrected that in their latest generation.

  20. Grey Ganado says:

    I lived three years without DirectX 10, I can live just as long without 11.1.

  21. august says:

    Allow me to offer a cotraversial opinion: WIndows 8 is fine.

  22. Strutter says:

    Still waiting on that Steam OS.

  23. MadTinkerer says:

    Ahahahahaha. That’s just great. de-incentivise me from upgrading to Win 8 by cutting off access to DX11 games until I buy Win8.

    My solution: Well if these games won’t work with my current OS, then I don’t need to buy them. And if I don’t have them, I don’t need Win 8.

    Dear Microsoft,

    There are a fuckzillion games out there now that don’t require Win 8. Most of the best that will require hardware upgrades will use OpenGL anyway. And I’m seriously considering Linux over Win 8 for my next desktop.

    Me. Considering Linux. Over Win 8. Me.

    That’s how ridiculous the situation is that you have made with your pig-headed stubbornness.

    Seeing as this is Vista-all-over-again-but-even-worse, I look forward to buying Win 8 in 2020. At the earliest.

    Sincerely,
    The Mad Tinkerer

  24. yojimbojango says:

    Not to be contrary, but they did rewrite a large chunk of their graphics systems in win8, and they also control the DX standard. It could be that they just saw a bunch of stuff that could be done faster with their shiny new graphics system if they did it slightly differently. Since they own DX they pushed some of that low hanging fruit into a minor point release of DX11.

    It’s not even that uncommon to think that DX12 would standardize these optimizations and push them to windows 7 whenever DX12 is ready.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Or maybe it’s just Microsoft being exactly as they have always been?

    • LintMan says:

      It’s not even that uncommon to think that DX12 would standardize these optimizations and push them to windows 7 whenever DX12 is ready.

      Just like MS pushed DX11 to Windows XP, right? Or wait, no they didn’t.

      Microsoft could have put DX10 on XP, just like they can certainly put DX11.1 on Win7. The only reason they don’t is to leverage people into moving to Win8. MS has a long history of doing this to drive further software sales.

  25. S Jay says:

    I am using Windows 8 on desktop.

    The first day was really strange. Now I don’t see any difference (this includes only using the tiles-metro-whatever interface as a glorified start menu).

    The only advantage I perceived is the faster boot time. Which is really fast.

    • Meusli says:

      Surely Windows 7 was as fast until all the updates etc were applied? I am also sure after a service pack or two the Win8 operating system will be slowed down to windows 7 levels.

      • marach says:

        I fresh installed both on this machine and win8 is a good 7-10 seconds faster on boot on one test it was 20 seconds faster!

        • acu says:

          ’cause Windows 8 does not a “full” shutdown like windows 7. It basically performs a logout and then hibernates.

  26. Didden says:

    Got windows 8 on. Love the performance. Got used to the new interface. Love all the ‘We don’t like change’ whiners. lol.

    • GSGregory says:

      Change is not the problem. A pos like vista is. I don’t want tablet interfaces. I don’t want a windows store built in. I don’t want another more dumbed down os that makes it harder for people with a brain to use it. Maybe if the main changes they made were improvements and not going past apple in terms of closed shittyness their wouldn’t be this issue. Win 8 seems more like a upgrade from vista and its failures than anything.

      And all in all if win 8 was so good they would not need to lock things to it to eventually force people over to it.

      • Brun says:

        This. Change is fine, as long as it’s the right kind of change.

      • S Jay says:

        Why the comparison with Vista?

        I am looking at it now, it is exactly the same as Windows 7 (I am using the desktop) without the start menu (which became the tiles thing). Even the control panel is the same.

        I don’t refute the other arguments, since I have no clue about DX 11 or 11.1 or whatever.

        • GSGregory says:

          The addition of features that are a step backwards. GFWL was the whole vista thing… now that more or less gets built in as the windows store. AkA features that are not beneficial to the use and hamper or get in the way of actually using the os. Vista came with all the fun new security features you had to disable. Windows 8 comes with a tablet interface that has no place on a desktop. I view these things as a step backwards in usability.

          • S Jay says:

            Hm… not sure this qualifies Windows 8 as “Vista”. The online store is clearly a bad (purely money related) move a la iTunes Store, but vista was a bad OS overall. Windows 8 is… well… Windows 7.

            But one thing I agree: no reason to update from 7 to 8, besides the faster startup (which is not even that bad in Windows 7). Anyways, I am happy with Windows 8 as much as I was with 7.

      • Premium User Badge

        melnificent says:

        Right click > Unpin from start….. store gone.
        If it was that critical to Microsofts plans then it wouldn’t be removable.

        And as others have said TIFKAM Is just a glorified start menu. I’ve pinned about a dozen things to it and removed the crud or shifted it to the far right depending.
        Charms are really shit……..I mean truly, truly awful. I’m never sure if settings is going to take me to the windows settings or the programs settings.

        • GSGregory says:

          And that is my point right there. Another layer of crap to deal with just to use the os fully.

        • marach says:

          1. Is an App running and the last thing interacted with if yes -> 2 else -> 3
          2. load app settings
          3.load computer settings

    • fish99 says:

      I read an article on performance and Win7 won as many tests as Win8. So what other reason is there to for me to upgrade, given that it costs money and I’m perfectly happy with Win7? Saying “hey it’s not as bad as predicted” is not a good reason for me to spend money on it.

    • wu wei says:

      Look at it from our perspective. When you say “there’s nothing wrong with the Windows 8 interface”, what we hear is “I have absolutely zero understanding of operating systems other than the glossy look/feel and I’m proud of my ignorance”.

      Maybe, just maybe, people have good reasons for holding the opinions they do, and maybe, just maybe, it’s your ignorance which obscures those reasons from you.

      • Jesus H. Christ says:

        nailed it. or maybe he works for a guerrilla marketing firm. I choose the second because I really hope nobody is that stupid.

      • marach says:

        Or maybe just maybe your scared of change. There was just as big an outcry when Unity/KDE4/Gnomeshell were released people adjusted to them and they’ll adjust to TIFKAM (the interface formally known as Metro.)

  27. Mr.Bats says:

    I’ say a Steam Linux distro is the way to go. Just for gamers. Fucking beautiful

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, let’s replace one monopoly with another, that’ll end well.

      • Ich Will says:

        I don’t think steam doing a linux distribution means they have to stop offering their client on windows or that other linux gaming platforms/games wouldn’t work on their distribution.

      • LintMan says:

        Yeah, let’s replace one monopoly with another, that’ll end well.

        Most of the linux OS and the surrounding software included in most distributions is free and open source, and as I see it, a Valve-blessed linux distro would very likely be the same:

        No one, especially not linux users, wants to see linux become some sort of glorified proprietary gaming console, and Valve has little incentive to try to make it one, while they have every incentive to try to gain the acceptance and favor of the linux community.

        Valve doesn’t want or need to own the OS space; they just need an open PC gaming market to sell games in, which is something that Windows 8 threatens to suck all the air out of. But for Valve to sell games to the linux audience, they need to have linux games to sell. And to get those, they need a bigger linux gamer audience. A big part of that would be to make it easy for non-technical people to switch to, configure, and use linux and run games on it without a lot of hassle.

        As I see it, the best way for Valve to do that would be to team with an existing popular linux distribution and create a special Valve-blessed version that’s got all the latest linux hardware drivers, removes some of the less necessary/more esoteric linux software packages, folds in the Valve software, and provides some top-notch configuration tools to get it all set up. I’d expect the Valve software to work with other distros as well, but this blessed version would be the easy one people could point their less-techy friends and family to install.

    • IDtenT says:

      This will never happen. Valve will not support GPL. To think that they would is frankly naive. To this day they have held strict control over their API and will continue to do so.

      BSD would be a better choice, but BSD will be stuck with X11 well into the decade (unlike Linux) and require heavy investment from Valve to beat into shape. I’m not sure Valve will invest that heavily into what would basically be an OS built upon a storefront.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Rolling themselves a Debian pure-blend or Ubuntu spin with Steam pre-installed and maybe some nice wallpaper of Gabe swimming in his pile of money wouldn’t be substantially more endorsing the GPL than what they are already doing by developing and packaging software for Ubuntu.

        It also wouldn’t be desperately useful, except for getting people to talk about “Steam OS”, but hey.

        It does seem pretty darn unlikely that Steam itself would ever go open source, though, yes. An “open” company, Valve aren’t.

        • iniudan says:

          A debian purebland would be an awful idea to base a new distro on, at this time at least, due to systemd and wayland, since debian will be lagging way too far behind in their implementation, on top of overloading their distro with legacy implementation related to them, have fun making a new distro while filtering out the pile of crap that will bring in their unstable and testing version and it would be pointless for Valve’s need to base themselves on their stable version, those require such heavy modification that they might has well just build their own distro from scratch.

      • Mr.Bats says:

        Steam, okay, but a opengl distro would be good for them.

        I’d happily change Win/Mac monopoly for a Valve one, I find em much more… I find they still have a working heart

  28. Solidstate89 says:

    “whereas Win 8 is very much Win 7 with coloured square-shaped bits on top, so it’s going to be that much harder to swallow any claimed technical reasoning for the ringfencing of DX11.1.”

    Except you’re wrong Alec. The improvements are tied to the upgrades in WDDM 1.2 and DXGI 1.2 and those are tied to the kernel. Back-porting features to an older kernel version are possible, but not the easiest thing to do. Especially with a monster like the NT kernel. Your rudimentary summary of the differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8 being “just a bunch of colored squares” is wholly incorrect. ArsTechnica has a good article about the vast under the hood differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

    However, to put your mind at ease; with the exception of the Stereoscopic 3D support, there is literally no difference for gaming. In fact, I’d put money you won’t see any Direct X 11.1 exclusive games appearing outside of the Microsoft App store – and let’s face it – those games aren’t worth playing anyways.

    • Premium User Badge

      Joshua says:

      This.
      A hundred times this.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      I don’t think there will be Direct X 11.1 exclusive games ever (or at least they will be very rare). It’s just a superset of Direct X 10 so it would make a lot more sense to code for 10 as the baseline and then add extra features for people with 11/11.1 systems/hardware. There may be 11-exclusive games if they absolutely require tesselation for whatever reason though, but those can still be played in Win7.

  29. dogsolitude_uk says:

    Has anyone else noticed that pro-Windows 8 posts are usually cut from the same cookie cutter?

    “Pah, most of the haters have never tried it” and “Haters are just entitled whiners that don’t like change” being two of the most common. You also get “I tried it, and liked it!”. Seriously, the same three types of comments, over and over again.

    I tried it, right from the very first beta up to the Release Preview. I actually developed an ASP.NET website on it (a small personal project), to see if I’d be able to work with it on a daily basis.

    I thought it was OK, fast, liked the new task manager, but by God that interface was a PITA. I actually ended up coding a desktop gadget which gave me logoff, restart and shutdown buttons on the desktop, as well as opening different folders (downloads, documents) and stuff like My Computer. just crappily hacked together Javascript, but it did the job.

    Worst thing for me though was the sheer ‘bullying’ and dismissal of even the most constructive criticism by Sinofsky on the MS Win 8 Blog. Yeah, right: so much for a two-way dialogue. Linux gives you options: you can choose your desktop, and once you’ve done that you can choose what to have on it, even a little menu in the corner labelled ‘Start’ if you like. Microsoft removed functionality, hobbled the damned thing and gangs of fanbois insulted you if you even asked for the *option* of having the start menu back or boot to desktop.

    I dunno, maybe the astroturfers are being stack-ranked like the rest of the MS staff! It’s a real shame, I used to be a bit of a fan of MS. Now however I’m minded to say screw the bloody lot of them, especially if they’re going to be dicks about Direct X now as well.

    Anyway, I dual boot Win 7 and Linux Mint. Looking forward to Steam on Linux. I certainly won’t be buying 8.

    • S Jay says:

      They should have given the option to have start menu on the desktop, I agree.

      To shut down/restart/whatever from anywhere in the system (including the dasktop)

      – hover the mouse to the right corner (so you have the charms menu) or press win key+c
      – click settings (yes, “settings” is a damn odd choice)
      – click power
      – choose restart, shutdown, sleep…

      You can also pin it to the task bar and/or tiles, but I found it to be too clunky so I unpinned.

      • Solidstate89 says:

        Or save yourself a couple of steps and hit Winkey + i to open up the charms bar, then hit settings to shut-down.

        Honestly I feel Windows 8 has more than anything, made me a better desktop user because it’s forced me to learn a bunch of extremely useful keyboard shortcuts that I largely ignored before.

        • dogsolitude_uk says:

          I actually found myself wondering if the command line may make a comeback… Hell, people may even start learning Powershell! :)
          Edit: come to think of it, I ended up pinning it to the taskbar.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Keyboard shortcuts are user-unfriendly. They rely on research or previous knowledge, they’re not immediately apparent, and they don’t really use the g part of gui at all. If keyboard shortcuts are so great, why isn’t everyone using UNIX? The entire thing is composed of keyboard shortcuts and you’ll probably see a bunch of performance increases.

          The repeated suggestions I hear from Windows 8 supporters to learn keyboard shortcuts means that there is a fundamental flaw with the operating system. It either doesn’t feel natural or it expects users to conform to its practices. That is a problem.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            They might have a learning curve, but they are by no means user-unfriendly, Not by a long shot. They are also a good deal faster. I find myself using them even more on my Windows 7 laptop as well, not just my Windows 8 desktop.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Faster does not equal more user-friendly and a learning curve means that a product is usually not user-friendly. User-friendly means that it can be quickly learned or the motion is natural enough that it works the way users expect it to work.

            Faster just means you can work more efficiently. A program that automatically assumed dvorak keyboard settings might encourage users to work more efficiently, but it wouldn’t be user-friendly.

            Much as I hate the damn things, Iphones are user-friendly. That doesn’t mean they’re faster than keyboards, just easier to learn to use. There’s no Mavis Beacon teaches texting. That’s why a whole bunch of users eagerly embraced Apple’s paradigms.

            Metro is so unfriendly that people all over the web are suggesting that users need to learn keyboard shortcuts which haven’t been picked up by the general public in the 20 years windows has been available. That doesn’t speak well for the health and longevity of the interface.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Good user interface puts those things you are most likely to do close to the surface, for ease of use. It allows you to fiddle with other things and set them up as you wish, while giving a reasonable set up for people who don’t like to tinker.

            In numerous instances, Win8 fails in this. More clicking, bad ergonomics. They tried to meld two different interfaces, and the desktop is the one that suffered. Not sure how it works on phone/tablet or touchscreen, maybe it’s okay there.

            Even if you absolutely love the Win8 interface, there’s no functional reason it has to be there. Commercial reason? Ah, that’s the kicker….

          • Gammro says:

            @Solidstate, if the majority of users can’t remember ctrl+c and ctrl+v after 10 years, they won’t be learning other shortcuts any time soon and then it IS user unfriendly. We might learn them yes. But for the average user(who are dumb as shit) they will barely be able to work with those shortcuts and probably even be unable to find anything. Because moving your cursor in a corner without anything in it is highly unintuitive.

  30. MuffinHunter says:

    Microsoft logic:
    “We took an unnecessarily 3D windowed user interface and turned it back into something more 2D than our UI from 17 years ago. But you can only do unnecessary, bleeding-edge 3D effects using this OS.”

  31. Premium User Badge

    darkChozo says:

    A question for someone more familiar with DirectX than me; this is an update to a kernal API, right? Presumably with associated backend updates and tweaks?

    If so, this is more of an upgrade that people seem to be making it out to be. Anything that touches the kernal is not going to be trivial to backport, almost by definition. To use a completely flawed car analogy, this isn’t changing the tires on the car to high-performance tires; this is changing the axles to support new, fancy tires. Bringing the update to 7 would mean time and money spend for Microsoft, which turns it into a business decision. And what incentive do they have to spend money to upgrade an old version of the software at cost? None whatsoever.

    So while this is anti-consumer by definition, it’s not necessarily a case of a cackling executive grasping for undeserved money. Of course, there are a bunch of assumptions in that line of thought, both spoken and unspoken, but I’d argue that the same could be said of most arguments against Windows 8 (oh hi there Mr. slippery slope).

    • Solidstate89 says:

      “this is an update to a kernal API, right? Presumably with associated backend updates and tweaks?”

      Absolutely correct. As is your assumption they would have to backport everything into Windows 7 for support – not a simple task by any means.

    • Premium User Badge

      dahauns says:

      Please! Kernel.
      Damn you, Commodore…

  32. InternetBatman says:

    Crap. Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam Gaiden 2 will probably be a Windows 8 exclusive.

  33. Dowr says:

    I have the option to get Windows 8 (legally) but I’m not going to.

  34. Calabi says:

    After holding back game development years with Vista their doing the same trick again. Forcing people to do something will not make them do it.

    Its the same with phyx and nvidia. These things are great but they dont take off because the companies are retarded. Every game should have physics and tesselation. Without idiotic decisions like this then in my opinion game development would be alot further than it is. It would at least be a lot simpler and less fragmented.

    Devs should just stop using it go over to opengl.

  35. Arkhonist says:

    If anyone buys windows 8, I change my stance on the death penalty.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      I bought Windows 8. And I might buy it again too for the HTPC I’m building.

      Suck it.

      • x1501 says:

        You’re the sucker here. You suck it.

        • Solidstate89 says:

          I’m the sucker for purchasing an empirically better OS that has performance and security improvements up the wazoo because you don’t like it?

          Welp. You can keep that opinion – that is your right. But I reserve the right to laugh hysterically.

          • x1501 says:

            “…an empirically better OS that has performance and security improvements up the wazoo…”

            Oh, you’re a sucker all right. Software companies may as well start charging people like you for regular patches.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            How’s that Hyper-V support in Windows 7? HEASLR? App-containers for proper sandboxing? How about Hybrid-boot? No? What about a quick-boot? Interesting, still nothing. Well how about the improved resource sharing for Direct Compute? Nope, still don’t have it, huh? Oh, I know, how about Storage Spaces? Storage pooling maybe? Weird…none of that is in Windows 7.

            How curious. It seems you don’t understand what I’m talking about.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Buzzword droppings!

            None of those required a phone interface for a predominately non touchscreen desktop user base. Too much of it is a commercial ploy foisted upon their established base for the purpose of locking down things even further. Given their lackluster GFWL (which I avoid like the plague), I’m not super happy about letting them be in charge of my gaming interfaces or choices.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            The closest thing in that list that could be considered a “buzzword” is Quick-boot and hybrid boot. If you think the others are buzzwords, you speak out of ignorance.

          • smg77 says:

            Just because Microsoft’s marketing materials say it is “empirically” better doesn’t make it true.

          • Solidstate89 says:

            Actually I’m saying it, I don’t give a flying fuck what Microsoft has to say about it. Between the research I’ve done, the reviews I’ve read and my own anecdotal experience – Windows 8 is an under the hood improvement in every way compared to Windows 7. This isn’t even up for debate; you’re wrong if you think otherwise. If a UI change is what’s holding you back – go ahead and hate it. I really do not care. But don’t hate out of ignorance. At least be educated as to why you think what you do.

            To claim that security techniques like App-Locker sandboxing and HEASLR are just “meaningless buzzwords” is absolutely pathetic and shows just how little most people here understand about the differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8 that doesn’t involve hyper-rage about Metro.

  36. kalniel says:

    RPS picking up old news just because another site found and reported it again?

    • El_Emmental says:

      Maybe RPS don’t spend their days looking at other sites to compare them, you know.

      They usually spend their times gaming, living their lives, socializing, reading books, listening to music, watching movies, etc. If you have the time/motivation to go on 10 different websites everyday, good for you I guess.

  37. Premium User Badge

    SpakAttack says:

    Fuck your windows 8, Oive got a horse outside.

  38. Fractalhedron says:

    Hang on.

    Sinofsky’s trying to turn Windows into an app-store-with-no-recourse nightmare (he just can’t do it in one revision).

    And once that’s done won’t Windows be reduced to competing with Xbox? Or possibly being merged with Xbox? Which is probably where Microsoft wants gaming anyway – or at least traditional controller + couch/desk gaming; I doubt Microsoft wants any truck with KBM gamers anymore.

    Given the massive hate-on Microsoft’s suddenly sprouting for consumer-grade general-purpose computing*, that’s obvious to everyone but itself, why should we be concerned that DirectX 11.1 will ever be relevant?

    *Presumably Windows of anti-Christmas Future would still exist for fluff touch gaming things or a desperate attempt to cover up disregard for ‘more than 12 buttons’ gamers, but then it’s competing with iOS and Android and everything else so DX 11.1, if even fully exploitable with all the power of the Tegra series, is hardly going to net them exclusives that matter.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Watch out for that slippery slope over the- ahh, too late.

      • Fractalhedron says:

        Slippery slope, as a logical fallacy, means at least one step in the logic chain is an unrealistic or dissonant expectation.

        Microsoft making Xbox – whether on a console or a tablet – its gaming profit center is not an unrealistic expectation.

        So long as Microsoft can keep its own complementary business/development software running without still inviting in arbitrary code (it’s damn well trying and will almost certainly pull it off), abandoning legacy/desktop apps in consumer editions is not an unrealistic expectation, if Sinofsky is allowed to determine the direction of Windows.

        Granted, Sinofsky keeping the reins long enough to cost us general-purpose Windows MIGHT be an unrealistic expectation, if the shareholders decide that his direction is not where they want to see Microsoft in general or Windows in particular go, but it’s a little early to speak on that either way, and a sizable cut of every app sold on what they think will still be a billion devices can (in their minds) make up for almost any shortfall from anything else. Microsoft and its shareholders actually think they can pull an Apple.

        Abandoning KB/M on Windows – at least for gaming – may appear to be dissonant given where we’re posting, but this site is PC-centric, not necessarily Windows-centric, and generally runs counter (or at least orthogonal) to the gaming mainstream. Microsoft has made the least outreach to players beyond the gaming mainstream of any manufacturer or gatekeeper this hardware cycle with the possible exception of Apple, and is probably in the lowest quintile among publishers, and the effort Microsoft’s made to handle gaming on Windows (beyond Xbox initiatives) falls right in line with that. We are tolerated on Windows and unwelcome on Microsoft’s other gaming platforms. Nothing more.

        So I don’t see the slope you do. Losing Windows in the future as a general-purpose platform – which is rather bigger than Windows gaming – is a concern. Losing the PC entire as a (affordable) general-purpose platform depends on costs and production outputs for computers in a world where Windows and Mac are no longer general-purpose, and is still too early to forecast – and may be less relevant, if Terminal IDE is just the vanguard of in-situ Android development rather than a flash in the pan. Losing Windows 7 as a viable gaming platform before then, especially for us, because of DirectX 11.1? Nowhere near.

        • Solidstate89 says:

          tl;dr

          You’re *literally* a perfect example of the slippery slope fallacy used in debates. You can’t fucking prove shit for what you’re saying is “guaranteed” to happen.

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          I think the problem is that the discussion isn’t “This is a bad direction to move in, we should be wary that it doesn’t close off the platform completely”, the discussion is “This is a bad direction to move in, ergo Windows 8 sucks”. The former is not slippery slope; the latter is basically a textbook case and smells of the Microsoft-bashing that’s been happening for the past two decades.

          The way I see it, the Microsoft Store is an attempt to make some continuous profit off Windows, not an attempt to close off the platform or kill PC gaming (the latter point is rather annoying actually; gaming is no where as big a deal as business for Microsoft, or even consumer software in general, and they know it).

          It’s understandable, and it’s a trend in software in general (heard of Software as a Service?). The same thing has been happening in gaming, just think of what F2P are DLC seasons are: attempts to generate continuous profit from what is effectively a product.

          I’d actually like to see Microsoft try to close off the platform and make themselves the sole supplier. Do you know how hard the DOJ and EU would slap them down? They did it over browsers and media players, both of which are much more trivial than all software on the platform, particularly because there’s real money involved. Might teach MS’s management some humility.

          PS. KB&M is never going to die so long as there’s no competitor when it comes to data entry. Maybe one day the world will be smart enough so that we don’t need to take dictation or enter in paper records, but until that day the quickest and most ergonomic solution wins.

    • LionsPhil says:

      See, the problem you made here is assuming Microsoft would formulate a strategy which killed off Office.

      • Fractalhedron says:

        Because you actually need control over your device for Office?

        Windows RT has Office built in. Granted, it’s a concession for home users alone and a bit of a shoehorn (since they still need Desktop Mode for it) but it’s a proof of concept nonetheless.

        I only ever brought up the consumer side – presumably Enterprise is in no danger for a while yet, but how relevant is that to a home user – but making Office work within Metro has got to be on their agenda and it’s a decent excuse to abandon the kind of Office you or I might pay one time for rather than annually, if we had a need for that kind of document creation beyond what Google or open-source provides.

    • iniudan says:

      Sinofsky actually had his leave of Microsoft today, officially it because he didn’t work well with the team…

  39. slpk says:

    Fear not as The Gabe is here to save us all with his truly awe-some water vapor based soft-ware machinations.

  40. Milky1985 says:

    Its taken until this year to get everything to the point where devs can go DX 10 only safely, a good few years after vista, it’ll be a good few years yet before they go DX 11.1 only (mainly cause like with vista, 8 is being universally panned)

    Wouldn’t surprise me tho if they announce Halo 3 or halo reach on PC , DX11.1 only.

  41. JarinArenos says:

    You’re missing the most likely master-stroke here. XBox 720 (or whatever they end up calling it) gets released with DX11.1 native, and suddenly it’s really easy to port games to Windows 8, but not nearly so easy to port to windows 7.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      If the Xbox 720 (or whatever it’s called) does indeed use AMD hardware like it’s rumored to do, don’t expect it to have full 11.1 support. Even AMD’s current 7xxx series based on the GCN architecture doesn’t have full support for 11.1. They claim 11.1 support, but it does not cover the entire standard. And if Microsoft uses a card from the 6xxx series, fughedaboutit. That is strictly DX 11. And given the price reductions all of the console OEMs are doing right now to reduce production costs I wouldn’t expect a next-gen 8xxx AMD GPU residing in it either.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        No matter what they put in it, people will think its the future in a plastic box. People STILL tell me the old urban legend that “the PS3 is basically a supercomputer”. They won;t know it could have been an 8xxx series, it’ll just be the New XBox for Xmas. “New=best.”

        I appreciate this doesn’t have anything to do with anything at all, and its not really a reply to anyone, more just a long repressed lament of someone who likes the Hi-fi aspect of PC horsepower. Side complaint: No one ever calls a guy who buys a mutli-thousand pound 7.1 Surround Sound Stereo with all gold plated connections an elitist because he wants State of The Art. Thats all the deal is with high end PC owners – wanting State of The Art games on state of the art hardware. The only difference is a CD or record has all that quality hidden within it, you can unlock it if you want by paying more, even though it still sounds good on a cheaper stereo. With games, even with graphics settings, those levels of quality and the state of the art aren’t always built in unless someone chose to put it there – hence the frustration. Is it necessary to have top notch sound and graphical performance for a good game? No – but it would be nice to have the choice.

        It is admittedly a shame that games so often fall into the “Great graphics, shit game” dichotomy. I loved Far Cry 1 and Crysis, for me they are great examples of balancing both (OK except mutants and flying enemies. They can fuck off)

        • Premium User Badge

          darkChozo says:

          Not that I disagree with you, but I think you’ll find that there are many, many, many audiophile jokes out there. Gold plated connectors also happen to be a frequent target.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Sigh. All I want is individually rendered pores. Like Prophet had that time when he told me to run after a thing with a thing that made the things go all frozen.

        • Solidstate89 says:

          “No one ever calls a guy who buys a mutli-thousand pound 7.1 Surround Sound Stereo with all gold plated connections an elitist because he wants State of The Art.”

          Oh yes, we do.

  42. Marik Bentusi says:

    Eyyyy Valve, whaddaya think of OpenGL?

  43. Chriz2 says:

    Its time to learn OpenGL.
    Here is a good read about the truth of DirectX & OpenGL:
    http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/01/Why-you-should-use-OpenGL-and-not-DirectX

  44. pilouuuu says:

    Yes, Microsoft. Give me more reasons to switch to Linux. I already use VLC to watch videos and Chrome for surfing the web. Now I just need to use a decent open source OS for my PC gaming.

    It’d be great that Valve released Half-Life 3 as a Linux exclusive the same day Windows 8 is released! That would be an epic fail for Microsoft and their hate for PC gaming.

    • GSGregory says:

      Probably won’t happen but that would be awesome.

      • vandinz says:

        Wouldn’t it just! Fuck you M$ and your one company trying to rule the world, we’re sticking with Valve … oh wait … How dumb are you people? THEY’RE ALL THE SAME!

        • GSGregory says:

          No they aren’t. Steam isn’t perfect by a longshot but they are way, way better than microsoft.

    • Panda Powered says:

      It would have been awesome to have Episode 3 two and a half week ago yes. :(

  45. vandinz says:

    All you cry arses make me piss. I’ve been using Windows 8 since launch and once I added Classic Shell it’s exactly the same as 7. I (almost completly) never use the Metro UI. I do however have the advantage of the extra speed of Windows 8 and less resources being used. All in all there’s FUCK ALL wrong with Windows 8 and the sooner you lot realise that the better.

    Oh and waiting for Linux to be the new messiah is bullshit. What happens when it does? You think all the money men are going to sit there and let it happen? You’ll be in the same boat as you are now. In fact no, you’ll be in the same boat as you were with Windows 95. That’s what Linux is like, with all the extra set up shit just to get it running. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    See you in Windows 8 losers when you jump off the band wagon and start to think for yourself. LOL!

    • Ich Will says:

      I’m using windows 8 right now too – took advantage of the £25 upgrade.

      It’s utter shite. Trying to get anything done takes about twice as long thanks to their BS UI, it gets itself snarled up with more than one program running memory wise – run the same two programs in windows 7 and use a good memory monitor and see how much more efficient windows 7 is.

      Also, you can shut down the desktop. Shut it down. Completely. The underlying architecture is metro and the desktop is being simulated, just like DOS was.

      Remember those days when only getting one BSOD was a good day. They are back, windows 8 crashes like a bugger.

      That being said, I won’t go back – I like metro due to it being easier to use with my disabilities

    • LionsPhil says:

      “Windows 8 is fine once you use a third-party modification to turn it into Windows 7″.

      Ok.

      I’m still waiting to see if Microsoft want to make that an official toggle in time for the first service pack. Just as they’ve got me singing the 7 Start Menu’s praises (Pinning [and removing automatic entries for] recent documents, per-app? Yes please! [JumpLists are the best bit of UI work they’ve done in a while alongside Aero Peek, and on a modern screen with a lefty taskbar to compensate for the crazy widescreen aspect ratio, I don’t want to pin everything to said taskbar.] IntelliSense-like completion for paths in the combined Run/Search box? I’ll almost forgive you the crazy shutdown button.), they take it away. They’ve been interating on that menu since 95—8 throws away a hell of a lot of development and HCI work on it.

      Yes, I know you can press Start then start typing on Win8. There’s no visual affordance for it, though, and last I remember trying it only wanted to search within certain tight scopes like “Apps” until you clicked another, rather than showing all of them with headings.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      Erm, is there really any need to be so rude?

      • wu wei says:

        It’s cognitive dissonance in effect. OP doesn’t understand the criticisms of Win8, so the problem has to be with everyone else and not him.

      • varangian says:

        People with nothing to say usually resort to being dicks and this is a fine example.

        • dogsolitude_uk says:

          It was the opening sentence “all you cry arses make me piss” that got me. It wasn’t even a sentence, just a string of words with a vague grammatical connection, that read as if someone had been learning English as a second language for a while, got on to the forum and tried to be offensive.

          “All your piss are belong to arse”

          :)

  46. J_C says:

    For the first time of my life, I bought a legit copy of a MS operation system when I bought Windows 7. I did that because I felt they did a pretty good job with this OS and listened to the customers.

    Well, it seems I will use Window 8 for free.

  47. Bob says:

    Direct Draw has been thrown to the dogs as well. As much as I love Windows 7, Windows 8 is filling me with dread. I don’t want a market place on my desktop, I just want functionality ffs.

    • buzzmong says:

      To be fair, Direct Draw was obsoleted way back in DX7, it hasn’t existed in the codebase from DX9 onwards.

  48. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    MS are fighting a losing battle as few games used DX11 properly on PC you need at least 1 hand to count them all!

    Xbox 720 will obviously use DX11.1 thats the only way MS can gain any leverage here & block PC out of the next gen games by using DX11.1 only on the next Xbox. I would not be surprised if MS try this either but if they do it just means PC will not get native 3D on nextgen ports as I still expect ports to PC not from PC to consoles like it should be.