AMD are walking back Richard Huddy's comments from last week, issuing the following statement regarding DirectX12 and Windows 7:
“There have been reports based on a video of Richard Huddy of AMD making speculative comments around DirectX 12 support on versions of Windows. Richard Huddy does not speak for Microsoft, and he was unfortunately speculating from Microsoft’s publication of key dates and milestones for Windows 7 lifecycle and mainstream support policy. Richard has no special insight into Microsoft’s Windows or DirectX roadmaps. Microsoft is a key, strategic partner for AMD and we’re continuously collaborating with them on DirectX 12.”
Microsoft's DirectX 12 is scheduled to be used in games released during the 'Holiday 2015' period, but one major question which still has yet to be officially revealed is the status of the API for Microsoft's current in-service Operating Systems. Pretty guaranteed for Windows 10, and fairly likely for Windows 8.1, no word was released for the most popular consumer OS - Windows 7. Now, in a presentation at PDXLAN this month uploaded by Sapphire Technology, AMD's Chief Gaming Scientist Richard Huddy has flatly stated that DirectX 12 will not be coming to Windows 7.
That's not a huge surprise in of itself. Mainstream support for Windows 7 ends in January 2015, all but ruling out the addition of new features after that date. However according to Net Applications the desktop platform is dominated by Windows 7, which alone figures for 53.05% of total market share. That's critical, as most gamers still run Windows 7 and have avoided Windows 8/8.1 due to the problems early users had with the newer OS. DX12 will, if it is a significant step forward in performance, be a major motivator in the next upgrade cycle.
Of course, AMD themselves have a big horse in this race too - Mantle. An alternative 'close to metal' API, it could be seen as a competitor to DX12 and has actually been available at a time when concrete information has been hard to come by. It's also been suggested that working with Mantle now may make working with DirectX 12 easier in the future, as much of the development of DX12 has been informed by AMD's work with Mantle. Even so, AMD won't be putting all their eggs in this one basket and will of course support DirectX 12 on most new and existing graphics hardware.
Outside of Mantle and DirectX another interesting piece of news was revealed by Huddy regarding the availability of FreeSync monitors to the general public. He believes that the first FreeSync monitor, conforming to DisplayPort 1.2a /w Adaptive V-Sync specifications, will be for sale in December or January and that a vendor has already begun shipping monitors which are FreeSync-enabled with a firmware update. If this is the case, and does indeed have no cost implication as AMD are keen to mention, it could be a major win for the red team this Christmas.
Source: PDXLAN Presentation (Sapphire Tech Youtube Channel), NetMarketShare.com