Back in September, Microsoft program manager Daniel Moth indicated during a Q&A session on MSDN that DirectX 11.1 was going to be exclusive to Windows 8, shunning Windows 7 users the same way DirectX 11 initially shunned pre-Windows 7 OSes (it was later made available to Vista and Windows Server 2008). If you were hoping Microsoft would have a similar change of heart and bring DX11.1 to Windows 7, you're in luck.
Let's first look back at Moth's comments on the issue.
"As you figured out WARP is part of DirectX 11. With DirectX 11.1, WARP was enhanced with (among other things) support for DirectCompute and hence it is one of the accelerators for C++ AMP. DirectX 11.1 is part of Windows 8, just like DirectX 11 was part of Windows 7. DirectX 11 was made available for Vista (bing it), but at this point there is no plan for DirectX 11.1 to be made available on Windows 7," Moth said in response to a user question about the possibility of WARP being available in Windows 7.
Fast forward to November and Microsoft is singing a slightly different tune. Chuck Walbourn, a senior software design engineer at Microsoft, recently stated in a blog post that "portions" of DX11.1 will be made available to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Those portions include Direct3D 11.1; updates to Direc2D, DirectWrite, and DXGI 1.1; and a revision of the Windows Imaging Component (WIC).