According to “reliable sources” close to The Inquirer, Microsoft is downsizing its next-generation version of Windows – generally referred to as Windows 7 – and one of the key components to be dropped will be DirectX 11.

With Vista barely a year old it may seem a little premature to be talking about its replacement, but given the well-documented problems caused by Vista’s unwieldy nature, predicting the direction Microsoft will take with future generations is all but irresistible to seasoned tech watchers.

Expressed in its simplest terms one of the main problem with Vista is that a lot of lower-end hardware users have experienced problems running it. Microsoft appears to have taken this on board and is expected to streamline its replacement, cutting away unnecessary clutter rather than just adding even more resource-hungry apps and gimmicks.

Another primary reason why DirectX 11 appears to be getting the chop is that there are already enough issues surrounding DirectX 10, not least because it is only available and compatible with the Vista OS platform, as well as being limited to certain high-end graphics cards.

As Tim Edwards from our sister publication PC Gamer explains, “DirectX has been the backbone of game development since Windows 95. DirectX 9 is really the pinnacle, with both the Xbox 360 and the majority of PCs employing it. There are some fantastic-looking games around that employ DirectX 10, but in the wider context very few people are taking advantage of it, so the idea of developing DirectX 11 doesn’t really make any sense at the moment.”

Increasingly it seems, the question with Windows 7 is not 'what won't be in it', but rather 'what will'?