Don't worry, Microsoft DirectStorage won't be exclusive to Windows 11

Windows 11 running Sonic Mania in an office
(Image credit: Shutterstock - guteksk7)

When Microsoft announced Windows 11 in June 2021, it said the DirectStorage API, which would give gaming PCs next-gen loading times, would be exclusive to the new operating system. But it appears that is no longer the case.

Microsoft has released a developer preview of DirectStorage, which is exciting news for anyone wondering why the API is taking so long to release. But in the accompanying blog, Microsoft laid out some details on compatibility. Namely, DirectStorage will be supported on Windows 10, you just won't get the full experience. 

This is despite an earlier blog from Microsoft, which said DirectStorage would be exclusively available on Windows 11.

Specifically, when it comes to optimization the blog states: "On Windows 11, this consists of an upgraded OS storage stack that unlocks the full potential of DirectStorage, and on Windows 10, games will still benefit from the more efficient use of the legacy OS storage stack". So you won't have to upgrade to the new OS to use the new tech, it's just going to be way more efficient on Windows 11 than Windows 10. 

And you shouldn't have to worry about a game built on DirectStorage not working on Windows 10 - even if you have a slow hard drive. While DirectStorage is obviously meant for the best SSDs, the technology will still work on a mechanical hard drive - good news for budget gamers. 

We still don't know when DirectStorage will be available for the general public to download, but we'll take it being tested as a good sign. 

Via Wccftech

Jackie Thomas

Jackie Thomas is the Hardware and Buying Guides Editor at IGN. Previously, she was TechRadar's US computing editor. She is fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but she just happens to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop her a line on Twitter or through email.