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Windows 7 is an operating system released in 2009 by Microsoft Corporation. It is the successor to Windows Vista and the predecessor to Windows 8. The biggest draw to gamers upon release was its support for the new DirectX 11 API. In 2019, in a surprise move, Microsoft released DirectX 12 to all Windows 7 installations, upon request from Blizzard Entertainment so that users could enjoy the graphical quality from DirectX 12, but not be forced to upgrade to Windows 10 to do so.
Some of the new features included in Windows 7 are advancements in touch, speech, and handwriting recognition; support for virtual hard disks; support for additional file formats; improved performance on multi-core processors; improved boot performance; and kernel improvements.
Windows 7 retains the Windows Aero graphical user interface and visual style introduced in Windows Vista, though minor enhancements have been made.
Upgraded components include Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft Paint, Calculator, Resource Monitor, and WordPad.