Here is an analysis, by a game developer called Susheel, of the new things that DirectX 11 will bring.
Read the complete analysis HERE.
What is really interesting to see is the emergence of what Microsoft terms as the Compute Shader, no doubt a marketing speak for GPGPU which they claim will allow the GPU, with it’s awesome power to be used for more than just graphics, which smells like CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) to me.
Issues like multi-threaded rendering/resource handling are things that were long time coming and yes, it’s a good thing we will finally see them in the newer version. It just makes my job as a game developer a whole lot easier. Most details on Shader Model 5.0 are pretty sketchy, so I won’t go into things like shader length and function recursion. However, I hope such issues are addressed satisfactorily in the newer shader model.
Microsoft is still fixated on releasing version 11 only for Vista, so don’t expect your XP machines to ever run DirectX 11 even if you buy brand new hardware.