Microsoft has promised as far back as January 2016 that it would drop support for new processors on older versions of Windows, and the company is now making good on that promise. Starting this month, people trying to run Windows 7 and 8.1 on Intel and AMD’s latest chips are no longer able to update their operating systems.
Starting with Intel’s Kaby Lake CPUs and AMD’s Ryzen CPUs and moving forward, those old systems are stuck where they are, losing out on future security updates to the operating systems. Windows 7 and 8.1 systems with older processors, however, will continue to receive updates until Microsoft sunsets those operating systems as they recently did with Windows Vista.
Support only lasts so long
I don’t think, however, that this is a move by Microsoft to force people to upgrade Windows. Each additional generation of hardware they have to support means more testing. Eventually, old software has to stop receiving updates for newer hardware and new software can only support software so far back.
As Ars Technica notes, the decision to include Windows 8.1 in with Windows 7 is a bit premature, as Windows 8.1 is still supported by Microsoft for a bit longer. However, Windows 8.1’s install base is dropping quickly, and has barely a quarter the userbase of even Windows 7. At this point, Windows 7 is an eight-year-old operating system, while Windows 8 is going on 5.
This is sure to be a point of frustration for PC builders who love the latest hardware but prefer the older operating system. We wouldn’t be surprised if someone found a way to hack those security updates into place in older Windows, but the official support is coming to an end.