Microsoft has confirmed that it will not be issuing any further Windows 10 updates for "unsupported" machines powered by older Intel Atom processors. The update would require additional hardware support, the company explains, but security patches will continue.

Owners of certain Atom computers discovered that their machines weren't compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Despite being able to download the 3GB release, they were unable to proceed with the installation process. Acer later confirmed that a number of Atom processors are not supported, including:

  • Atom Z2760
  • Atom Z2520
  • Atom Z2560
  • Atom Z2580

Acer said it was working with Microsoft to try and address the incompatibility issue, but it seems there will not be a solution. Microsoft says that Intel no longer supports these processors, and without the necessary driver updates, it could not deliver a Creators Update to them without negatively affecting system performance.

These Atom chips "require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update," Microsoft explained in a statement to ZDNet. "However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel, and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact."

Given that Microsoft pushed long-term support for Windows 10 so heavily, many will be wondering why they were allowed to upgrade to the new operating system at all if their machines would be left in the cold by future releases. It also raises the question about whether other machines will suddenly lose support when new Windows 10 updates arrive.

It's worrying, but Microsoft has promised to continue delivering security patches for these machines until January 2023, which is when extended support for Windows 8.1 — the operating system they would have shipped with — runs out.