It’s Happening: Old Versions Of Windows Stop Supporting Latest Processors
If you just bought a new PC with the latest processor, don't expect your favorite Windows 7 to get updates.
Microsoft announced last year that older versions of Windows such as 7 and 8.1 built on 6th-gen Intel Skylake CPU would not get any more security updates. This month, Microsoft is staying true to its promise as there have been reports of users getting a prompt saying their updates are being blocked on their PCs with the latest processor. To prevent this, Microsoft encourages everyone to upgrade to Windows 10.
Old Windows, New Processors Don't Match
According to a report, users have been receiving message prompts saying that their new processors won't receive any more security updates. These users have either Windows 7 or 8.1 installed on their computers.
Microsoft is just sticking to its words. Last year, the company announced its shift towards the future of computers, or what it called the "embracing of silicon innovation." It talked about how the then-latest processor Intel Skylake is working with Windows 10 with best results.
For users of Windows 7 and 8.1, Microsoft reiterated that it will continue to provide security, reliability, and compatibility; Windows 7 will get support until Jan. 20, 2020, while Windows 8.1 will get updates until Jan. 10, 2023.
However, newer generations of processors will require Windows 10 to get support. Microsoft said that this policy will allow the company to prioritize "deep integration between Windows and the silicon while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon." It means that Intel's 7th-gen CPU Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen must have Windows 10 as its operating system; otherwise it will not get security updates and other supports.
Skylake On The Fence
Intel's 6th-gen CPU Skylake, however, is in a curious situation. Skylake was originally part of the next-gen processors that must use Windows 10, but Microsoft budged and allowed updates for Skylake on computers running Windows 7 or 8.1
"Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends," wrote Microsoft. After this date, only the most critical updates will be provided for this chip only if the updates won't cause compatibility or reliability issues.
What To Do Moving Forward?
Microsoft is a tech company and it is wired in its company DNA to adapt to the blazing speed of technology. Thus, it is expected of the company to prioritize its future innovations based on the latest (and upcoming) hardware, software, and other resources.
While Windows 7 is an old reliable, it is only as good as the support it gets from Microsoft. However, the time has come for Microsoft to move on, so to speak. While it vowed to continue providing support for old Windows versions, this is only for older hardware and for a limited time.
Instead of risking security issues like incompatibility, crashes, bugs, malwares, and viruses, the user must look into the future as well. If Windows have moved on to newer computers, so should the user.