Microsoft is seemingly going to a new limit to define Windows 10 as the ultimate platform for the people of its ecosystem. In short, older OSes will no longer be supported by newer processors, making Windows 10 the absolute minimum starting point for people who are still holding out to their outdated hardware and software configurations.
As it turns out, the AMD, Intel and Qualcomm processors of the future will only support Windows 10 to get enterprise support. This news will allow Microsoft to further add reluctant business users who have stuck faithfully to older OS iterations.
What about Windows 7, 8 and 8.1?
The company is making it mandatory for Skylake processors to upgrade in the near future. It has made a list of these 6th-gen chips that will get support for Windows 7 and 8.1, but that too will end barely a year-and-a-half later on 17th of July, 2017.
After the expiry of the 2017 deadline, it is almost certain that an upgrade is needed and only those updates will be rolled out that don’t risk the “reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices”.
Users with older versions of Intel and other options will get the support till Jan. 14, 2020 and Jan. 10, 2023 for versions 7 and 8.1 respectively.
Here’s Tyler Myerson in his own words regarding the change:
“Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SoCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states – which is challenging for Wi-Fi, graphics, security, and more. As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing.”
It is not immediately clear what hardware developments are making Windows 7 a nuisance at this point, but as Skylake has shown, a better power management between the chip and the OS it runs on is possible. With Koby Lake coming soon, this and much more can be taken to an all new level.