Microsoft has confirmed that it has made a major change to its support policy which confirms its plans for future updates to its previous operating systems like Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. It’s not going to update previous operating systems for next-generation processors which means that folks with PCs that have next-generation processors from the likes of Intel and AMD will not be able to use any other OS except Windows 10.
“Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” the company confirms in a blog post, adding that its latest OS is going to be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming Kaby Lake processors, Qualcomm’s new 8996 series as well as AMD’s Bristol Ridge silicon.
There’s an important distinction here that needs to be understood. This policy change doesn’t mean that Microsoft is going to stop support Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. They will continue to receive latest software and security updates from the company, but they won’t be updated to work with newer processors from the aforementioned companies. Even Intel’s current-generation Skylake processors won’t have support for the previous versions.
However, Microsoft will maintain a list of approved Skylake systems for enterprise customers, those systems will have guaranteed support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until July 17th, 2017. It’s giving enterprise customers a grace period of 18 months to purchase new hardware before fully moving to Windows 10. After the grace period expires it will only provide them with “the most critical” security updates for the previous versions of Windows.